The Steam Summer Sale is live, and we’re here to show you some of the best deals available! It’s no secret Sandbox games are hugely popular, with Valheim selling 10 million copies and Minecraft… well, we all know Minecraft.
We’ve prepared five games for you. You can find links, as well as price details, at the bottom of this post.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky launched back in 2016 and boy were people pissed. It had fallen into the age-old trap of overhyping itself, promising an infinite procedurally-generated universe, but what you could do in it was infinitely same-y.
The game has come a long way since then. It has received over 20 updates (all of them included in the base version) and the game is now filled to the brim with features and activities: 32-player multiplayer, aquatic biomes, extra story content, more base customization, the ability to domesticate alien creatures and so much more. Imagine the most mod-filled Minecraft modpack you’ve played, and No Man’s Sky is probably even bigger.
I’d suggest playing this game without looking into it too much. There’s lots of surprises that are best experienced… surprisingly. Check our this 5th anniversary trailer, which cuts from one scene to the next very fast and ensures you won’t remember half of what you saw when you play it!
Stardew Valley is your go-to 2D pixel-art sandbox game for doing all sorts of things that are work in real life, but fun on the screen: gardening, fishing, cooking, mining, marry and have children, and completing quests.
The game has sold over 20 million copies. That’s huge for a game developed by a single person. The game was inspired by Harvest Moon, a Japanese franchise that has released and re-released 29 games across several consoles since 1996.
The game design is lauded for allowing players a varied enough array of activities to not fall into a cycle of repetitiveness. If you’ve played and enjoyed Core Keeper, Stardew Valley won’t disappoint.
If you’ve played ARK, Rust is sort of like ARK but the dinosaurs are deer and people. You find yourself on an island and everything wants to kill you (including other players, since the game is solely multiplayer). Harvest resources, craft a base, tame horses, ride cars, fly helicopters, farm (it really is much more fun than doing it in real life), raid freighters and try not to die.
Let’s look into that last part. During the game, you essentially have to keep three stats up: Hunger, thirst and health. That’s pretty standard for most survival games. Eat things (like those legumes you’re farming!), drink water and try not to get mauled by a bear or take a rocket to the face by another player. When you die, you respawn with the usual starting equipment (a rock and a torch). To increase your odds of surviving, it is imperative to form a clan with other players – strength in numbers!
If you’re into fantasizing about “what would happen if I woke up, butt-naked, on an island full of strangers and had to figure out a way to survive?” when you’re in bed at night and trying to fall asleep, Rust might be the answer.
If you’ve got thalassophobia, you should probably skip this one. If you’ve got thalassophobia but also an unnatural curiosity to know what lies at the bottom of the ocean, give it a shot!
Subnautica is another lovely sandbox game that takes you all across the alien-filled ocean (wait, what?) to craft, explore and kill sea life before the oil spills get them. The story takes you deep into the vast underwater world you’ll come to love, trying to find answers as to what is infected the sea life, or who built all the eerie structures found on the sea floor.
There’s also the night. Stay indoors, as that’s when predators start roaming everywhere. This is a mechanic I’ve seen in many survival games that limits the amount of time you can explore and sets you on a rhythm of exploring, crafting, exploring, crafting, rinse & repeat.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which is totally fine), there’s no way you haven’t heard of Valheim at least once since it blew up last year. The Viking sandbox survival game has claimed many a player’s soul. You may have heard it’s a game where you spend too much time harvesting resources, but the rest of the experience is so good that people are willing to put up with punching trees for hours!
The game pits 1-10 players against a procedurally-generated world rife with things that want to kill you. Craft weapons, build a house, brew some mead and fight big, juicy bosses. In contrast to Rust, you can’t starve in this one – food merely gives you buffs. Tired of your island? Build a boat and sail somewhere else! Be wary though, the sea isn’t safe either.
The game has been receiving regular updates since its Early Access launch (all included in the base game) and more are planned, including expanding on unfinished biomes and new things to build, craft and cook.
Prices & Discounts
Prices may vary based on your region.
- No Man’s Sky ($27.49, 50% off)
- Stardew Valley ($8.39, 40% off)
- Rust ($19.99, 50% off)
- Subnautica ($14.99, 50% off)
- Valheim ($11.75, 30% off)
Are you thinking of picking up any of these time-sinking titles? Have you already spent an eternity in some of them? Let us know in the comments below!