So, what is it that makes a great game great? Is it the fancy visuals? Could it be the sound effects and music? While these certainly contribute to a title's appeal, a game has to be fun above all – its gameplay is what will keep players coming back for more. Take Minecraft as an example of that: set in a blocky, pixelated world, it looks like something that could have been released back in the 90's on the first-gen PlayStation. Yet over 100 million copies of it have been sold, meaning that people really, really dig the game as it is.
But Minecraft isn't the only game based on the concepts of survival, crafting, and exploration of an endless virtual world. It is one of the many cool sandbox games available on Android and iOS, and we're now going to go over several of them. The list does contain some obvious Minecraft clones, mind you, but we've also included a number of great original titles. Check them out below!
Games like Minecraft for Android and iOS
Games like Minecraft for Android and iOS
1. Don't starve
Download: iOS ($4.99)
How long do you think you'll last on your own in the wild? Not much,we'd guess. Don't Starve is a survival game where you gather resources, build tools, and stay away from the dark by all means necessary. And it's a difficult one. Seriously, waste no time on admiring its gorgeous, hand-drawn visuals. Beasts will come out to kill you at night, so you must do all you can to find food and set camp before sunset. Once you're feeling brave enough, you can explore the open world in search of treasure. Just don't mess with the Tallbird, or you'll be sorry.
Download: Android ($4.99)
| Free TrialiOS ($4.99)
Terraria is a side-scrolling game mostly dedicated to building and exploring, although you will have to fight the occasional blob monster as well. To make your avatar stronger in battle you may craft weapons, armor, and potions. To keep him safe from harm, there's the possibility to build houses and other structures. Unlike Minecraft, this is a 2-dimentional game, which makes it somewhat easier to control on a touchscreen.
Download: Android ($3.99)
| Free TrialiOS ($3.99)
| Free Trial
It is a Minecraft clone and it is not ashamed of it. SurvivalCraft throws you on a deserted island, with beasts of all kinds to keep you company. Like in the original, you start with nothing but your bare hands, and you must gather resources to build your weapons, tools, and shelter. Food is scarce, so you'll have to grow your own or hunt whatever beasts happen to be nearby. When night falls, however, you should really avoid going out of your home unprepared. The creatures you'll encounter won't like your presence.
4. Block Fortress
Download: Android ($1.99)iOS ($1.99)"Minecraft meets tower defense!"
– this is the tagline that goes along with Block Fortress. Sure enough, the building element is there, as you're allowed to erect your own structures block by block. You won't be left to design your stronghold in peace, however. Waves of enemies will try to take you down, which is why having a wisely built keep with tactically placed turrets is a must. The game supports cooperative multiplayer with up to 6 people protecting themselves from the bad guys.
5. The Blockheads
While it carries a striking resemblance to Minecraft, The Blockheads is set in a 2D-like world, where you only move left or right, up or down. This should make it easier for mobile players to control their character as they collect resources, fight bad guys, and explore the biomes of the vast, randomly generated world. And yes, you're free to build your own creations and to craft the tools needed for the purpose. If that's the kind of gameplay you're interested in, you can essentially disable enemies to build in peace.
6. Block Story
Download: Android ($2.99)
| DemoiOS ($2.99)
While some RPG elements can already be found in Minecraft, Block Story takes the idea to the next level. The game feels a lot more like an RPG with its spells and broader selection of equipment to craft. And the more experience you gain, the better your hero gets, of course. At the same time, the world is yours to explore, and you're totally free to build your own structures, from basic shelters to a replica of the Taj Mahal.
We'll end this list with Growtopia – a game where you're encouraged to play along with the many, many other players. The goal is to have fun, as in any other sandbox game. You're free to build whatever creation you imagine or to play the available mini games where you compete against other humans.