A Bucket Filled with Sand is a short adventure in building a city. In a hundred years a dragon will come, but for now, you start with the simplest of building materials: a bucket filled with sand.
This game presents simple binary choices, each of which build up your sand-kingdom. You can choose between war or negotiation; between building trust and pre-empting treachery. I found it interesting how the writing maintained the tone of detached resignation throughout – even the expansion of your empire is never truly counted as a victory, but rather an opportunity for more problems to arise.
What really makes the game is its illustrations. They give a visual portrayal of your budding kingdom, as it grows from just one castle to a veritable empire. The arrival of the dragon also served as a rather effective pacing device, giving the story a sure structure, and tying the story up at the end rather neatly.
One grouse – and my main one – is that there are lots of typos. Given that some thought appears to have been put into this, it just feels so out of place. Otherwise, though, A Bucket Filled with Sand is a melancholic, highly branching game which touches on the impermanence of human endeavours.