In an industry driven by the constant forward thrust of technology, labels can very quickly turn from useful signposts to restrictive dogma. Take the word "sandbox", for example. Once used to help us understand the anarchic freedom on offer in games like Grand Theft Auto, it's now become a catch-all term for games set in cities where you get to run around and blow stuff up for no reason.
As you'd expect, given its name, The Sandbox is a sandbox. A literal sandbox, mind you, into which you pour various elements and see what happens. Think of your iPhone as a cosmic petri dish, ready to see what happens when acid rain falls on a volcano during an ice age.
There are 30 elements to tinker with in The Sandbox, ranging from obvious building blocks such as dirt, sand and water, to more technological tools that enable you to construct electrical circuits, powering heaters and coolers. The sun and weather can be switched on and off, and you also have control over the climate of your tiny pocket-sized universe, freezing it solid or subjecting it to blistering temperatures. You can even unlock musical notes, transforming your improvisational landscapes into chip tunes.