• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Jan 12, 2010

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 20
  2. Negative: 3 out of 20
  1. Sure the game is a bit on the linear side and the toned down difficulty might prove a tad easy for seasoned RPG fans, but if you can appreciate a well designed RPG experience that doesn't try to do more than it's capable of, you'll likely find Sands of Destruction right up your alley. What it lacks in originality, it more than makes up for with its unique charm and engaging storyline.
  2. Sands Of Destruction is a series of great ideas that make for a very good, if not great, JRPG. Fans of the genre may find it a bit of a cake walk, but for novices, this could be a good point to hop on the JRPG train and enjoy the lengthy and entertaining ride.
  3. Though the game only lasts a dozen hours or so, and features mostly random battles, the story and the battle system make the experience worthwhile.
  4. 75
    For undying JRPG fans, SoD might be another great experience, but overall, it is another meal for Mediocrity.
  5. Sands of Destruction looks good, and sounds good. But the story premise collapses under its own weight, and it may very well be the easiest RPG I have ever played in my life. It's an entertaining diversion as long as you understand that you won't be challenged at all.
  6. 74
    While not the strongest JRPG on the DS, Sands of Destruction is still a decent play and I hope that some of its ideas turn up in other adventures.
  7. It's a colorful, splashy fantasy role-playing game--no less, but also no more. [Jan 2010, p.89]
  8. 70
    Sands of Destruction has all the tools to make it a great JRPG, especially with its complex dungeon mazes, but it unfortunately falls flat due to the simple gameplay and boring characters.
  9. If you can put up with the flaws, this will be a fun and exciting RPG, but it’s indeed hard to ignore some of them.
  10. 70
    Sands of Destruction could have been excellent, and some aspects of it indeed do approach greatness. Unfortunately, its many irritations in combat cause the game to fall short of the lofty status it wanted to achieve.
  11. By today's standards, Sands of Destruction falls well short of the benchmarks set by other top-tier RPGs. The entire experience takes a few steps down the path toward immortality, but then comes running headlong back into well-worn trail of every other JRPG before it.
  12. A perfectly acceptable yet unremarkable RPG. [Mar 2010, p.61]
  13. Though it gets off to a decent start, Sands of Destruction fails to keep up the pace. The battle mechanics deteriorate only after a few hours, and the story fails to compensate you for time invested.
  14. It's hard to play Sands of Destruction where it could have been enjoyable and easy: hard for the tremendous amount of random encounters and, most of all, for the insanely unbalanced battle system, base on luck more than ability.
  15. There are few aspects of the game that really intrigue the player (the soundtrack, for example), while the embarrassing battle system and a dull story make Sands of Destruction inexorably sink.
  16. 60
    Grind through this cheesy apocalypse story only if you're already a fan going into it.
  17. It's got an engagingly original story, but this throwback to bygone console role-playing games botches the gameplay fundamentals.
  18. At best, I would say this is a game that you can thoroughly ... tolerate.
  19. Far more infuriating than entertaining. RPG fans can find plenty of alternatives.
  20. Unsalvageable, it is what I hope was originally an honest attempt at a fresh breath of air in the handheld world of RPG's. Unfortunately something went wrong, as the developers really seem interested in their presentation and story, of which the latter could have really been more ignored for some refinement in the gameplay.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Nov 4, 2010
    Giving a game a low score is always sad, especially when it's a game with a lot of potential. Sands of Destruction, unfortunately, is a sad excuse of the great JRPG it could have been. The plot's premises (a group of heroes out to destroy the world) could have been interesting in better hands, but sadly the characters' horrid dialogues and lack of characterization (mixed with a lack of concrete reasons to do what they are doing for 90% of the game, especially the main character) totally ruined any pathos the plot could have had (quite surprisingly, since the writer is Masato Kato). The shallow attempts at humour are not only unsuccessful, but also manage to further compromise the game's atmosphere. The setting is also quite unpolished: aside from the initial premises there is no effort to give it any life or credibility, making for a world not worthy the time to be saved or destroyed. And those aren't even the main issues: the battle system, sadly, is completely broken, with bugged turn order (the turn indicator is practically useless, since any monster will act multiple times in a row even when he wasn't supposed to have a turn, totally ruining any strategy), senseless damage fluctuations from turn to turn (an attack that does 1 damage could very well be a one-shot killer the next turn) and unbalanced attacks (the flurry combos, being ridiculously powerful, are the way to go, nor is there any practical reason to develop the characters in any other way). Sure, the graphics are nice and Mitsuda's OST while not a masterpiece is enjoyable, but Sands of Destruction is nonetheless a big disappointment. Full Review »
  2. Jun 7, 2011
    this is an awesome game i keep on wondering why its rated so low.i've never played chrono trigger before but i've seen a trailer of it,i can tell that this game is a lot better than chrono trigger.how you fight in this game is easy,but what made me play the game was my curiosity that the main character can destroy the world,when i finished the game it totally satisfied me.i tell you,this game is worth your time and money.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 21, 2010
    A traditional fantasy JRPG that starts off a bit confusing, looks rather blocky, and has an unbalanced battle system. Yet, the story, characters, and humor are there so it ends up being a proper, delightful, old school adventure that lasts a respectable 20 hours or so. Full Review »