A type of video game that allows the player to have a high degree of freedom to explore and interact with the game world in a nonlinear fashion. Sandbox games often have open-world environments that the player can interact with at will, rather than following a predetermined path or set of objectives. Sandbox games are in contrast to linear games, which have a more structured gameplay experience and often focus on achieving specific goals or completing specific tasks.
Sandbox games like Minecraft or The Sims allow the player to build, explore, and create in a virtual world with few limitations, and often have a high replay value as a result.
Sandbox gaming and open-world gaming are similar in that they both involve large, open environments for the players to explore. However, there is some nuance in the distinction between the two terms. Sandbox games tend to offer a higher degree of freedom and nonlinearity, while open-world games may be more structured and goal-oriented.
Sandbox games are characterized by their nonlinear gameplay and high degree of freedom. In a sandbox game, the player is free to do what they want in the game world in a way that is not predetermined by the game’s designers. The player may have goals or objectives to pursue, but they are free to approach these in any way they choose, and the game does not restrict their actions or movement within the game world.
Open-world games often have a more structured gameplay experience, with specific goals or objectives that the player must achieve in order to progress through the game. For example, a part of the world map can be unreachable until a certain mission is done. Open-world games may also have more limitations on the player’s actions and movement within the game world, compared to sandbox games.