unnamed (1)

As promised, Pixowl has launched their iOS hit The Sandbox on the Play Store. It's a free download for anything running Android 2.3 or later. Not to be confused with the open world sandbox genre (Grand Theft Auto and the like), this game is an almost literal sandbox. You're an apprentice deity, with the goal of combining elements into different pixelated constructions. Then go Old Testament and blow it up. Anyone who's ever built a domino tower just to knock it down will understand the appeal here.

unnamed (3) unnamed (4) unnamed (5) unnamed (6)

While the construction and combination elements are fun, there's also reason to temper your excitement. The basics of the game can be played for free, but in-app purchases have reared their ugly heads once again. You'll have to pay between $1 and $3 to unlock new chapters of the main game, and even more money to get access to all the elements. Suddenly a free game costs $15 to get access to all of the content within. Some of the more interesting parts of the iOS game, like the instrument creation, are now behind the pay wall.

Even so, it's not as if you can't play with the tools that the game gives you from the outset, and there's no at least the in-app purchases use the Play Store. Go have fun with a celestial Etch-A-Sketch, and remember to rest on the seventh day.

Update: Developer Pixowl informed us via Twitter that the in-app purchase policy is "100% same [sic] as on iOS," and that new ways to receive free mana are coming in an update soon.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Nicolás Rezzano

    God, i wish it was just a pay game and everything inside it was free... I just don't want to play it anymore with all those restrictions

    • Twilight Sparkle

      I agree. i was about to buy it when i was like "oh, it's free!" then after i got into the game i was like "oh, its one of those scam games"

      • Nicolás Rezzano

        Exactly the same here. Clicked the widget, got so excited because it was fee, and i was willing to pay for it, then i go, play campaigns, and only one of them is free, and it's not like the others cost 1 usd each, some of them cost 3, and i said what? But the worst of all, it's that the iOS version it's not like that. WHY MAKE IT DIFFERENT?

        • RG3


          • Nicolás Rezzano

            Yeh, you're probably right, but still, it's too much.

        • Indieveloper

          Because marketing on android and iOS is very different, they gotta make SOME money of it, right?

    • HopelesslyFaithful

      couldn't agree more! It is like sim city but pay as you play...WTF????

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucas.ucciferri Lucas Ucciferri

    Nice game, downloading it right now on my ipod touch 4G. When i buy it, i'll get it on the Nexus 4!

  • Herman

    Sandbox? Pixels?
    It screams Minecraft to me (although this is definitely another type of game).

  • http://twitter.com/svucinic811 Slobodan Vucinic

    Frak that then.

  • Anthony Mironenko

    not fun id rather pay 3$ than have to deal with this bullshit

  • Jongjungbu

    IAP is a disguise used to try to charge more for less.

    For instance, we all know this is not anything remotely as content-rich as say Final Fantasy 3 is for $15. So if this developer charged that much for it, hardly anyone would buy it and for good reason. But by using IAP they can try to sneak more money out of you.

  • Himmat Singh

    The worst thing about these games is that it is not stated anywhere that you need to purchase more content via IAPs. It says in the description "Five exciting campaigns -- a whopping 71 game levels in all!", giving the impression you get everything from the get go. At least have the courtesy to let people know that you get one world for free and the rest can be bought via IAPs.

  • http://twitter.com/RvLeshrac RvLeshrac

    I was willing to drop $2 on it. Definitely worth it, at least, for the 2-3 hours I got out of it. I wish there was a more precise way to handle scrolling, though. Every time I attempted to scroll, I wound up generating blocks I'd need to erase - then I'd need to erase more when I scrolled over to erase the initial ones.

    There's a pretty large amount of emergent (that word is terrible) content here, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a "game."

  • Shanti Gilbert

    Can't wait until the day Google Play has a "freemium" tag, it should be a requirement to put this type of games on a separate tab! one that clearly indicates this game is NOT REALLy free!