Two Point Campus (Switch)

The best sandbox games on Nintendo Switch

When you were a child, “sandbox” meant “small plastic box, usually full of sand and ants, that you could pretend you were on the beach even if you were in a nursery not far from your parents’ workplace”. As an adult, “sandbox” either means “a game that lets you choose most of your goals” or “an ant-filled nightmare that makes your kids gritty”, depending on whether you have kids .

do not worry. Today, we’re focusing on sandboxing in video games, a genre of entertainment where most of the fun comes from setting your own goals. Sandboxes range from completely directionless, like Garry’s Mod (a PC-only asset toy chest), to some directional games, like Minecraft and Astroneer, all the way to games that hold your hand or guide you closer to your goal , such as Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing.

Fundamentally, though, these games sometimes let you roam freely and do whatever you want with the world (or a small part of you, whatever). Want to grow bananas in someone else’s garden? Go for it. Interested in digging a tunnel to bedrock? certainly. Do you want to avoid all social norms and build a huge fort in the city center? Hey, this is your power fantasy.

Here’s a selection of our favorite sandbox games (and those with sandbox bits in them) for everyone looking for an off-the-rails experience!

Two Point Campus (Switch)

Publisher: Sega / Developer: two o’clock studio

release date: August 9, 2022 (U.S.) / August 9, 2022 (UK/EU)
Terraria (toggle)

Terraria (toggle)

Publisher: 505 games / Developer: re-logic

release date: June 27, 2019 (U.S.) / June 27, 2019 (UK/EU)
minecraft (switch)

minecraft (switch)

Publisher: Moran / Developer: Moran

release date: June 21, 2018 (U.S.) / June 21, 2018 (UK/EU)
Astroneer (Switch eShop)

Astroneer (Switch eShop)

Publisher: System Age Software / Developer: System Age Software

release date: January 13, 2022 (U.S.) / January 2022 (UK/EU)
Cityscapers (Switch eShop)

Cityscapers (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Primal Fury / Developer: Oscar Stolberg

release date: August 26, 2021 (U.S.) / August 26, 2021 (UK/EU)
Little Hell (Switch eShop)

Little Hell (Switch eShop)

Publisher: tomorrow company / Developer: tomorrow company

release date: March 16, 2017 (U.S.) / March 23, 2017 (UK/EU)
Dragon Quest Builders 2 (Switch)

Dragon Quest Builders 2 (Switch)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix

release date: July 12, 2019 (U.S.) / July 12, 2019 (UK/EU)
Don't Starve: Nintendo Switch Edition (Switch eShop)

Don't Starve: Nintendo Switch Edition (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Clay Entertainment / Developer: Clay Entertainment

release date: April 12, 2018 (U.S.) / April 12, 2018 (UK/EU)
Crashlands (Switch eShop)

Crashlands (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Butterscotch Prank / Developer: Butterscotch Prank

release date: November 8, 2018 (U.S.) / November 8, 2018 (UK/EU)
Subnautica (Switch eShop)

Subnautica (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Unknown World Entertainment / Developer: Unknown World Entertainment

release date: May 14, 2021 (U.S.) / May 14, 2021 (UK/EU)
Stardew Valley (Switch eShop)

Stardew Valley (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Follow Ape / Developer: Follow Ape

release date: October 5, 2017 (U.S.) / October 5, 2017 (UK/EU)

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