Minecraft - Minecraft is a three-dimensional sandbox game that has no specific goals for the player to accomplish, allowing players a great amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game. However, there is an achievement system.[15] Gameplay by default is first person, but players have the option to play in third person mode. The core gameplay revolves around breaking and placing blocks. The game world is composed of rough 3D objects—mainly cubes—arranged in a fixed grid pattern and representing different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, lava, tree trunks, etc. While players can move freely across the world, objects can only be placed at fixed locations on the grid. Players can gather these material blocks and place them elsewhere, thus allowing for various constructions.

Minecraft Web App  

Platform: Android, PlayStation 4, iOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, more
Date Published: October 7, 2011
Author: Mojang, 4J Studios

Application Description:
Minecraft is a three-dimensional sandbox game that has no specific goals for the player to accomplish, allowing players a great amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game. However, there is an achievement system.[15] Gameplay by default is first person, but players have the option to play in third person mode. The core gameplay revolves around breaking and placing blocks. The game world is composed of rough 3D objects—mainly cubes—arranged in a fixed grid pattern and representing different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, lava, tree trunks, etc. While players can move freely across the world, objects can only be placed at fixed locations on the grid. Players can gather these material blocks and place them elsewhere, thus allowing for various constructions.

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Rust - Rust is a survival game that comes from the same brains that brought you Garry’s Mod. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of games and genres you’ll find plenty of depth to explore while struggling to survive. The game is best described as a mixture of Minecraft and DayZ.

In Rust players will spawn with nothing (other than a rock) and must adventure through the game world to gather food and resources for crafting. This world isn’t free of threats though with other players and animals able to kill the player. If players do die they’ll have to start their adventure from the very beginning while they’re killer will be able to loot their inventory.

Materials come in all shapes and sizes from wood to food to ammunition for guns. While some of these can be harvested from the environment others need to be found in more unique ways. Converting these materials into usable tools isn’t possible right off the bat with players only having access to a limited number of recipes. As you survive longer you’ll be able to find blueprints for some of the more advanced items that can give you a real edge.

Materials can also be used to claim your own piece of land by building your own cottage, house, fort or even castle if you can gather all the required resources. This helps you to create a safe haven from all the threats that the game world throws at you. At the heart of this building mechanic is the door which can only be opened by the player that places it (although they can be destroyed with time by others).

No survival adventure is complete without a friend at your side. This can either be someone you know from real life or someone you’ve teamed up with in your current Rust life. Because the game world isn’t quite as harsh as the one that DayZ has to offer it’s a lot easier to find people willing to work with you or ignore you completely.

Rust is a game that keeps delivering a new experience and you’ll easily get 100s of hours from it (if not thousands). Rust truly is the ultimate survival experience.

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Junk Jack and Junk Jack X - Junk Jack and Junk Jack X are possibly the best sandbox games available on your iOS device. Junk Jack offers a randomly generated game world for players to explore while you craft, build and hopefully survive. Junk Jack was developed by the indie game company known as Pixbits and was released in late 2011 with Junk Jack X released in 2013 (improved graphics, extra content and more).

The core gameplay of Junk Jack focuses on exploration, with players spending much of their time exploring the randomly generated world in search of various resources and hidden treasures. The game offers plenty of biomes to give the game a realistic feel along with plenty of different monsters to give the game great variety (especially considering it is only an iOS game).

Mining also plays a large role in Junk Jack and allows players to collect resources and gems to create items. There are hundreds of items players can craft including food, weapons, tools and even furniture to decorate your home. Best of all Junk Jack features a handy crafting book where you can keep track of all your recipes.

The fun doesn’t stop there though as Junk Jack also allows players to build, battle monsters, farm, breed and even upgrade your weaponry with gems that you find deep within the earth. Even just enjoying the retro style pixel graphics and listening to some of the amazing soundtracks is a treat in Junk Jack.

Other notable features that Junk Jack offers includes day/night cycles, unique underground biomes to create varied dungeon experiences, a mini map, plenty of explosive weapons, several game slots, a ridiculous number of blocks, recipes, treasures and things to craft. With all these game features to explore you will quickly be hooked on the gameplay that Junk Jack has to offer.

If you are a fan of Minecraft or Terraria and looking for an iOS game to play then Junk Jack should be at the top of your list and is well worth the small price. Like most iOS games Junk Jack receives regular content updates and even saw a revised edition of the game (Junk Jack X) released two years after the original which offers very similar gameplay.

In Junk Jack X you’ll get a creative mode, new equipment, multiplayer, liquid blocks and a few other minor changes. Junk Jack X has higher hardware and iOS software requirements than the original and is slightly more expensive, so be sure to check them both out before choosing which game to buy and if the new features in Junk Jack X are worth it for you.

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3079 - 3079 is a unique and challenging game that blends a number of genres together to create a sci-fi action role playing meets first person shooter experience.

On the one hand you’ve got random generation and a voxel game world that feels like Minecraft but then you’ve got role playing and shooter elements that are more aligned with what the Borderlands or Fallout series has to offer. On paper it’s a weird mix of mechanics and settings but it all feels perfectly blended once you start your own 3079 adventure.

This adventure has you landing on a planet that is gripped by war between the Humoids and Neanders. A third faction is also present known as the Demons who are the most aggressive of the factions and have no interest in communication. Players will originally fall into Humoids territory and start their adventure as an ally to them, you do have the option to turn on them and side with the Neanders though.

Everything around you in this adventure is randomly generated including the buildings, terrain, enemies and even quests. This ensures that no two games in 3079 are the same and thus offers plenty of replay potential for you and your friends.

To protect yourself in 3079 you’ll find no shortage of weapons, items and even ships. You’ll start with some very simple guns and armour but your arsenal will quickly advance to more powerful weapons with plenty of variety. While many of these will come from quests or purchased through the stores there is plenty of opportunity to find these out and about in the game world.

Beyond choosing your items you’ll also find plenty of depth in the skill system of 3079 which lets you customise your character to fit into your preferred style of play.

While 3079 is a great solo experience it really thrives with friends and helps remove some of the early difficultly which might turn some interested parties away.

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Starbound - Starbound is a side-scrolling game that weaves together creativity, adventure, exploration and action. In Starbound you’ll cross the galaxy in your spaceship, exploring procedurally generated planets as you flee from your home.

In Starbound you get to choose between six different races for the adventure ahead:

Apex: Ape-like creatures that have high intellectual but low physical strength.
Avians: Birds who, sadly enough, don’t have wings.
Florans: As the name suggests, Florans descend from plants. They are aggressive but great at reverse engineering technology.
Humans: Just boring humans.
Hyltotl: Amphibious docile creatures that live under the sea. They were driven off of their own world by the Florans.
The Glitch: Robotic creatures created by an unknown race that eventually got out of hand.
The game starts off with you in a spaceship, fleeing your home planet for unknown reasons. You then find yourself in orbit of a planet that you will call home until you decide to move onto your next destination.

Much like other sandbox games exploration is a core element of Starbound with large procedurally generated worlds to explore. Unique to Starbound though is that the game world is on an infinite loop (intended to represent a player going around the world). Each of these planets is distinctly unique from each other and are scattered with friendly creatures that mind their own business, menacing creatures that want to eat you and even inhabitants who want to sacrifice you.

Survival in Starbound is no walk in the park, because (1) you don’t regenerate life over time; you have to build yourself a bed to sleep and (2) you have to eat to survive. You can choose to be a carnivore who hunts creatures for their meat, a herbivore who farms wheat and plants for food or both.

The wonderful thing about this game that sets it apart from Terraria and other sandbox games is that when you’re bored of your first planet, you can hop back onto your spaceship, load it with coal and blast off back into space. This allows you to start anew on a fresh planet, giving you a truly infinite universe to explore.

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Roblox - ROBLOX is the best place to Imagine with Friends™. With the largest user-generated online gaming platform, and over 15 million games created by users, ROBLOX is the #1 gaming site for kids and teens (comScore). Every day, virtual explorers come to ROBLOX to create adventures, play games, role play, and learn with their friends in a family-friendly, immersive, 3D environment.

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Planet Explorers - Ever wondered how you would survive if you crash landed on a strange planet? Well, in Planet Explorers you can experience just that scenario. The game is a voxel based RPG with plenty of open world elements that will have you hooked for hours with its in-depth gameplay.

The game allows players to play one of three game modes in single player or load up the game in a multiplayer environment. Game modes include the main story mode which plays out like Minecraft survival (although with many more features and options).

The other two game modes are adventure mode which is quest based and build mode which is the creative outlet in Planet Explorers focused on building and creativity. While multiplayer options include co-operatively and various versus game modes.

Planet Explorers takes place in the distant future (2287) and starts out with the player crash landing on the distant planet of Maria. What originally was a first colony mission to a distant planet has now turned into a mission for mere survival in a harsh environment. In order to thrive in the game world you will have to explore your surroundings, gather the necessary resources, build tools and structures, fight or befriend the planet inhabitants and more.

Planet Explorers truly has everything that you could ever want from a game and the feature list is both huge and impressive. Other features worth noting are the long range view distances, huge game world (story mode is hand designed while the other game modes are procedural), in game blue prints, large enemy variety, farming and options for diplomatic relations with inhabitants.

By not playing Planet Explorers you are denying yourself an amazingly fun game that has a ridiculous amount of gameplay depth. Replay value is everywhere so you (and hopefully your friends) will be playing the game for months to come.

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Block Story - Block Story adds role playing elements to the gameplay popularised by Minecraft and other building block games. It’s available across a large range of platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, with demos available for the Windows/Mac version.

Block Story was put together by two developers that wanted to create a Minecraft type game with RPG elements (quests, people, skills, levels). The game has been a labour of love for nearly two years before making its way to the public and is very impressive for such a small team.

In Block Story you’ll complete a large range of activities that include mining, crafting, building, exploring, fighting and questing. Nearly all of these activities provide you with a solid amount of experience to help you advance through the game. This experience allows you to level up and increase your strength in particular areas. Mining, crafting and building are all extremely similar to Minecraft so fans of the popular block sandbox game will instantly feel at home with these game aspects.

Questing and Fighting is what really sets this game apart though. Upon starting the game you will be able to accept quests from Ted or from other friendly NPCs as you progress. Most of these quests revolve around fighting one way or another.

Fighting is much more enjoyable in Block Story than other games though thanks to the wide range of weapons and enemies. Weapons include things like swords, bows, staffs and even guns to ensure you can fight enemies the way that you want. Each weapon type has a large number of items that allow you to advance your power. The enemies also vary greatly in design to include over 80 types and even several boss type monsters.

The feature list doesn’t stop there in Block Story though there are also plenty of other equipment slots for you to use, multiple control modes, vehicles, teleporting and a uniquely infinite game world in both up and down directions.

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Terasology - Terasology is a beautiful open source game that combines sandbox style gameplay with other genres. The game is still in the midst of development but already looks amazing and has some very unique ideas for the genre.

If you want a free game that offers a very similar experience to what Minecraft has to offer or want to contribute to your own block building adventure behind the scenes, then Terasology might just be what you are after. The number of active participants varies from time to time but there are about a dozen users working on the project in an ongoing manner with options for you to contribute smaller parts always available.

The vision for the game is to eventually combine some management based features similar to that of Dwarf Fortress and even Dungeon Keeper. The game is still a fair way away from that point as of this review but still is an impressive experience.

In the current state of the game you can edit the game world by destroying and placing the various game blocks or spend your time blowing them up with the ray gun available in the game. You can also simply enjoy the experience with breathtaking water visuals, lighting effects (when you are holding a torch) and shadows that change with the position of the sun.

This planned gameplay will have you building your own ultimate fortress (hopefully on top of a nice hill) and managing your own minions as they protect you by fighting off various baddies in the game. NPCs will also be thrown into the mix in some capacity although final details are still unknown.

Other notable features that may (or may not) eventually be added also include tech trees, advanced crafting, a rich alive game world and portals. The game has slowly built up a great following that you can become a part of either just to play the game or contribute to a game that will definitely be something special.

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