The sandbox genre comes in all shapes and sizes and is spread over countless themes and genres. Do you love the peaceful creation in Minecraft? Or do you prefer the perils of a survival sandbox-like Valheim? Whichever kind of gamer you are, in whatever world, sandbox games offer us one thing – freedom.
Explore each of these universes at your own pace, not dictated by developers, but by you. Not to be mixed in with open-world games such as Grand Theft Auto V that is a mix of sandbox/RPG/open-world exploration. We’re going full sandbox, world-building and world-creation in this list! Here are all the upcoming games that you can wishlist right now! As a bonus, all of them are on Early Access for you to check out now.
Townscaper by Oskar Stålberg
Townscaper, in the words of its creator, is “more of a toy than a game.”
Probably the epitome of sandbox games, there is no goal or real gameplay in Townscaper. Just plenty of building and plenty of beauty. Most games revolving around user-generated content require patiently mastering a learning curve. In Townscaper, though, everything comes easily and is full of joy. And isn’t that why we play these games anyway. We listed Townscaper as one of the ‘Games You Might Have Missed, But Shouldn’t Have’ in 2020.
If this game is your cup of tea, which I’m sure it would be because why would you be reading through this list? Then good news because you’re able to play it right now, or at least after you finish this list. Townscaper is available to play now on Steam Early Access now.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac
Wobbledogs by Animal Uprising
The trailer of Wobbledogs without any context is adorable, intriguing and potentially a little horrifying. Wobbledogs is a 3D pet simulation where you raise your own personal hive of rapidly mutating dogs, physically simulated all the way down to their guts. The dogs start out relatively normal Jell-O babies but mutate depending on their food, environment etc.
Wobbledogs is touted as a casual and chill sandbox experience but some of the surprising mutations make it less chill than one would expect. You’re able to set up your doggo house however you want, placing in objects that will stimulate and change your dog’s genes. As well as feeding them all sorts of foods that will affect the way they grow. You can play Wobbledogs as a passive observer, Darwin observing evolution. But once in a while, it’s also rewarding to interact with the dogs directly. Whether that’s petting them to relieve some stress, or helping your canine companion get free after it wriggled itself into a particularly tight space.
Platforms: PC, Mac
Satisfactory by Coffee Stain Studios
Probably the most anticipated game on this list and definitely one with amazing Early Access reviews. Satisfactory is a first-person open-world factory building game with a dash of exploration and combat. Play alone or with friends, explore an alien planet, create multi-story factories, and enter conveyor belt heaven.
As the game suggests this is an efficiency-factory simulator. With full customisation of the factory, you can venture on expeditions to search for new materials. You have vehicles, jetpacks, jump pads and more at your disposal to make the exploration easier. Equip the proper safety gear as well, just in case you run into the local wildlife. Remember to automate, automate, automate.
Dyson Sphere Program by Youthcat Studio
Dyson Sphere Program is a fairly underrated space simulation game. In this sci-fi sandbox with space exploration and factory automation elements, you’re tasked with constructing a Dyson Sphere – a megastructure capable of harnessing the energy output of a whole star.
Efficiency is the game of the Dyson Sphere Program. Explore a procedurally generated universe, build facilities on planets to extract their resources, and connect them with an interstellar logistic network in a galaxy-wide production empire. We can’t have a sandbox game list without a factory/resource management game if you loved games like Factorio and other efficiency simulators then don’t sleep on this.
Cloud Gardens by Noio
A beautiful and peaceful game about growing a garden in a wasteland. Cloud Gardens is just so peacefully satisfying. Seeing the urban decay and planting seeds in the right places, repurposing hundreds of discarded objects and creating unique structures for nature to reclaim. Adding objects will encourage lush vegetation to grow, but each object must be covered in foliage in order to proceed.
Play the game with complete freedom, slowly adding to your own lush garden. Or take on a multi-chapter campaign where the task is to strike a balance between the natural and the manufactured. Cloud Gardens is a sandbox game that doesn’t offer as many options as the other games on this list but it doesn’t need to.
Platforms: Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, PC, Mac
Raft by Redbeet Interactive
Sandbox games only get better with friends! Raft is an open-world survival adventure that you and your friends can play together. Trapped on a small raft with nothing but a hook made of old plastic and no land in sight? With a dry throat and an empty stomach, you’re either going to have to survive or die trying!
Resources are tough to come by at sea, make sure to catch whatever debris floats by using their trusty hook and when possible. You’ll also need to battle to survive a perilous voyage across a vast sea, gather debris, scavenge reefs and build your own floating home. All while fighting off man-eating sharks!
Marble World by Vector Interactive
A sandbox game but make it physics. I don’t know if any of you enjoyed building those kinetic motion obstacle courses? Or at least liked to watch them on TikTok. In Marble World, it pretty much sets all that up without the cleanup. Create your own marble run contraptions using a broad set of tools & tracks in various themes, with up to as many as 6000 marbles running together at once. Yay.
Create run those endlessly satisfying loops with a wide variety of track pieces in all shapes, forms, sizes and themes. More than just tracks you can add in decorations and other objects to bring your Marble World to life! Paint tracks & objects in various colours. And customize your marbles with names, skins & special effects with all their elaborate glory.
Eco by Strange Loop Games
I debated putting this game in because it came out in 2018 but it’s still in Early Access so I believe it counts! And if you love sandbox games then this is definitely one you’re not going to want to miss. Eco allows you to create a civilization capable of stopping a meteor without destroying the ecosystem in the process.
Enter the world of Eco, a fully simulated ecosystem bustling with thousands of growing plants and animals living their lives. Build, harvest, and take resources from an environment where your every action affects the world around you. An imminent meteor strike threatens global destruction. Construct buildings and towns, tend to your farm, hunt wildlife, build infrastructure and transportation, craft clothing, build power plants, and research new technologies. Specialize in a craft and trade your goods to other players. Develop your civilization and sculpt your planet!
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Space Engine by Vladimir Romanyuk
SpaceEngine is a realistic virtual universe you can explore on your computer. You can travel from star to star, from galaxy to galaxy, landing on any planet, moon, or asteroid with the ability to explore its alien landscape. You can alter the speed of time and observe any celestial phenomena you please.
All transitions are completely seamless, and this virtual universe has a size of billions of light-years across and contains trillions upon trillions of planetary systems. The procedural generation is based on real scientific knowledge, so SpaceEngine depicts the universe the way it is thought to be by modern science. Real celestial objects are also present if you want to visit them, including the planets and moons of our Solar system, thousands of nearby stars with newly discovered exoplanets, and thousands of galaxies that are currently known.
Paralives by Paralives Studio, Alex Massé
Paralives is an upcoming dollhouse life simulation game. In Paralives, you’re free to build homes, create characters and manage their lives inside their homes and all-around an open-world town. The game features innovative build tools that are easy to use but powerful for advanced builders. The simulation mode allows players to explore a city full of events, people to meet and ways to make their Parafolks evolve and live a happy life (or not, if they choose to)!
Building a dream house requires a lot of flexible tools. In Paralives, builders are not limited to a grid. Players can build walls of any length and at any angle. Does your perfect house contain curved walls? Paralives has the tools for that. Creating the best life for your Parafolks couldn’t be possible without enjoying what the town has to offer beyond the walls of their houses. That’s why Paralives lets you explore a cosy open-world neighbourhood filled with shops, parks, workplaces and other interesting spots to discover and meet people.
So that’s our list of upcoming sandbox games for you to keep an eye out for! Do you agree with our list? Do you have any more that you want to add?. If you’d like to check out more of our lists be sure to click over here!