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Thread: Best sandbox games before generation 6?

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    Reticulating Splines BetaWolf47's Avatar
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    Default Best sandbox games before generation 6?

    It's no joke that sandbox games have seen an influx since the PS2 era, with Grand Theft Auto 3. However, GTA 3 wasn't the first game. Here's some fun ones that existed before then:

    -Grand Theft Auto 1, London, and 2, of course. While 3D added a lot to the series, the games were still fun in 2D.
    -Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1, 2, and 3, in Free Skate mode.
    -Pilotwings 64, in Birdman mode. Unlimited flight in any of the levels until you crash.
    -Body Harvest for N64, made by DMA who later became Rockstar Games. It was Grand Theft Auto gameplay in a rural environment.
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    Strawberry (Level 2) Ro-J's Avatar
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    I picked up Body Harvest from the clearance section of Gamestop back in the day based purely on the name. Unfortunately I never could get into it, I just couldn't deal with the graphics at the time.

    Does Mario 64 count as a sandbox? When it first came out I used to love running around the worlds randomly. Sometimes I would boot up the game and never even bother entering the castle, just had fun outside swimming and running in circles. Simpler times, eh?

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    Not exactly sure what exactly falls in the category "sandbox" but from my understanding i would say stuff like...
    Sim Earth
    Sim City
    Populous
    Ultima series
    Elite
    Midwinter
    ... comes to mind
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    was Dreamcast a PlayStation?

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    How about Genesis Shadowrun?
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    Seems like the PC did better with this type of game before it came on with consoles.

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    Does Roller Coaster Tycoon and its first sequel count? Those are phenomenal games. In the same spirit, Theme Park was great fun before RCT came out.

    Sim City and Sim City 2000 are still classics. Both games were played simply, never bothered with the scenarios. Also spent numerous hours creating my own geography in SC2000, then spending hour after hour building a city in said landscape. Damn those are some fine games.

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    Does Harvest Moon count as an 'open world'.

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    Space Station Silicon Valley has sandbox style gameplay.
    It's basically Grand Theft Robot with discreet levels.

    Blast Corps. has some of those elements as well.

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    Mario 64 is pretty classic. Or the earliest example I can remember playing. Is Legend of Zelda: OOT considered a sandbox game? If so I'd include that on my list. Ooh, almost forgot about Shenmue.

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    How about Desert Strike and its sequels? Although you don't advance without doing the missions, you can do the missions pretty much however you want. Add to this the added vehicles in Jungle Strike, and even walking/running levels in Urban Strike. You could blow up the White House or any number of gas stations, whatever you fancy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.Buster2184 View Post
    Mario 64 is pretty classic. Or the earliest example I can remember playing. Is Legend of Zelda: OOT considered a sandbox game? If so I'd include that on my list. Ooh, almost forgot about Shenmue.
    Shenmue was 6th gen.

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    It does depend on what you count as 'sandbox', I think.

    If you mean a game that has a set goal, but gives you no limits on where you can go and what you can do while pursuing (or not pursuing) that goal - like how you don't have to play through the missions in GTA for instance - then Cybermorph for the Jaguar is the earliest example that I can think of. Fly where ever you want in the level, and do whatever you want. Battlemorph (the sequel on the Jaguar CD) would also count.
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    My vote goes to Micro Machines.



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    When I was a kid, I used to play this sandbox game with my cat.
    I called it 'buried treasure'.

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    What about space exploration games, like StarFlight? I love that game.
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    If by "sandbox" you mean free play with a set of rules and no particular goal set forth, I'd have to say Creatures. There's no objective success or failure criteria there. That's probably my favorite example.

    Sim Ant has a sandbox mode in addition to the main game. Lunar Command (AKA Moonbase) is essentially Sim City on the moon, and I don't think it has any kind of objective other than to not run out of money. Elite is probably the earliest example of a real sandbox game. Going back even further, the arcade title I, Robot had a sandbox mode that let you draw pictures in 3D space. Conway's Game of Life could be considered, but then I'd question whether it's passable as a "game" or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markusman64ds View Post
    Shenmue was 6th gen.
    Ahh damn. Topic fail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.Buster2184 View Post
    Ahh damn. Topic fail.
    Yeah, I should've just kept it pre-PS2 consoles
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    Cherry (Level 1) M.Buster2184's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    Yeah, I should've just kept it pre-PS2 consoles
    Meh no worries. Shenmue was on Dreamcast, which is technically before PS2, but I forget sometimes that the Dreamcast is part of the 6th generation.

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    Tail of the Sun on PlayStation immediately popped into mind.

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