Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- #22 Townscaper
- #21 Crysis Remastered
- #20 Sprocket
- #19 Starbase
- #18 Potion Craft Alchemist Simulator
- #17 Total War Saga: Troy
- #16 Jurassic World Evolution 2
- #15 Farming Simulator 22
- #14 Ranch Simulator
- #13 Car Mechanic Simulator 2021
- #12 Medieval Dynasty
- #11 Timberborn
- #10 Settlement Survival
- #9 Just Die Already
- #8 Valheim
- #7 TaleSpire
- #6 Dyson Sphere Program
- #5 Black Skylands
- #4 New World
- #3 Going Medieval
- #2 Breakwaters
- #1 Let's Build A Zoo
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.
Townscaper is more of a relaxing game to play. Players can chill and build up a makeshift town, and that’s all there is to this game. You’ll get some simple tools and color palettes to start crafting away a town within a waterfront. From building up massive towers to small little homes, the game gives you the freedom to choose. There is nothing limiting players here, and that’s what makes this game so chilling. It might not be complex and require strategy, but for those that want to sit back and start building a simple town or a vibrant cityscape all while listening to your favorite podcast, Townscaper is the game for you.
#21 Crysis Remastered
Crysis is an iconic FPS game, and it was at one point a staple to benchmark your PC. Now years later, the video game was granted a remastered edition. This title once again throws players back into the epic battle that’s now optimized for modern hardware. Visually it will look far better than when the game first launched into the marketplace. Likewise, the world is often described as a sandbox with environments constantly changing up as you go through the campaign. There’s also the ability to customize your weapons to match your play style. However, the game is a bit mixed in the reception with fans who are more fond of the original installment than this remastered edition.
If you enjoy mechanical tinkering, then Sprocket could be of interest. This is a game that’s all about tank designing. You’ll get to design the custom tank and figure out what it’s best used for. Everything from mobility, firepower, and armor is necessary when crafting this tank up. However, outside of freely building up a tank, you’ll get to take it out and face against other tanks to see just how well your creation holds up. It’s currently an early access game and centered just around tanks. However, fans have enjoyed the game so far, and we’re eager to see just what else the developers end up upbringing into this title as they continue crafting up the game for a full launch.
Starbase is all about players driving the game. It’s currently in early access, and the reception is mixed. However, the main goal is to give players the tools to do whatever they like. Set in the distant future where players can freely roam around. Being a voxel game, players can create and destroy just about everything. Here, players can join in firefights, explore, build up a spacecraft, space stations, and create some lively locations for others. However, there could be outbreaks of war which means you could take up arms or burst out of the scene with goods. Again, this is an early access title, so there will be plenty of changes as the studio continues working on the game.
#18 Potion Craft Alchemist Simulator
Potion Craft Alchemist Simulator puts players into a medieval setting where you’re running a potion shop. Customers will pop in with their various problems. It’s up to you to decide what potion to sell to aid your issues or craft further chaos. However, to sell potions, you’ll first need to make potions. This is done by farming your land and harvesting goods or purchasing resources from traveling vendors. Afterward, you’ll have to prepare the potions by grinding down the resources into a fine powder, mixing them, heating it, and bottling it for your store shelf. It’s a simple game concept but one that surprised fans when it launched this year. Although, it’s worth pointing out that this game is currently in early access on Steam. This means you’ll find the game going through different changes or bugs showing up as the developers continue to work on the project.
#17 Total War Saga: Troy
Total War has been around for ages, and you’ve likely come across it at some point or another. This is a classic turn-based and real-time strategy combat series. Within 2021 we received a Total War Saga: Troy. As the name suggests, the game is centered around the Trojan War. You’ll gather up supplies and resources while managing your group against an onslaught of battles. However, if you’re familiar with the franchise, there is a bit of a sandbox mode. Players can create custom battles. This is nothing new to the franchise, but here you can typically select different customization options. Whether you want to tweak your army, map, or factions, this game mode lets players understand the specific aspects of battles.
#16 Jurassic World Evolution 2
Jurassic World Evolution was a big hit. It provided players a chance to dive into the game of a park creator but centered around the Jurassic Park franchise. In this game, series players can craft up a unique park, partake in different goals, and attempt to come out with unique structures that keep the various dinosaurs happy and interesting for guests. Now we have a new upcoming installment for the franchise this year. This is another business management simulator where you’re building up a Jurassic theme park. You’ll get to determine the decor and ensure that the dinosaurs are well fed and kept in appropriate habitats. While we’re still waiting on the game to release, this is one title to keep on your radar.
#15 Farming Simulator 22
It might surprise some of you, but there’s quite a big following for the Farming Simulator franchise. These games have spanned multiple years now, and the title really tells you everything you need to know. You’re a typical farmer having to maintain your farm. This means dealing with the crops you lay down, structures, and livestock. Of course, this is by far a more advanced farming simulator than what you would find in something like Stardew Valley. You’re not going about your farm work by hand.
Instead, there’s a more significant focus around getting the necessary machines and equipment to make your life easier or more efficient. We get it, this might not be the most appealing game installment on this list for everyone but for the niche following, the title series has its well worth putting it on here. This year’s installment puts players into Farming Simulator 22, although at the moment, it’s not readily available yet. Currently, Farming Simulator 22 doesn’t actually hit the marketplace until November 22, 2021.
#14 Ranch Simulator
Ranch Simulator is another farming simulator game available this year. It’s a title that’s a bit like Farming Simulator. In this game, players are given their grandfather’s dilapidated ranch, where you’ll need to fix it up. Set in a remote forest, you’ll have to work hard to ensure your farm is stable, built correctly, and then work on the farm itself. There are crops to tend, livestock to feed, and plenty of machinery to help aid you in your various daily tasks.
Although, this game also adds to the benefit of hunting. You can gather resources by venturing out in the wilderness and attempting to take down some game. It’s worth pointing out that this game might be a bit rough around the edges right now. Currently, the title is stuck in early access while the developers continue to work on the project. However, if you enjoy farmwork and want to spend some time building up your ranch with friends, this game supports four-player cooperative multiplayer.
#13 Car Mechanic Simulator 2021
Car Mechanic Simulator 2021 is another niche game on this list that might not appeal to everyone. However, if you enjoy working on cars and want the freedom to do it without the hassle of actual hard labor, give this game a try. You might have played the previous installment, in which case you will likely know what to expect here. It’s an enhanced edition with more attributes to working on vehicles present, such as vehicle fluids. Those brand new to this franchise, it’s a game where you’re a mechanic.
Here you will work on broken vehicles, buy new parts, fix issues, expand your garage, flip cars and participate in auctions. You’ll have the freedom of running your shop, and this could be a good way to learn more about vehicles if you’re completely new to fixing them. However, you might find that this installment has enough quality of life changes that make it well worth purchasing or upgrading from the previous installment.
#12 Medieval Dynasty
We have a few city-building games on this list, and one of those that we would like to highlight is Medieval Dynasty. This is a game set within the harsh middle ages where you’re trying to build up your dynasty. It’s hard work as you first establish ground and prepare it for building structures. However, you can soon turn this location into a thriving town full of folk trying to survive, establish shops and live out their days. However, you have plenty of work to put into this town before it can take off. There’s the need to hunt, farm, gather resources to build up structures, and plenty of strategies when it comes to crafting up your character. Currently, the game is available for players to pick up right now.
Timberborn brings out a different kind of world. A world that’s absent from human life. Now it’s time for the beaver race to rise and take control of the planet using their unique timber tech. This is overall a city builder where you’ll rise up a colony of beavers who will get a chance to see if their survival skills are any better than those of humans. Much like other city-building simulation games, you’ll raise up a colony and work on gathering resources, farming, building up new structures, and making necessary upgrades to ensure prosperity for your people. You’ll also need to use the seasons towards your advance, such as when natural water sources are available to irrigate your land. The game is only in early access, so the developers are continuing their work, but the player response to this game has been incredibly positive.
#10 Settlement Survival
Settlement Survival is another city-building simulation game. Here players are building up a city and watching it grow into a powerhouse location. You’ll have first to take down the different terrain obstacles to lay down your foundation. Afterward, you’re building it up with farmlands, shelters and then building out to establish trade routes. Fortunately, the terrain is easily manipulated, which should allow players to bring up new lakes or bridges, so there’s freedom in not only the way your city is built but the surrounding lands as well. Then there are the different elements you’ll have to survive, from massive tornados to other disasters like fires breaking out. Currently, this game is available, but it’s under early access.
#9 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.
#6 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.
#5 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.
#4 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, a third-person shooter, and later that year, the game was canceled. Now their latest 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 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 available, and it’s a premium title. Once you pay for the game, you won’t have to worry about keeping a subscription to enjoy this title. However, so far, the reception of this game has been incredibly positive. It’s become the MMORPG to play right now, but we’ll have to wait and see how the game continues to hold up now that it’s available in the marketplace.
#3 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.
#1 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.