Out of the two sandbox games I've played recently, I've played way more Terraria
. "But why is that?" you might ask. "It has one less dimension!"
Terraria and Minecraft are both sandbox building games, to some extent. And it's hard to play a building game from the inside; that's why we don't play Simcity from an inhabitant's perspective.
The other advantage of Terraria is that leveling is much more addictive than MC was for me. 4 swords
isn't enough to build a progress tree; 18
might just be enough.
On the other hand, Minecraft is naturally more immersive and more building focused, with cool pushcarts that Terraria doesn't have.
In conclusion: A 3D top down builder with leveling up and fast transit would be cool. But that's not a minimal game.
A minimal sandbox building game would be a deck building game (cards are the simplest inventory item). In it, you can fight enemies based on how powerful your cards are, but it's not mostly about fighting, but rather creating emergent behaviors. For example:
- You have 1 iron and 1 forge. If you have no finesse you can hammer out a crude iron club, but if you have a special finesse you can make a bell, or a sword.
- You have 10 wood and a hammer. You can buy a house card, that you can now live in. (Having a house is the most important part of this kind of game)