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Steam’s top choices for May are all about the sandboxes


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It’s always a pleasant surprise when Steam announces the top sellers for a month. Even if they do it every month. But it’s an even nicer surprise when the theme of the month is my particular wheelhouse.

The month of May is all about sandboxes. It’s a bit of a smaller themed list this time around, but they’re sandbox games. A list of one, if the game hooks you, is enough to guarantee dozens of hours of play.

And if it doesn’t? Well, Steam has six other choices on offer, alongside the rest of the best sellers.

May’s top 7 sandbox games

  • Old World
  • Keplerth
  • V Rising
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker
  • Arma Reforger
  • Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator 2
  • My Time at Sandrock

If what you’re hungry for is a Crusader Kings style sandbox game, you should probably give Old World a look. Maybe, like me, you’ve got thousands of hours in Rimworld and Starbound and need something new and fresh? Keplerth is there for you.

The big streamer game right now is V Rising, and if you’ve got a PC strong enough to run it you could do way worse. Especially if you’re looking for a little bit of Diablo flavor but don’t want to get into the weeds with Diablo Immortal.

But maybe you don’t want gothic vampire games. Maybe you scoff at all that fantasy nonsense. You’re a gamer with discerning, realistic tastes. Maybe you want soldiers and armies, not sorcery. If that’s the case, both Arma Reforger and Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator 2 could be the newest thing to spice up your gaming life. Maybe you desire realism, Arma Reforger is where you ought to be looking. If it’s the other end of the spectrum you crave, Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator 2 can get about as goofy as you need.

Or we can toss all that aside. Because you’re the kind of gamer that wants to play what the writers like. Those few handful of games that take the industry by storm and stick in the minds of writers for huge stretches of time. Those games that, when asked, come instantly as a recommendation for things worth playing.

That, for this list, is Hardspace: Shipbreaker. This is one of those games that’s been around for a while. It floated in Early Access long enough that it made former GamesBeat staffer Jeff Grubb’s top 10 of 2020 list. Now it’s finally out, and worth every penny.

I’m a big fan of most of these. But My Time at Sandrock is a sequel I’ve been waiting for for years. I actually reviewed the first game in the series a few years ago, and liked it enough to put something like 200 hours in. 

Sandrock is still in Early Access, and it shows. Not all the characters are developed. The main questline just kind of stops on a cliffhanger. But despite that there’s still 40 hours or so worth of content, and I played the hell out of those 40 hours.

It isn’t, technically, the same sort of game as the rest. It takes place in a sleepy desert town with a distinct lack of vegetation and problems that need fixing. 

A big ole’ sandbox.

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