The Sandbox (Pixowl Inc.)

Facebook
Like The Sandbox on Facebook

Twitter 
Follow The Sandbox on Twitter

Website
Check out the official
The Sandbox Website

Discussion
Give the developers feedback on the Steam Discussion Page

Purchase
Buy your Early Access copy on the Steam Store page 

After already impressing players on iOS and Android, The Sandbox has made the leap to the PC and is available as an Early Access title interestingly enough. This shows that the developers are not just treating the PC version as a quick port and are willing to listen to player feedback in order to deliver a good game.

In case you missed out on the mobile versions of The Sandbox the idea is very simple, you are given a bunch of tools and encouraged to use them in creative ways. Depending on how creative you are, this can be a little daunting, but fortunately there are tutorials, in the form of missions, that explain everything you need to know. In total there are eleven campaigns that encompass about 161 puzzles in total so these should keep you busy for a while. The campaigns are split up into themes and walk you through the basic steps of combining elements and demonstrating the effects. There are some pretty interesting campaigns that feature dinosaurs, contraptions, humans, zombies, robots and even an alien invasion, but most are locked until a previous campaign is completed.

The visuals are 2D and all the elements are represented by pixel block art so the game does look a little basic. Don’t be fooled though as there is plenty of depth and with more than 150 elements you are limited only by your creativity when it comes to messing around. The Free Mode runs in “HD” for the Steam version of the game which is basically four times the resolution of the original mobile versions, but unless you are a fan of pixel art it is still going to look very basic. Pixowl have mentioned that resolution options are in the works so hopefully they are able to spruce up the visuals a bit more.

While the mobile version of the game is free, you do have to pay for the Steam version, but it comes with the benefit of no micro-transactions and no advertisements. Mana is required to unlock items, buy hints or bypass levels, but you are awarded an abundance of the stuff for completing levels so it should be pretty hard to run out.

The amount of fun that you will have with The Sandbox really depends on how creative you are. Some people will spend a few hours working their way through the puzzles while others will want to jump straight in and mess around with the Free Mode. You are restricted to working on a single screen which feels a bit limited initially, but once you get the hang of the various elements there is a lot of fun to be had. There are also tons of user-generated content that you can check out for inspiration if your creative well runs dry.

The Sandbox impressed us with the wealth of elements and easy to use interface. It is the type of game where you really have to put in a lot of time to really appreciate the depth and requires some creativity from the player to really shine. We will continue to monitor what Pixowl brings to the table for this PC version of the game and do a full review once the game leaves Early Access. In the meantime, you can check out the free mobile versions of the game if possible to get a general idea what to expect on PC.

This preview is based on version 1.5.16 of the game.

Related posts

Freaking Meatbags (Wild Factor)

Freaking Meatbags is set in a world where puny humans are even lower on the food chain than lowly cleaning robots. You don't play as a human in the game though, but as the lowly cleaning robot, named Chip by the way, who has to wrangle the meatbags into performing some labor. Chip is given this unpleasant task after getting on the wrong side of his boss and to make matters worse, he is ordered to protect the humans under his command. This is not an easy feat seeing as his job is to gather resources from planets in a solar system that is on the brink of exploding. Then there is also the small matter of roving bands of wild robots that attack at night.

Action Henk (RageSquid)

Action Henk (RageSquid)

Navigating tricky obstacle courses with a motorbike is one thing, but can you do it with an overweight action-hero toy? That is the question posed by Action Henk (and yes it is Henk and not "Hank") a new game from the brilliantly named Indie developer, RageSquid. At first glance the game bears a passing resemblance to the Trials series from RedLynx, but surprisingly enough Henk is not only faster, but more maneuverable than a motorcycle.

Carmageddon: Reincarnation (Stainless Games Ltd)

Carmageddon: Reincarnation (Stainless Games Ltd)

Believe it or not, the original Carmageddon was released more than 18 years ago already! However, it only took me a few minutes after booting up Reincarnation to realize that Stainless Games Ltd has nailed the feel of the game. Anyone who can remember gleefully plowing through throngs of pedestrians while smashing rival racers to bits will find that Carmageddon: Reincarnation offers the same level of vehicular carnage.

Hero Defense – Haunted Island (Happy Tuesday)

Hero Defense - Haunted Island (Happy Tuesday)

Grab your crossbow and put on your garlic aftershave because it is time to hunt things that go bump in the night again. This time the opportunity to thin out the freaks comes courtesy of Hero Defense – Haunted Island from Happy Tuesday. The most powerful vampire in the world, Count Necrosis, is making a menace of himself and his brethren, so you must gather your merry team of slayers to take him down. While this sounds like the perfect setup for some good old fashioned role playing, Hero Defense is actually a tower defense title.

Press X to Not Die

Press X to Not Die

Combining quick time events with nothing more than full motion videos sound like a recipe for disaster and yet Press X Not To Die is way more fun than it has any right to be. Designed to be a throwback to the “interactive movie” titles of the early 90s, the game throws you headfirst into what seems to be a zombie apocalypse. The whole town is in chaos, people are viciously attacking each other and the only advice you got from a friend before he is murdered is to “press X not to die.”

Next Car Game (Bugbear)

I still have fond memories of epic LAN games involving FlatOut and its sequel so when Bugbear announced their intentions for a new car game it was hard not to get excited. A failed Kickstarter did nothing to diminish their passion to deliver an uncompromising racing game with sophisticated physics and damage modeling and the game is now available on Steam Early Access.

Leave a comment

7 + fourteen =