The Top 5 Sandbox Games of 2014
As we all celebrate the arrival of 2015, we are looking back at the now-departed 2014 and picking our top 5 sandbox games. In years to come we hope these will be known as the Sandy Awards. It has a nice ring to it.
We’ve gone for a range of games ranging from a AAA title, through to indie devs and even a free-to-play browser-based game. However, here at the Sandbox Games Database HQ we couldn’t decide on a specific ranking for the top 5, so instead here they are, in no particular order whatsoever.
(One last note, some of our favourite games that we’ve played over the last 12 months are still in alpha or beta, making them ineligible for this list.)
Endless Legend is a lot more than than a Civilization V fantasy clone. Its gameplay is original and compelling, with interesting quests and innovative takes on common elements of 4x games. It’s developed by Amplitude Studios, who have done a fabulous job on not only the gameplay but the visual stylings, which are excellent throughout. It’s a master-class in “flat design” and well worth a look if you’re interested in that sort of thing. If you want to play it, then you can buy it on Steam.
Caravaneer 2 is a standout entry in this list because it is entirely FREE. It’s also the only game on this list to be browser-based, but that doesn’t limit its scope. The campaign is long enough to take dozens of hours to complete and it has a Sandbox Mode that offers potentially limitless opportunities. In the game you are a member of an underground colony, forced to go outside and interact and trade with the small settlements that still exist. The gameplay comprises of travelling in your caravan and trading goods with the many settlements, while engaging in turn-based combat with the various violent groups that patrol the trade routes. Well worth trying out. You can play it here.
The latest offering in the Far Cry series doesn’t disappoint. With a huge map, this truly is a sandbox game with a seemingly infinite number of possible things to explore. In the game you play a young man return to Kyrat (Nepal) to spread his mother’s ashes. However, you find the region in the midst of a civil war and it’s up to you to fight with the Golden Path rebels to defeat the Royal Army, under the command of the fashionable Pagan Min. The game is spectacular and enjoyable, as well as vast. You can buy it on consoles or for PC on Steam.
In Elite: Dangerous you are the pilot of a spaceship in a ridiculously large universe – we’re talking 400 billion solar systems. You are free to do whatever it takes to earn money and upgrade your ship. There are many different paths you can follow, from trading between planets to robbing other players. A sandbox game of epic scale, it has been met with much applause – although it’s certainly not for everyone. The game was released in December following a long period in alpha and beta, which in turn followed a successful crowdfunding campaign. You can buy Elite:Dangerous from their website.
Divinity: Original Sin is the best classic-style RPG to hit our screens for at least a decade, re-capturing the beauty and style of a genre that was first brought to us almost 15 years ago, through classics Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale. Watch as your characters grow, learn and become stronger and more powerful in the beautifully rendered fantasy world from Larian Studios. The multiplayer aspect also makes this one of our favourite games to play with friends, getting together with your mates to bend the world to your collective will. If you like fantasy RPGs then we cannot recommend this game highly enough. Divinity can be purchased from GOG.com.