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Subject: Is this game sandboxy? rss

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Bob Long
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Hello All
Since im old I have a hard time defining certain game lingo I figured I would ask.

So, I have read that this game is sandboxy.

What does the term sandboxy mean and why would one make that comment about this game?

Thanks
 
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Julian Pombo
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It means that you can take several paths to win the game.
That is not at restricted as other games.
I am sure a more long and satisfactory explanation will come next.
But basically that is what sandboxy means.

I like sandbox games, find your own way to victory. Do not pursue the same objectives all other players are.
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W. Cracker
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I've always thought of games with many paths to victory as a "victory point salad" game; e.g., Stefan Feld is known for this in his games. I have thought of sandbox as an open world game venue where you can go just about anywhere in the world of that game to earn victory points. A game I enjoy that is extremely sandboxy is Xia: Legends of a Drift System, where you explore the Xia planetary system and earn VP's by having assorted encounters. Merchants & Marauders would be another good example of a sandbox game. Both sandbox and VP salad games do have multiple paths to victory, but VP salad games are more constrained in how you earn the VP's in that world. That's my imperfect 2 cents. I cannot speak to Mombasa as I have yet to play it.
 
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Phil Hendrickson
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Point salad games (such as many Feld games) award many points throughout the game, giving points for (seemingly) every little thing you do.

Sandbox games are wide open game spaces, offering players great freedom in exploring options and constucting in various directions.

Mombasa is neither a point salad game nor a sandbox game. It is a wonderful mixture of mechanisms that features challenging card (and discard) management and a type of stock management interwoven with ways to build special abilities. It is great.

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Pedro Pereira
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I wouldn't classify Mombasa as a sandbox game.

Fields of Arle is probably the best example I know of. You basically have got access to all actions right from the start. You can improve on them as you go, but there aren't any restrictions really, so you need to choose how you want to approach the development of your strategy.

Mombasa is different, you're somewhat restricted on what cards you have access to and they come out in a specific sequence. Same with the books for the book-keeping track. Also expansion of the companies is restricted to adjacency rules, etc.

I can see why some people would call it "sandboxy" but I wouldn't personally call it that.
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My personal idea of a "sandbox game" is one where there are a plethora of options and you have the freedom to do your own thing, explore any strategy you want. In my mind sandbox games are inherently non-interactive- the freedom to do whatever you want implies that other players aren't really influencing your decisions or getting into your bowl of rice.

By this definition, Mombasa is NOT at all a sandbox game- you can't just do anything you want but rather have to keep laser like focus on what other players are doing and react accordingly, e.g. if you see someone who is collecting a lot of helmet cards you better figure out what company they want to expand and invest in that company as well. Mombasa is not a game where you can just say at the beginning: "oh, I want to do so-and-so strategy this game". You have to react to the situation on the board as other players decisions will affect your chances of success.
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W. Cracker
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verandi wrote:

My personal idea of a "sandbox game" is one where there are a plethora of options and you have the freedom to do your own thing, explore any strategy you want. In my mind sandbox games are inherently non-interactive- the freedom to do whatever you want implies that other players aren't really influencing your decisions or getting into your bowl of rice.

By this definition, Mombasa is NOT at all a sandbox game- you can't just do anything you want but rather have to keep laser like focus on what other players are doing and react accordingly, e.g. if you see someone who is collecting a lot of helmet cards you better figure out what company they want to expand and invest in that company as well. Mombasa is not a game where you can just say at the beginning: "oh, I want to do so-and-so strategy this game". You have to react to the situation on the board as other players decisions will affect your chances of success.

Not sure I agree they are non-interactive. There can be plenty of player interaction in both Xia and M&M. There may be periods of non-interaction, but both games encourage & reward interaction to earn VP's
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