Video games can be great opportunities for creativity, but what if you want them to take your mind a little further? There are many sandbox titles out there with robust building systems, detailed mechanics, and numerous tools that allow you to gain full control over complex mechanisms. So we looked for the best of the best in the genre.
Note: Some of the games on this list are in Steam Early Access ̵
Trailmaker (PC / PS4 / Xbox One)
Tralmaker The robust building system opens the door to all types of vehicles and you will need them to complete the game’s various races and missions. But once you’re done with the structured content, you don’t have to worry anymore because the open-world sandbox is the perfect testing ground for your craziest creations.
And when you run out of ideas, you can always visit the Steam Workshop or the Xbox Gallery and download other players’ works for study or inspiration. There is also multiplayer for four players – unfortunately no crossplay.
Trailmaker is available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Kerbal Space Program (PC / PS4 / Xbox One)
Fly to the moon or dive into the sun with your own rocket Kerbal space program. In this realistic astrophysics game, you’ll fight gravity while creating spacecraft and planes worthy of Kerbalkind.
Whether you’re playing around in the sandbox, discovering new technology in Science mode, managing every aspect of the space program in Career mode, or playing with one of the many user-created mods and vehicles (PC only), you’re sure to have a great time . Although a sequel is coming out late next year, it’s still worth playing the original if you’re interested.
Kerbal space program is available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Factorio You land on an alien world and it is your job to design the factory and processes necessary to create the tools of your escape. This game will put your logic thinking to the test as you try to automate the mining, crafting and of course the extermination of local wildlife that is trying to destroy all of your hard work. And now that Factorio After four years, Early Access will no longer be available. Now is the time to play this amazing factory builder.
Scrap Mechanic (PC)
Scrap mechanic combines tech with survival as you try to build and maintain the perfect base amid hordes of enemies. You have to make weapons, machines, and sophisticated vehicles to get the job done. Don’t worry, there is still a creative mode out there that you can play around with the game’s building system without such concerns. Wrap all of this up in a stylized package that you can enjoy with friends in online multiplayer and enjoy Scrap mechanic is sure to deliver hours of engineering fun.
Scrap mechanic is currently in Steam Early Access and has been updated regularly for the past four years. There is no estimated release date for 1.0.
Brick Rigs (PC)
This game has a simple but seductive premise – what if you could create working LEGO cars that would explode? It’s hard not to get caught up in such a concept, and whether you’re building your latest creation or watching it tear apart bit by bit, Brick rigs is undoubtedly a great time. Whether you’re making the fastest car made to bricks or a destructive rocket launcher, Brick rigs supports it and makes sure you have a large sandbox to experiment with. There is even online multiplayer so you and your friends can pit your creations against each other.
Brick rigs is currently in Early Access and has been updated regularly for the past four years. There is no estimated release date for 1.0.
Besiege it is about destruction through construction. In the game’s 54 levels, you destroy a wide variety of things, from castle walls to windmills, all with machines of your own design. You can add wheels, flamethrowers, explosives, and more complex mechanisms like catapults to your vehicles to win the day. There are endless ways to go through each stage, and they all test your ability to design vehicles and weapons.
But the 54 structured levels of Besiege are just the beginning. These levels introduce the core mechanics of siege Building system for you and they are great for yourself. But once you open the sandbox and see how far you can push this game, the pieces really come together. A look at the Steam workshop reveals how deep the mechanics of this game go, and shows that this medieval vehicle builder is actually the perfect place to play as a transformer. There are also plenty of user-created stages and mods to play around with.
TerraTech (PC / PS4 / Xbox One / Switch)
In this open world adventure game, you play as a robot who just wants to explore the world and turn its natural resources into something really useful. You will start out as a small buggy but will eventually expand into a small army of other robots that will place your bids. Explore new biomes, create new types of vehicles like airplanes, and even battle AI enemies scattered around the map. There is also co-op mode, where you can do all of this with a friend and even fight each other if the word “co-op” means little to you – unfortunately there is no cross-play.
to buy TerraTech on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch.
Infinifactory (PC / PS4)
Infinifactory is much more structured than the rest of the games here, but still has a lot of freedom for players to express. With a number of puzzle levels available, you will need to build assembly lines that will produce products and machines to complete the level. However, there are many ways to complete each phase. As you get better at the game, you will learn how to complete levels with increasingly compact and efficient creations. Once you are done with the base game, you can also create your own puzzle levels and play the creation of other players through the Steam Workshop (PC only).
Infinifactory is available on PC and PS4.
Poly Bridge (PC / Android / iOS / Switch)
Not dissimilar from Infinifactory, Poly bridge Change the situation by building bridges to claim gaps and getting cars and trucks safely to the other side. You need to choose the right materials and building style while making sure the project stays under budget. It’s a delicate balance to make sure your bridge is efficient while also being able to support the weight of heavier vehicles. The mechanics later introduced into the games like drawbridges only add complexity.
Poly bridge is currently available for PC, Android, iOS and Switch. There is also a sequel to Poly bridge Currently only available on PC.
Space Engineers (PC / Xbox One)
in the Space engineers, You will go to the last frontier and explore planets, the moon and space in vehicles of your own design. You need to consider the terrain for ground vehicles and whether you are building ships that are suitable for atmospheric or space travel. Hence, there are many design challenges to face.
All of this happens in a solar system that you are free to explore. You can also build bases on the surface of planets within asteroids, or create entire space stations that orbit overhead. And you need a base to store all of your materials in survival mode (but there is also a creative mode for more freeform construction). And of course the best is that Space engineers offers online multiplayer, which not only means you can play with friends, but also fight other players with your own designs – but there is no crossplay.
You can buy Space engineers on PC and Xbox One.
Astroneer (PC / PS4 / Xbox One)
To top this list off, we still have one more space game for you, however Astrones tries to simplify things a little. There are no detailed physical or robust building systems here, but Astroneer Stay true to the core of the genre by building multiple space bases on a variety of planets to produce new products and explore new locations. Whether you’re smelting ore or building an automated rocket fuel assembly line, you’re sure to have a good time Astronomer–It’s fully playable even in multiplayer mode. There is crossplay between Xbox and Windows 10 users, but that won’t work if you purchase the game on Steam.
Astroneer is available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.