Sandbox games are a different kind of fun. Instead of focusing on linear gameplay mechanics and level design, sandbox games allow you to have fun of your own. It is often confused with open world games but there is a real difference, albeit subtle. We have a list of open world games here so here is our list of best sandbox games for Android as well.
- The Escapists 1 and 2
- Old School RuneScape
- Pocket City
- Rockstar Games (Grand Theft Auto and Bully)
- Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic
Sandbox versus the open world
The sandbox and open world types are often confused with each other and some believe the two are interchangeable. This is not actually true. Open world games have a large number of mechanisms with the static factor being an open world where players can explore. In general, open world games can be linear or nonlinear in terms of progression as long as the player can explore the world whenever he wants, it is an open world game.
In comparison, Sandbox games may or may not have an open world, but the player retains almost complete control over the game space. For example, Rollercoaster Tycoon is not an open world game, but a sandbox game. It doesn’t matter how you get there. You can build any rides you want, sweep any existing rides, change landscapes, and even build underground rides.
Open world games generally focus on places players can go. Sandbox games generally focus on what players can do. They often overlap, but not the same.
The entertainment value of sandbox games has more control over the game world than it usually does. Minecraft is another excellent example. Minecraft gives you a whole world and you can literally mine everything if you want to. It would take nearly two billion years to do that, but the game gives you that choice. This is a level of freedom that you can only get in a sandbox game.
In short, you can enjoy open world games without safeguards and sandbox games without open world elements. Since there is differentiation, they are not the same type.
Price: $ 4.99
Crashlands came onto the scene in 2016 and instantly became one of the best sandbox games out there. In this title, you play an intergalactic truck driver. The game starts and you are stuck on a random planet. Your mission is to defeat bad guys, craft things and build yourself a home away from home. There is also a task line where you can save the world while recovering all lost packages. It’s a huge game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. You will have to shell out $ 4.99 to run it but there are also no in-app purchases. The game is also free with Google Play Pass if you use it. This same developer also makes Levelhead, a linear platform but has a Creative Mode with a very high degree of customization. It’s also pretty fun if you like to wander creating things
Runaways 1 and 2
Price: $ 6.49 and $ 6.99, respectively
Escapists 1 and 2 are excellent sandbox games. You play as a prisoner in prison and escape is your only goal. You can craft different items and fabricate different exit methods. This includes dressing up as a sentinel, digging tunnels, or even stepping out of canals. You also have to do the usual prison things like work and eat. The second game adds some features and has a bunch of extra places to get out of. However, you cannot go wrong with either game. Both are also free with Google Play Games if you use it.
Price: Free to play
Godus is a city building simulation game with an additional degree of power for the player. Not only do you play as a god and observe your civilization, but you can design the entire game world, mine and sculpt it to your liking. This puts him squarely in Sandland. As a simulator, it’s very decent and you can do things like nurture the growth of your small civilization or blow it up with natural disasters. it’s your choice.
Price: $ 6.99 with in-app purchases
Minecraft is one of the most popular sandbox games of all time. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Minecraft is a game in which you mine objects, build things, kill objects, and use your creativity to the fullest. Players from all over the world enjoyed the game and its mobile version is actually not half bad. Updates in 2017 brought the Minecraft mobile version on par with its console, PC and Nintendo Switch counterparts for true cross-platform gameplay. Microsoft is really doing a great job with this, and its popularity isn’t just a fad. It has been popular for many years.
Old school runescape
Price: Free / $ 10.99 a month / $ 99.99 a year
Old School RuneScape is one of the best MMORPG games on mobile. Like most MMORPG games, it features an open world that you can explore at will with loads of stories and side quests to complete. You create a character, go straight out and explore. The game also includes a rich in-game economy among players, decent character class options, and many more things to do in terms of missions and exploration. It’s also a subscription model instead of the usual free-to-play model, so you really can’t push your way to the top. Here is a list of the best MMORPGs if you want to check out other options.
Price: Free / $ 2.99
Almost any city building simulation is a sandbox and Pocket City is no different. You can design a city from the ground up, including different types of buildings, roads, facilities, and more. Additionally, the game has a live economy that you can modify with things like tax rates and the density of the buildings you create. There are a lot of city builders on mobile, but we like Pocket City because it’s an outstanding game with no microtransactions, so there’s nothing but you and your decisions to push the game forward. The premium version works for $ 2.99 and is free with Google Play Pass if you have it.
Rockstar Games titles
Price: $ 4.99- $ 6.99
Rockstar Games is one of the biggest developers on Google Play and in the games industry in general. Of course you know the best studio of Grand Theft Auto game series and it is among the best sandbox games on mobile. There are a few to choose from, including Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas. They basically play just like their console counterparts except for the touchscreen controls. Additionally, Rockstar makes Bully (Google Play link) that has a similar sandbox style but takes place on school rather than on city streets. You cannot go wrong with any of them.
Price: Free to play
Roblox is another old sandbox game which is one of the most popular games on mobile. The game is almost pure freedom for the player and you can make an entire world and do various things in it. You can also enter other people’s worlds and play there instead. You can play alone or with people and it will take months to describe all the things you can do in the game. Between the huge number of player-created options and things you can create on your own, it’s no wonder this game is especially popular among sandbox fans. The game can also sync your account across the platform so you can play on console, PC, or your phone if you want.
Price: $ 5.99 with in-app purchases
Rollercoaster Tycoon is an excellent sandbox game. This alternative is a port for PC first and second games into a nifty (and relatively inexpensive) package. The game is simple. You start a scenario with a specific goal and build a goal-fulfilling garden. You can landscaping, creating whatever rides you want, and setting everything up just the way you want it. Additionally, this version of the game includes a park designer feature to create your own scenarios and two DLCs with more content. There are also other billionaire style games, like Transport Tycoon (Google Play link) if you want to play with something other than amusement parks.
Price: $ 4.99
Terraria is nearby with Minecraft in terms of gameplay except for this game in a 2D space. Years ago, this was a pocket version that was smaller and less powerful than the PC version of Terraria. However, developers have rebuilt it and it’s the same PC and console these days. You can create worlds of multiple sizes, do a bunch of things on those worlds, and even play with up to seven other people if you want to. You can mine, craft, defeat enemies, build things, destroy things, and collect some of the 800 items available in the game. It’s not quite as deep as Minecraft, but a lot of people have been playing this game for years without getting bored or running out of things to do.
If we missed any of the best sandbox games for Android, let us know in the comments! Thank you.