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.
Want to take Mojang's wildly popular sandbox building simulation with you wherever you go? As long as you have an iOS or Android device you can! Though lacking a lot of the content from its desktop edition and multiplayer capability, Pocket Edition is a great way to get your diggy-diggy-hole on whenever you want, or just get your feet wet if you want to find out what all the fuss is about.
Block Fortress is Minecraft meets tower defense meets first person shooter, all squeezed down into a mobile game. Build a base in the middle of a blocky wilderness, place turrets and towers and power supplies to fortify your position, then send in the waves of enemies. Once combat begins, you shift from building mode to combat mode, taking a gun into battle and watching over your fort by blasting enemies by hand. It's incredibly exciting and also deeply rooted in upgrades and tactics, making it the sort of game you can play for months without truly mastering.
Just over two years ago from this day, a relatively unknown indie programmer called Notch posted about a work-in-progress version of a sandbox building game on the TIGSource forums. It was called Minecraft, and at the time, people thought it was really very cool. Fast forward to the present and Minecraft has sold over four million copies, been through extended alpha and beta phases, spawned the Mojang indie studio, and gained so much popularity, the launch of its official version took place at a Las Vegas convention dubbed MineCon. That's an impressive feat for any game, let alone one started by a single person. But now, Minecraft is officially out. No more beta, no more alpha, it's here. Time to lose yourself in a voxel world all over again!
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!
Sometimes, a game goes through such a metamorphosis during its development cycle that it's practically a different product from its original release. Thus is the case with Minecraft, a little old building game, inspired by Infiniminer and Dwarf Fortress, and created by Markus Persson. Whether you can only play it for fifteen minutes at a time, or end up devoting hours at a stretch (often unintentionally) to it, Minecraft is intensely enjoyable, and an incredible bargain. Minecraft Beta will be out on December 20th, so this is your last opportunity to get the game at Alpha pricing and with the promise of all future updates for free.
Minecraft is a sandbox game that lets you make your own world out of colorful building blocks. Construct a fortress, and then plant tulips on the parapets. Dig a vast network of subterranean tunnels, drop a colony of people down the rabbit hole, and watch them wander. Or, if you're in a particularly metacognitive mood, make a sandbox. Uncage your imagination, and let it take you where it will.