Here is a compilation of the best sandbox games on Switch that are also wholesome and cozy!
The sandbox genre is a personal favorite of mine for its freedom to shape and manipulate the surroundings within a game.
True sandbox games offer open-ended and non-linear gameplay but many open-world games also have sandbox elements or a dedicated sandbox mode.
This can include elements such as crafting, resource gathering, construction, and exploration. Sometimes even social interactions with other players in multiplayer sandbox games.
Embracing creativity can be energizing, particularly when pursuing self-defined objectives, as true fulfillment lies in the journey rather than the end result.
If you’re the type of gamer who likes to kick back for hours on end to design a whole world and revel in its beauty you are going to love this list of the best sandbox games on Switch.
The 13 Most Wholesome Sandbox Games on Switch
1. Cloud Gardens
Harness the power of nature to transform scenes of urban decay and manufactured landscapes into stunning displays of brutalism and beauty.
This unique game invites you to create enchanting plant-covered dioramas by planting seeds, repurposing discarded objects, and constructing structures that nature can reclaim. Cloud Gardens offers a relaxing sandbox mode that allows you to explore without constraints or goals, giving you the freedom to let your creativity flourish.
Blurring the line between a sandbox toy and a game with challenges, Cloud Gardens invites you to embrace the power of nature and witness the transformation of desolate landscapes into thriving ecosystems.
2. Time on Frog Island
Marooned on an unusual island you must fetch missing items for your ship and make repairs.
Time on Frog Island is a sandbox-style game where you are left to your own devices to explore the island. You might just stumble across a waypoint or some sort of a sign as to what you need to do next.
This island is full of frogs who you can learn from, but you may need to do a few favors to get what you want. The lack of a map encourages patience, as this isn’t a game you’ll want to finish in a hurry.
3. Stardew Valley
In Stardew Valley you inherit a run-down farm in a small town called Pelican Town and must restore the farm to its former glory.
Clearing land, plant,ing and harvesting crops, and craft items. Stardew has compelling NPCs, and there’s a surprising amount of depth to what, on the surface, looks like a very basic game.
4. Animal Crossing New Horizons
Animal Crossing New Horizons is a social simulation game where you arrive on a deserted island and, with the aid of Tom Nook, you begin to transform it into your own paradise.
Craft items, furniture, materials and more, make new friends and collect rare bugs and fish.
This game really comes into its own once you finish the story mode and unlock terraforming. With this new tool, you are free to dig up your island and design your own aesthetic map.
With its charming art style, relaxed gameplay mechanics, and delightful characters, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has captured the hearts of millions of players worldwide.
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5. Let’s Build a Zoo
Let’s Build a Zoo is the kind of game that lets you unleash your creativity and build your very own zoo from the ground up.
In this game, you start with a blank canvas and your main goal is to design and construct enclosures, exhibits, and facilities to attract visitors and ensure the well-being of their animal inhabitants. You can customize every aspect of your zoo, including the layout, decorations, and landscaping, to create a unique and visually stunning environment.
Create a successful and thriving zoo that attracts a wide range of visitors in this classic sandbox experience.
Terraria on Nintendo Switch is a popular sandbox adventure game that offers a unique blend of exploration, crafting, building, and combat in a 2D pixel-art world.
You are tasked with surviving and thriving in a procedurally generated world filled with various biomes, enemies, and treasures. One of the standout features of Terraria is its extensive world-building aspect.
Players can construct elaborate bases, design intricate structures, and even create complex machinery using the game’s robust building system. The possibilities for creativity are nearly limitless!
7. Merchant of the Skies
In Merchant of the Skies, you assume the role of a budding entrepreneur and embark on a whimsical sky-bound adventure.
Start with a small trading ship and navigate a vast open world of floating islands. You’ll need to establish and expand a profitable trading empire by buying and selling goods, discovering new markets, and managing your own resources. As you accumulate wealth and resources, you can upgrade your ships, unlock new routes, and uncover hidden treasures.
Merchant of the Skies is one of the most unique games: it does not have a distinct genre but tries to capture the feeling of traveling the world and establishing your very own company.
Astroneer is set during the 25th-century Intergalactic Age of Discovery.
You get to explore the frontiers of outer space! Risk your life in harsh environments to unearth rare discoveries and unlock the mysteries of the universe.
In this open-world adventure, players can work together to build custom bases on different planets, create vehicles to explore a vast solar system and use terrain to create anything they can imagine.
Your creativity and ingenuity is the key to thriving on exciting planetary adventures!
9. My Time at Sandrock
My Time at Sandrock is the sequel to My Time at Portia set in a similar dystopian world.
The main storyline starts three centuries after the Day of Calamity ravaged modern tech, and you’ll need to travel to the desert community known as Sandrock. Your mission is to rescue the town from the brink of economic collapse and ensure its prosperity.
Become a novice Builder and use your toolset to collect resources, fabricate machines, and transform your dilapidated workshop into a highly efficient production facility.
With romanceable characters, marriage and babies on the cards you’ll be spinning your own story in this huge open world sandbox sequel.
10. Everdream Valley
Everdream Valley is a sandbox farming RPG.
In Everdream Valley you have all the traditional elements you’d expect from a farming game like crops to tend to and livestock like cows and pigs to manage, but it also has unconventional additions such as magpies and frogs, and a huge, yes HUGE, world to explore. I could get lost for hours in this cozy world.
What makes Everdream Valley extra special is when the night descends and dreams become reality. You’ll have the extraordinary opportunity to explore the enchanted farmland and experience it from the perspective of the animals you have been caring for.
Build and explore virtual worlds made up of blocks in Minecraft.
You start in a vast open-world environment where they can gather resources, craft tools and items, build structures, and take part in activities. The game offers different modes, including Survival mode, where players must gather resources and maintain their health and hunger.
There’s also a Creative mode, which provides unlimited resources and allows for slower, unrestricted play. Minecraft is probably one of the best sandbox video games of all time!
12. Two Point Campus
Two Point Campus is the latest release from Two Point Studios off the back of its successful Two Point Hospital.
Trading scalpels for pens in this academic management sim you’ll create your own university. Build dorm rooms, lecture theaters, classrooms and more as you complete levels and help your students graduate from university.
Townscaper is such a beautiful game. With freedom of choice at your fingertips, you can construct stunning towns.
Build quaint island towns with meandering streets or craft small hamlets. You can also build soaring cathedrals, intricate canal networks, or even sky cities perched on stilts, the possibilities are endless.
Block by block, you can bring your artistic visions to life in different ways. Witness the transformation of simple colored blocks into charming houses, elegant arches, graceful stairways, and picturesque bridges.