Time to get digging. Mines of Mars is a wholly addicting mining and exploration game created by Crescent Moon Games. It plays a lot like the classic Motherload or the criminally underappreciated early iOS release iDigIt. Take your pickaxe and start pecking away at the soil, gathering metals and gems you can carry back to the surface to refine into useable materials. Then take those materials and upgrade your tools so you can dig even deeper!
Improving its UI and crafting system while adding new worlds and creatures to contend with, this sequel to 2012's hit Motherload-esque mining simulation takes you to all new alien planets as you control a lost robot scrounging for supplies to repair and upgrade himself in a wide variety of ways.
Another enigmatic web toy with Ascii art? Yes, please! Taking cues from Candy Box, Speed Warp takes time and experimentation to figure out exactly what is going on. Enjoy arcade games, crafting, and more as you uncover the secrets of the game.
Plunked into a 2D, side-scrolling world randomly generated and populated with dangerous dungeons, and you'll need to smash, stab, dig, and otherwise destroy your environment to gather the supplies you'll need to craft and survive day-to-day. Turns out in a great battle, the kingdom was destroyed and all its people carted off to dungeons, and only you can save them.
With the Minecraft and Terraria and other sandbox games going strong, Junk Jack X from Pixbits arrives with a lot of great ideas in tow. It's a sequel to the 2011 Junk Jack release that adds a number of new features and improvements, including multiplayer support for both online and offline play, creative and adventure modes, Retina graphics, and thousands of items to find, treasures to uncover, and objects to be built. It's one of the most full-featured sandbox games on any mobile device and will easily keep you glued to your iOS device for hours on end.
Gather your tools and find a comfortable chair, Terraria has rolled onto iPhone and iPad! The universal app ported by 505 Games shrinks sandbox adventure world found in the PC/Mac downloadable version of the game, rearranging the menus and grafting a couple of virtual joysticks onto the screen. It looks, feels and plays just like the original, and even with its few missing features, it's a solid port of Terraria through and through.
It's hard being an android. Especially after crash-landing on an unknown planet with a directive that you and your AI friend conveniently forgot. Fortunately for the android in PlanetScape, a procedurally-generated resource-management game, the necessary materials to reconstruct your pod are below the surface of the hostile planet.
You wake up on a desert island with no recollection of what happened, nothing but a few shoddy tools to your name, and you're thinking what we'd probably all be thinking in a situation like that: TREASURE! It's going to take a whole lot of fortitude to make it, but with a bit of ingenuity and plenty of raw natural resources just laying around you'll be throwing together everything but coconut radios before you know it.
Tossed into a hostile, dark fantasy world that hates you and wants you to die with only your wits and the clothes on your back, how long can you stay alive? Klei Entertainment brings us a gorgeous indie survival exploration adventure as your scavenge for food and supplies, craft weapons and armor and more, and learn the rules of a strange land filled with stranger creatures.
We all know Minecraft by now, the massively cool 3D sandbox creativity game that lets you explore, craft, and build anything you like. Then there's Terraria, a game that took the same formula and flattened it into a 2D sidescrolling game, adding combat and some other nice extras in the process. Both titles have spawned similar games on numerous platforms, but so far the mobile realm hasn't been a fertile ground for the sandbox genre. Until Junk Jack came along. This 2D pixel-gorgeous game takes the all-too-familiar crafting, digging, and exploration formula to your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, bringing with it an entire world of possibilities.
Scuba is a 2D, side-scrolling game of exploration, diving, mining, and crafting in the tradition of Minecraft and Terraria. Control your diver-character as you collect 10 types of resources above ground and underwater. Combine items in your inventory to craft parts that will eventually help you make an engine to get home. Scuba's random world generation gives you a different game environment each time you play.
Terraria, a new action/adventure/creativity game from Re-Logic, is perfect for a sand emperor like myself. It offers the thrill of discovery mixed with the chance to meticulously construct your own little village, city or empire. And before you think it: yes, it's a lot like Minecraft, only in 2D!