There are a ton of great sandbox video games that have gained a strong following. With these games players are given more creative freedom in doing whatever they’d like or the ability to get creative in accomplishing different tasks. If you’re a fan of sandbox games and are looking for something a bit different to enjoy this year then we have you covered. In this list, we’re going to highlight some of the best sandbox video game titles you can pick up within the 2021 calendar year. There are a few titles readily available now along with several titles slated to release through early access. With that said, these games are not ranked in any particular way, but just a few titles in general that you might want to keep on your radar.
#10 Just Die Already
From the designers of Goat Simulator comes a new wacky sandbox video game called Just Die Already. In this video game, we’re tossed into a future where old retired folk is just meant to die off already. Kicked out from your retirement home, you’ll be spending the rest of your golden years attempting to complete dangerous objectives to acquire enough funds to put yourself right back into a retirement center.
However, being a frail old person means just about anything can break. Use your body in a wide range of ways from being launched by a catapult, dodging traffic, to barreling down the road in a BMX bike, there’s endless fun here. Best of all you can join with some friends and create havoc as you rip off limbs and continue wobbling around in hopes of living your best life even if you’re ready to kick the bucket.
A game that came out earlier this year that gained some worldwide attention was Valheim. This is an early access title that has players trying to survive a harsh world in the name of Odin. Within the game, we’re tossed into an afterlife of a warrior who was taken to Valheim, a realm that acts a bit like purgatory. Odin’s rivals run amuck in the world and it’s your job to reclaim order in Valheim with hopes of leaving it for a glorious eternity. This is a procedurally generated world with the game offering a change of environments to explore, wildlife, and deadly creatures. Not only are players able to wander around and battle anything that pops up within the land, but they’ll also get to craft or build up halls, farms, castles, and ships.
Players can even take on this grand adventure sandbox game with friends as you’ll be able to play this game with up to ten players. It’s even recommended for players to go through the title with a group of three to five players. Currently, the game as mentioned is in early access and it will likely stay that way for at least a year. During this time we’ll see plenty of updates for this game which will add new biomes, enemies, items, and likely adjustments to the overall game mechanics as well.
Another game that recently came out into the marketplace this year as an early access title is TaleSpire. 2020 changed a lot of things for us worldwide and it’s a process we’re still dealing with in 2021. Who knows just how long it will be before we’re back to freely traveling and avoiding the need for additional rules or regulations. For instance, a lot of people were unable to get together like they once did. If you were a fan of gathering with friends to play some old school paper and pen RPGs then we have an alternative to check into. TaleSpire is hoping to fill that void of hanging out with friends and crafting up tabletop RPG experiences.
Within this game players are able to build up worlds with an editor and make the games, maps, and aesthetics to their liking. This may prove to be a popular title for a lot of players out there especially with the tools to make a gameplay experience uniquely your own. You can share your creations online with other players. Since this is an early access title, you can expect a variety of changes and updates which should further expand the experience of using TaleSpire.
#7 Dyson Sphere Program
Keeping on with the trend of early access games we have the Dyson Sphere Program. This game is all about strategy and building up factories. Within the game campaign, players are taking on a project in which you’re building up a factory to obtain energy near different stars to further support Earth. You’ll find that the game is procedurally generated so that when you play through the game each time there will be something different. New biomes, different planet resources, and as a result the need to change up your gameplay.
With that said, it’s a sandbox to where you have control of how you manage the factories built, the resources it obtains, and making sure that you’re given enough resources back to ensure that the factory production line is working efficiently. Again, being an early access title means that developers are working on more types of planets, exploration events, and even enemy monsters to deal with.
#6 Black Skylands
Black Skylands is an interesting little game that’s a sandbox top-down shooter. In this game, we’re tossed into a future in which humans are forced into living in these landmasses above the Earth’s surface. In this game, players take the role of a young woman named Eva who is out for revenge when her father was slain by bandits. Seeking revenge, Eva is set up to build up a kingdom and set off on her greatest adventure yet. This game has yet to make its way out into the marketplace, but when it does players can expect to build up an airship of their own to take out into the open world along with grabbing up loot such as powerful firearms to further customize and use against your enemies.
Fortunately, it’s a game that we’re not having to wait too much longer before we will be able to get our hands on a copy as the title is slated to release on June 11, 2021. With that said, it will be released as an early access game so prepare for several updates to come out between June 11, 2021, and the official full launch date.
#5 New World
Amazon Games is still trying to break out into the mainline video game industry outside of mobile titles. The Grand Tour Game from 2019 received mixed reviews, Crucible came out in 2020 which was a third-person shooter and it was later that year the game was canceled. Now their next big release is a game called New World which is an MMORPG sandbox game. This title will have players jumping back to the 1600s where you shipwreck into a mystical island that is full of supernatural powers. From there you can create your destiny as you venture through the island to see what secrets it may hold. You’ll arm yourself with precious gear and set out for an adventure with choices to be made PvE along with PvP battles.
Currently, New World is slated to release in August of this year so we’re sure that Amazon is working their hardest to allow this game to make a big impact upon its release. You’ll also find that this is a game where you pay for the title at launch and that’s it so there are no extra fees or subscriptions. It’s a waiting game right now to see if Amazon can make some good headway with this release.
#4 Going Medieval
There’s a pretty common theme with this list and it’s most games are under early access. Another game we can add to that group is Going Medieval. This title takes place during the end of the 14th century where most of the world was killed off by the plague. In this game, we’re taking the role of a leader as they build up their kingdom from the ground up. You’ll have to deal with wildlife and hostile bandits as well so having sturdy walls and a defensive measures in placed will be crucial.
Outside of the building, crafting, and researching, you’ll be able to take in survivors. Who you take in and the way you’ll run the kingdom is under your control. Players will find that this game is freshly out into the marketplace and you’ll find that there is a ton of content already planned out for this game with future updates. You’ll find that that the developers are wanting to add more weather effects, enhance the visuals, adding caravans, the ability to tame wildlife, along with more social interactions.
Breakwaters is another game that hasn’t quite hit the marketplace yet but in this game, you’ll be placed on an island surrounded by titans. There’s a big play on water as you’ll have different abilities to manipulate water in different ways. Meanwhile, the game is all about survival and crafting. Not only are you battling against hostile titans that have taken over the area, but you’ll craft buildings, farm, sail the rough waters, and scavenge the different procedural islands and biomes.
We also know that there is a planned online cooperative gameplay mode in the works, but we’re not entirely sure just when we’ll get this game. With that said, when it does launch into the marketplace it will be another early access title so keep your eyes peeled for new details to come out regarding Breakwater’s official release date.
#2 Let’s Build A Zoo
Planet Zoo was quite the hit game but now we have another zoo builder in the works with Let’s Build A Zoo. This game is exactly what you’d expect but in a more retro visual style. Here players are building up a makeshift zoo with different enclosures, animals, and decor to make your zoo pop. However, players are also able to try their hand at DNA splicing with over 300,000 different types of animals.
Outside of building up a zoo and the different makeshift animals, you’ll need to hire staff to keep the animals happy and healthy. You’ll find that this game is a bit more on the cutesy side of things compared to the likes of Planet Zoo, but it’s a title worth checking into when it launches hopefully at some point later this year.
#1 My Time At Sandrock
If you enjoyed My Time At Portia then there’s another title well worth looking into from the same development team, Pathea Games. My Time At Sandrock is another game just like My Time At Portia but with a new location. Here players are building up a new area up from the apocalypse which means scavenging for resources, exploring, and of course battling off different hostile enemies that pop up.
The developers are adding a few more enhancements this time around with the game such as more narrative and plenty of side quests for players to take on. Similar to the other games on this list, you’ll also find that My Time At Sandrock will be an early access video game experience when it does launch into the marketplace at some point this year.