When the ever-complex hurly-burly of modern life is broken down to its core, only a few constants remain. One of them, it seems, is the beauty of creation – that inimitable satisfaction of seeing one’s brainchild sprout into life and continue to grow and evolve. It’s been a consistent cornerstone of human development since the first men and women walked the Earth and, as the vast majority of theists would attest, it was the the very phenomenon that birthed the Universe we inhabit.
And so it is with video games. Pixowl Games’ The Sandbox, set for release on iOS platforms, aims to latch onto the natural human taste for creative endeavour by giving players the tools to craft their own universe in the precise manner they see fit. Assuming the role of the so-called “Deity Apprentice,” perhaps otherwise translated as “God’s right-hand man,” the player is able to utilise a wide range of natural resources, such as lightning, water and sand (it is a sandbox game, after all) in order to sculpt indelibly rendered landscapes, works of art or, indeed, more or less anything they fancy.
But what promises to set The Sandbox apart from its linear, singularly-objective peers in what’s become commonly known as the God game genre is the player’s ability to mix the elements to drastically modify their practical functions. For example, water can be frozen in mid-air, creating snowfall, whilst water and soil can blend together to create a muddy residue. And as the game’s puzzle-based single-player campaign rolls on, new elements can be unlocked and experimented with, granting the player access to a whole new world of creative possibilities.
In theory, then, The Sandbox‘s parameters are almost non-existent, although that might not quite be the case in practice unless you’re prepared to hand over some real cash. The core game appears set to release as a free-to-play entity, with the more complex elements, such as lightning and oil, either requiring in-game currency or real micro-transactions to be unlocked. According to the blurb on the game’s official website, these tools can be used to craft some immensely complicated in-game devices, including oil lamps, diodes, light bulbs and heaters, so it’s highly likely that your inclination to pay for such luxuries will balance on just how far you’re willing to let your creative juices flow.
For what it’s worth, The Sandbox is still in its Beta stage before its May 15th public release. If you’d like to take part, you can fill in a form here. For more information on the game itself, visit its official website.