Many games claim to be sandbox titles, but Project Mimicry actually uses real sand.
After Grand Theft Auto III‘s free-form open world revolutionized how developers structure their worlds, “sandbox” games became one of the most popular genres in the industry. The name seemed apt: A player could follow the main story or just screw around making his or her own fun, like one could do in an actual sandbox.
Project Mimicry, a game developed by Dutch studio Monobanda, is a different kind of sandbox game – in that it’s an augmented-reality game played in an actual sandbox.
The concept, as demonstrated in the video above, is wicked cool, and consists of two parts. Real-world players interact with the actual sandbox, sculpting and digging and shaping the sand as they please. This sand then becomes the setting for the virtual players, who use standard gaming controllers to guide little balls through the levels sculpted by the ones in the sandbox. The in-game characters can color the surface in paint, which is then reflected in real life as a little trail of light on the sand.
You can see the sand being deformed in real-time in the game, and while it doesn’t seem to have much of a point, it’s a sandbox game – it’s not really supposed to!
Also, those colors are very, very pretty.