Play as an almighty god and craft your own world from scratch
Combine and discover new elements via an alchemy-type system
Enjoy the amazing retro pixel art and storylines in this game
One of the breakthrough mobile games of the year 2015, The Sandbox features an amazing alchemy-styled gameplay to mix, match and discover new elements which you, as an almighty god, can use to craft your world to your desire. With so many possibilities… well, possible, this is definitely a game that will keep you hooked for hours on end!
The game provides 3 game modes for you to enjoy – Campaign, Creative and Gallery. In campaign mode, The Sandbox offers quite a wide variety of campaigns that you can play. Although only a few of the campaigns are available for free, including the tutorial campaign and 2 user-created campaigns, there are enough levels in each of those campaigns to keep you occupied for quite some time. If you would like to play the other campaigns, you could always spend some real cash to buy the access you need.
Each level you play will earn you a sizeable amount of mana and mana is crucial for you to purchase elements after they are discovered in The Sandbox. Mana is also needed to skip a level or to unlock hints for the tasks or puzzles you need to complete in each level in order to proceed to the next one.
Elements are like the Lego blocks of the game. You can select and place them wherever and however you like, but you’ll need to keep the general rules of physics and chemistry in mind as gravity has an effect on the elements you place and that some elements will react to other elements upon contact.
Interestingly, for quite a number of the elements, you’ll need to change the climate weather, temperature and lighting to give rise to new elements and sometimes even life itself. For example, exposing mud to the sun for some time will cause plants (flowers, to be exact) to start growing from it. You can even create clouds and attempt to brew up a thunderstorm!
The Sandbox, despite its old-school, pixelated look, has some pretty modern elements in the game as well. A few of these elements can allow you to design and breathe electrical life into various computer circuits and machinery. There are also tools like the Fill Bucket and Eraser which you can use to fill an enclosed space with an element of your choice and remove elements that you no longer need. After all, being the apprentice of god himself, you should have all the tools you need to create whatever you like.
Let’s not forget about the Creative Mode of the game where you are given a blank canvas to paint your own world and story. Naturally, the elements you’ll have access to will be limited, depending on how many of them you’ve managed to unlocked so far, but it is still possible to use whatever tools and elements you have to design your world. These worlds you’ve created can be saved and accessed later, or in case you’re not satisfied with the world you’ve made, you can simply reset it.
Every world you save can be shared to the community of the game and likewise, you will also be able to access other people’s shared worlds via the Gallery. If you like their masterpieces, you can also vote for them. There are even achievements you can collect and an Elementpedia to refer to, so you can discover new elements more easily.
It’s quite obvious that The Sandbox is a pretty well-designed game. Sporting the pixelated look, the game also provides some sound effects to add some depth and immersion to the game. The sounds aren’t much, but well, it’s better than nothing!
The only true downside that can be seen in this game is definitely the ads. Like most free-to-play games, The Sandbox features quite frequent pop-up ads that tend to be plastered across your screen at random times while you’re playing the game.
In a nutshell, The Sandbox is a quite interesting mix between the usual alchemy-type games, where you mix and match elements to discover new ones, along with sandbox games, in which you are free to express your creativity in whichever way you like. Some players might be put off by its very pixelated look, but if you’re not one of them and if you happen to be the creative sort, The Sandbox may just be a game you’ll enjoy.