Sand Land review

by on April 29, 2024
Release Date

April 25, 2024


After the tragic passing of legendary artist Akira Toriyama it was always going to be bittersweet playing Sand Land, but exploring the world he created, there’s also a sense of comfort and happiness seeing these characters come to life in a vibrant and often fun video game. It might not be perfect, but there’s plenty to love about ILCA’s anime adaption, from wonderful characters to some excellent customisation options for a range of vehicles. Strap in, slip on your sandals, and get ready for some over-the-top silliness in the desert.

What stuck me from the start is how good Sand Land looks. The open desert may be barren, but the level of detail is impressive. The character designs are also great, and when you start to see the combat unfold through the various vehicles you unlock, it’s fantastic. Despite it being based mostly in a desert, there are some different locations that do a good job of feeling different, but the biggest departure comes from the gorgeous Forest Land that gives the adventure a much needed breath of fresh air.

The best feature of Sand Land’s gameplay comes from the vehicular combat and traversal. Many of them feel weighty and varied, often switching between a selection of them on the fly depending on what the situation requires. The standard tank can utilise its firepower to take out the enemy, but then there’s the Jump Bot that can leap across large areas and gain better advantages against your enemy in a fight. There’s even a mech that can mix both melee and ranged, and a speed bike that is a go to when travelling from point A-to-B, covering great distance much quicker.

Many of the missions allow you to mix up which vehicles you’re using, whether you’re stealthily infiltrating an enemy base or taking on one of the big bosses, the simple fact you can switch between them quickly makes a whole world of difference. That’s why it’s a bit of a shame that the combat when controlling Prince Beelzebub feels lacklustre. You can unlock new skills via a simplified skill tree, but you’re always wanting to be back in your tank firing your canons or jumping through the air in your Jump Bot.

ILCA has put much more of a focus on vehicles and it makes sense given how important they are to the gameplay. As you explore the world, you’ll start to amass a ton of materials that you’ll need to upgrade and improve your vehicles, and there’re plenty of opportunities to get them. Enemy drops or finding stashes scattered across enemy bases or in caves and dungeons will give you what you need to change parts, and there’s customisation coming out of your eyeballs. The problem with that, though, is that despite there being plenty of ways to customise, you never feel pushed by the enemy.

Normally by just unloading your guns on anyone, be it a soldier, tank, or boss, you’ll get the job done. There’s not a huge variety in attacks so you won’t spend too long trying to reign victorious in a fight. It’s not that they aren’t fun, indeed, they often are because of how good the combat feels in your vehicles, but a bit more variety would be nice. Thankfully there are plenty of interesting puzzles that you can take part in with vehicles that adds to the variety of what is possible, making Sand Land a rather enjoyable action-RPG that doesn’t necessarily push the boundaries, but does plenty with what’s there.

The story to Sand Land acts as somewhat of a retelling of the original anime, but there are new characters and other additions that make it enjoyable. What it gets right, is the characters. Prince Beelzebub likes to think he’s an evil demon, but he’s got a bigger heart than he might think. There’s also mechanic genius Ann who joins your party, Rao, and your demon-friend Thief who you get familiar with and uncover parts of their own story the more you play. It’s not going to set the world on fire, but it’s more than serviceable when exploring the world and fighting off the enemies you face.

Sand Land is an enjoyable action-RPG where the vehicles steal the show. From intense battles to the wealth of customisation, there’s plenty to keep you occupied as you explore the beautifully designed world. It’s not going to blow people’s minds, but it does a lot of things well, and if you’re after a straightforward anime adaption that does well with the source material, while giving you plenty of enjoyable missions that never outstays its welcome, this is definitely one for you.


Looks gorgeous
Vehicular combat is fun
Plenty of customisation
Loveable characters


Character combat is repetitive
Enemy AI is pretty basic

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Sand Land is a by-the-numbers anime adaption that is filled with great character design and some enjoyable vehicular combat.