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How to master the elements: The Sandbox hints, tips, and tricks

It's a change
Product: The Sandbox | Developer: Pixowl | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad | Genre: Simulation
The Sandbox iPhone, thumbnail 1
Welcome to The Sandbox - a 2D Minecraft-style build-'em-up in which you combine elements to create a variety of different products.

You unlock these elements as you progress through the game and complete tasks, but you can't actually use them until you splash a one-off mana payment on each of them.

Mana, which is the game's premium currency, can be earned in small amounts by completing goals in Story and Free mode - the latter of which is unlocked after reaching level 8 in the former.

Free mode goals generally require you to play for days on end, while others task you with using a set amount of a certain element. To complete the latter type quickly, just head into Free mode, enlarge your brush in your 'tools' menu (this is the important part), and rub your finger over your screen. They'll be unlocked in a matter of seconds.

Alternatively, you can grab mana through in-app purchases.

The walkthrough

The Sandbox isn't really a difficult game, but it can be tricky if you don't know what elements to use and when. There are several in-game hints to help you progress, but these cost mana to unlock, so we suggest you find other methods.

Y'know, like Pocket Gamer's complete walkthrough, which is - conveniently - located below this paragraph.

Day 1

Your first mission in The Sandbox is to create both mud and sand, which is relatively easy. Firstly, head into your 'elements' menu (top-left icon), select the soil element, and drag your finger along your device's screen to dump some into the water to create mud.

Next, select the stone element and repeat the above process. Wait for a couple of seconds, and you'll unlock the sand element.

Day 2

Day 2 is another easy one, since you don't have to mess with any elements. Simply tap the weather tab at the top of your device's screen (the one to the right of the magnifying glass) and turn the sun on.

Once a few flowers have grown and a pop-up tells you that the task is complete, hit the magnifying glass icon and tap anywhere on your screen to zoom in and complete Day 2.

Day 3

To complete Day 3, you have to head back into the menu where you turned the sun on. This time, though, hit the weather switch instead, which will unlock the steam element.

Head into your 'elements' menu and purchase steam with your mana. Once you've purchased it, you just have to wave your finger around a bit until you see a pop-up and complete Day 3.

Day 4

Really simple. Head to the top of your device's screen and tap the tab that looks like a picture of Earth. You have to visit this spot three times in order to hit the save, reset, and load buttons.

Day 5

Day 5 tasks you with creating oil. To begin with, head into the 'weather' menu (next to the magnifying glass) and change the game's temperature from normal to hot.

Once the trees have all burnt and you can see a black substance on the ground, cover it with your stone element and wait a few moments to create oil.

Day 6

Start Day 6 by selecting your recently acquired pickaxe tool from your 'tool' menu, which is situated just to the right of your 'elements' menu, and dragging your finger across the on-screen mountain a few times. Next (if you haven't already), use your mana to purchase seeds, oil, and fire from the 'elements' menu.

Spread some seeds on one side of your environment and spread oil on the other. Select your fire element and rub your finger over your oil until it turns orange to complete this day.

Day 7

Another easy stage. Unlock the metal element you've recently acquired using your mana and simply trace the green on-screen box outline with your finger to complete the first part of this stage.

Next, grab your electro element and apply it to your metal box to move on to Day 8.

Day 8

Day 8 is really simple if you know what you're doing. Firstly, zoom into the top area of the on-screen lighthouse. Secondly, select the bulb element from your 'elements' menu and place one in the available gap.

Day 9

Use your mana to unlock the power element and use it to draw a line on your device's screen where indicated. Then, head into the 'weather' menu and flick the light switch to progress on to the next stage.

Day 10

To finish this stage, simply use your power and water elements in the areas indicated by on-screen arrows. It's extremely difficult to mess this one up.

Day 11

This level is somewhat tricky. Start by using your fire element to clear the trees on the left side of the volcano. Next, lay down a substantial amount of metal before applying both the electro and heater elements to it. Dump a bunch of water on top of all of that and that's task one complete.

To overcome task two, simply dig out a small recess at the top of the volcano using your pickaxe tool and then deposit a little lava inside of it. Wait a few moments and hey presto.

Day 12

Begin Day 12 by building a metal structure in the small pool of water. Apply both the electro and the cooler elements to this to create ice and complete one of this stage's tasks.

To complete the other two, simply head into your 'weather' menu and crank the temperature up to "very hot".

Day 13

This is another case of simply following the on-screen arrows. Apply your power, heater, and cooler elements to the indicated areas as shown in the screenshot above.

Then, unlock the snow element and drop a load into the hot side of the distillery. Stage over.

Stage 14

Simply fill the lamp with oil until it reaches the dotted line and then flick the temperature switch to "very hot".

Day 15

Just select the fill tool from your 'tools' menu, grab any element of your choice, and tap the on-screen shapes to fill them.

Day 16

Grab your fill tool, select your acid element, and fill the battery on the left of your screen with it. Wait a minute or so for the battery to power the lamp and the heater, and you can move on to the next stage.

Day 17

Your aim on Day 17 is to make a waterfall. Start by unlocking the multi element with your mana and using it to complete the dotted line in the top left of your device's screen.

Now, select your water element and pour a substantial amount over the line you've just drawn. A pop-up will, well, pop up to tell you that you've completed your task, meaning you can move on to the next stage.

Day 18

Two of Day 18's tasks will be completed automatically upon beginning the stage, leaving you with just one to polish off: Virus Maze.

To bypass this task really quickly, just grab your virus element and your fill tool, and tap the brown background that surrounds the on-screen maze. Be patient for a few moments, and you'll be allowed to progress.

Day 19

Use your fill tool to load the small black rectangle at the bottom of your device's screen with your electro element. That's all there is to it.

Day 20

Use your power element where directed by the on-screen arrow and it should leave you with a completely empty tank. All you have to do then is fill said tank with both water and acid, and wait for them to react.

Day 21

This stage shouldn't take you more than ten seconds. Just select the replace tool from your 'tools' menu and tap anywhere on your device's screen. Job done.

Day 22

During this stage, you're in charge of colouring in a monochrome picture of Earth. So, you have to grab your fill tool (again) and use your water element to colour the planet's oceans blue.

You can use either mud or acid to colour the land masses. Note: it's probably best to zoom in during this level.

Day 23

Use your acid element to remove the black blocks that are preventing the water from flowing throughout the factory. This is another ten-second job.

Day 24

This is a little tricky. Basically, you have to replace the oil in all four glass jars with other elements in order to produce glass, a solidified "airborn" element, ashes, and an explosion.

Using your fill tool, move from left to right switching the oil with sand, steam, wood, and gas. Once you've filled all four containers, grab your metal element and complete the circuit that's situated underneath the jars. This will allow the electric current to reach them.

Reviewer photo
Anthony Usher 21 May 2012
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