Voideka wrote:A sandbox game is something you can play however you want, within the confines of the game.
While I tend to agree with the sentiment, the problem with that statement is that "the confines of the game" seems to be directly opposed to "play however you want"
Which is why I tend to fall back on the good old "non linear" or "not goal driven" definitions.
I actually looked up sandbox a while back and found a definition that sat far better with me which was that a "sandbox" is a mode within a game where you are not constrained by the normal restrictions like lack of time or resources or other mechanical constraints on realizing your vision. Kind of like playing transport tycoon with infinite money and the ability to do whatever you like to towns and opponents.
That's certainly not the sort of game H&H seems to be shaping up as, and with the way the advice for new players go (always get pottery, do these tasks, then get farming then do these tasks etc) it seems to be a bit more linear than I'd have liked, despite the lack of game enforced plot/quests.
Really I think the term sandbox has changed quite a bit since it was first coined, so any semantic argument that tries to pin down an exact argument is going to have difficulty.