The Sandbox

App review by
Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Media
The Sandbox App Poster Image
Kids create 2-D universes; beware in-app purchases.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to be the masters of their own universe as they master different elements and learn to use the tools to both create and destroy land and life. In free play mode, kids have the opportunity to experiment with the tools and let their creativity run wild, while the challenge mode encourages them to problem-solve and think critically to help accomplish a series of increasingly challenging tasks. As they do, kids will learn a little about biology, a bit about engineering and physics, and about some of the underlying principles in science and math.

Ease of Play

Takes time to master all the elements and features.


Allows ninjas and zombies. Users can create and and destroy a universe.


Encourages watching videos and ads and engaging in other consumer-based activities to earn coins. Regularly presents offers to buy items at a discount.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, although The Sandbox allows kids to create their own worlds and advertises numerous elements they can use to build them, not all the elements come with the free version. Instead, ads for additional elements and suggestions involving paid elements fill the game. Parents who neglect to turn off notifications also will find that the game sends sale notifications frequently, encouraging kids and parents to buy more expansion packs. It's annoying, but parents can use this as an opportunity to talk to kids about need versus want and how to create a budget.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMichelle N. June 29, 2017

This game has sexual content!!!!!!!

This is outrageous. I have parental controls for 10 and under and my son downloaded this game and stumbled across sexual content. I went on to find the content... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 6, 2018

Okay for kids

I think it's for 5 year olds I played it when I was five without any problems all ads aren't very interesting

What's it about?

THE SANDBOX introduces kids to a 2-D pixelated universe in which they can play the role of creator. In the free-play mode, they can experiment with the various elements and create their own worlds. In the campaign mode, they can participate in guided challenges; for example, in the first campaign they learn how to make sand and mud. As they play on, kids have the opportunity to complete unique missions that involve creating and destroying their own universes and, in some cases, introducing fun characters such as ninjas. Unfortunately, many of the more advanced tasks require additional purchases.

Is it any good?

Although the game will entertain kids, and the campaigns will challenge them, the number of ads can become frustrating. Making a purchase helps remove many of the ads, but it doesn't keep kids from encountering more opportunities to buy new elements, participate in new campaigns, and add other special features. Some kids will find themselves hooked, justifying the extra purchases, but others will use the free-play mode to drop in a few elements, add a few humans, and call it a day.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about creation stories, discussing their own beliefs and exploring others.

  • Build models from unique materials, such as items you find in the recycling bin or outside.

  • Have your kid draw a picture and write up a description of his or her ideal world.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love building worlds

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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