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The 5 best open world sandbox games you should be playing, but probably aren't

These are my top 5 picks for the best games in the genre

Sandbox games are a dime a dozen nowadays, especially with the flood of indie developers out there. This is great news for those of us who love the genre, but as there are so many not all of them are worth your time. Here is a short list of the best open world, sandbox titles that you should be playing right now.

Kenshi

Kenshi is one of my personal favorites. Developed by Lo-Fi Games, it has been in Early Access on Steam for quite a while, but the development seems to be ongoing. It is an oddly fun RTS, RPG, sandbox hybrid. You control a group of characters, which you can add to by hiring more at the local pub. It is still pretty rough around the edges with so-so graphics and plenty of bugs, but it is very playable.

This is not an easy game by any stretch of the imagination, and the beginning is the hardest bit. Give it a few hours, though, and you will be hooked. You start the game with essentially nothing, and wandering around alone is inadvisable due to the roving hordes of bandits and predators. Once you have a good sized group and have built your base, the game gets a lot more fun. You can purchase on Steam or from the official website.

Creativerse

Creativerse is a relatively unknown voxel based sandbox game. It plays out much like Minecraft, but with much better graphics and a much deeper crafting and building mechanic. This one is also still in Early Access on Steam and the developer, Playful Inc., is very active with regular updates.

The best part about Creativerse is that it is 100% free to play. They do have an online store, but all the items for sale are cosmetic in nature. The core game is there for all to enjoy. You can play alone or with friends online if you like that sort of thing. Check out the official website for more details. 

The Forest

The Forest is yet another Early Access title that has received a lot of love from the developer, yet still has a relatively small fan base. It is absolutely beautiful to look at and terrifying to play.

You begin the game in an airplane with your little boy in the seat next to you. The plane crashes, a crazy cannibal looking creature nabs your kid, and you are left alone in the woods. You start with a fire ax and a hundred or so suitcases to rifle through for supplies. The rest is up to you. If you survive your first night, I suggest building a treehouse. It's harder for them to get you up there. Good luck! Check out the official webpage for more details.

Crashlands

Crashlands is one of the most ridiculous games I've ever played, but it's also one of the most addicting games I've ever played. It looks and plays a bit like Don't Starve, but has an actual story. It's an absurd story, but it is there.

Basically, a giant head pulls your spaceship out of warp then blows it up.You and your trusty robot, Juicebox, are then stranded on a strange planet and have to find a way to get rescued. If you would rather wander around the planet building things and making cool weapons, that's fine too. It is a truly open world game with lots to do and see. Check out their website and definitely watch the very well made and hilarious trailer. 

Evochron Legacy

Evochron Legacy is the latest release from Starwraith Games. If you are anything like me, you are probably eagerly awaiting the release of No Man's Sky and Star Citizen, then this is a great game to tide you over until then. It is an open universe game in which the player starts with nothing more than a tiny ship and a lot of hope. You can do anything from trading, mining, or exploring the surface of planets.

The developer continues to work on the game and releases a new version every few years. This one is a huge improvement over the last version. It launched with some bugs, but they have patched it up and it is fantastic now. It is not for the faint of heart, however, as it has a steep learning curve. If that doesn't scare you off, there is a lot to find, and love, in Evochron Legacy.

That's it folks! These are my top 5 open world sandbox games. There are so many more out there and so many on the way. I hope to bring you some exclusive info very soon on one in particular -- Star Rangers. Until then, keep learning, keep building, and keep playing!  

Published Jul. 7th 2016

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