Sand Land Devs Discuss Toriyama’s Influence


  • Sand Land is a standalone open-world game featuring Akira Toriyama’s iconic art style mixed with vehicular combat and new elements like city building.
  • The game aims to honor the legacy of the manga while making it accessible to new fans through enjoyable gameplay and unique content.
  • Sand Land is part of a multimedia approach to introduce the IP to a new audience, with plans in place for an animated series and feature film.

Akira Toriyama’s contributions to the world of video games are almost just as far-reaching and wide-ranging as the legendary artist’s work in manga and anime. In addition to being the mastermind behind the hugely successful Dragon Ball manga and anime series (as well as the dozens of games utilizing the IP and its characters), Toriyama-sensei is one of the co-creators and principal artist behind the iconic character designs of the Dragon Quest series and Chrono Trigger on the SNES. The newest game to feature the artist’s characters is Sand Land, which adapts the Sand Land manga from 2000 into an open-world action game mixing Zelda-style exploration and adventure with vehicular combat.

Toriyama himself would work closely with Sand Land‘s developers to introduce several new components to the property not present in the original manga. One of these is the city of Spino, which players can build out and customize as part of the adventure, and another is the unique Forest Land – a brand-new area exclusive to Sand Land‘s video game adaptation. Toriyama’s large and impactful body of work has earned his creations millions of fans across the globe, and that’s something Sand Land‘s developers are trying to honor with the game adaptation of one of the creator’s lesser-known works.


How Closely the Sand Land Game Seems to Line Up with the Manga

The action RPG based on Sand Land is set to bring players into another of Akira Toriyama’s worlds, but it also differs from the original story.

Sand Land Is Intended to Be a Standalone Experience

Although the property features the unmistakable and iconic art style present in all of Akira Toriyama’s work, Sand Land is relatively unknown in comparison to the creator’s other IP. Not only were the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z manga and television series massively popular IP responsible for getting an entire generation of Western fans into anime, the games based on those properties continue to be massively successful and endear those characters to younger audiences just breaking into the IP for the first time. And, with even a cursory knowledge of the Dragon Ball story, players can find plenty to enjoy from the fighting game adaptations that the series has a penchant for.

One of the challenges with adapting Sand Land was always going to be honoring the legacy of the manga while making it approachable for new fans, taking an already established story and then making it interesting for those familiar with the property while accommodating newcomers. According to Sand Land producer Keishu Minami, the best way to address this situation was to make Sand Land its own standalone experience that puts enjoyable gameplay front and center.

…for Sand Land fans, they can experience Toriyama-sensei’s world through the gameplay, and those who don’t know Sand Land yet can enjoy the game itself because it has open-world actions, a rich body of content, vehicle customizations, and various actions. Even if they don’t know Sand Land, they can enjoy this as a simple open-world action RPG.

Further, Sand Land is intended to be less of an adaptation and more of a critical piece of bringing the Sand Land IP to a brand-new audience through a multimedia approach. The Sand Land animated series recently launched on Disney +, and there are plans to bring the property to life in an animated feature film as well. According to Minami, Sand Land “it has enough volume to be its own thing.” And, in addition to his creation of the original manga and helping to inspire the game’s exclusive areas, “Toriyama-sensei himself looked into the scenarios and vehicle designs” of Sand Land. Sand Land‘s gameplay should be the main draw for fans both old and new, but Toriyama’s influence makes it an unmissable chapter of the Sand Land saga.

sand land

Sand Land

Bandai Namco and ILCA’s Sand Land is an action RPG based on a shonen manga created by Akira Toriyama. On an unforgiving desert world, Beelzebub – a demon – is on a quest to find a legendary spring. Along with melee action, Sand Land focuses heavily on vehicular combat.

April 26, 2024


Action RPG

T For Teen Due To Fantasy Violence, Language