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Let’s Get Physical with Physics Games

By February 24, 2015No Comments

Robocraft is one of my favorite physics-based video games.

Don’t you love playing video games? Sure, we all do. But unlike most gamers, the games I like are the ones you can actually affect the world based on the properties of physics. Whether it involves blowing holes in walls or relying on complex balancing methods, physics can really take video games to a whole new level and transform a sandbox title into an instant classic.

I’m sure everyone has their own list of favorite games – and I’d love to read them in the comments below – but if you’re wondering what physics games are, here’s my own list of my favorites over the years:

Red Faction

One of the first games I encountered physics was Red Faction. While a lot of the game is a typical FPS, it also includes an awesome destructible environment. The game allowed players to literally blow holes through the map and in many occasions I did just that. I used rockets to burrow through walls and climb to higher locations where I could snipe. I also enjoyed creating trench traps for unsuspecting players who would fall victim to my dire deeds.

Red Faction wasn’t perfect though and it had a few design flaws that made no sense. At one point I was able to tunnel past a steel door only to realize the side tunnel I spent so much time building was now blocked off. This made for some interesting multiplayer action that left the levels feeling like Swiss cheese.

Soldiers: Heroes of World War II

Another favorite physics game of mine is Soldiers: Heroes of World War II. This game is a combination of an RTS with RPG elements but has a lot more to offer. Basically, all the stuff you wouldn’t expect to happen actually happens. Certain actions like firing a tank on uneven ground can cause the tank to roll down a hill. One time a random wheel fell out of the sky after an explosion and it killed one of my soldiers. Sometimes the vehicles you’re driving can be crashed through walls and houses – making it your own personal lawnmower.

Soldiers: Heroes of World War II really changed the way I planned attacks in other games and forced me to evaluate my strategy. And because it always offered a unique experience in every mission, it also prepared me for just about every situation. This game is now considered a classic but continues today under the Men of War series if you want to give it a try.


I’ve only recently started playing Robocraft and have found it to be one of my favorite physics games. This is a free-to-play game eerily similar to Minecraft. It lets you build a vehicle from scratch and use your imagination to build something awesome. Whether that’s a tank, car, aircraft or even walking robot is up to you. You can even build something that’s a combination of everything. This game is crazy amounts of fun and has led me to spend many hours adjusting designs and coming up with a variety of flying tanks, wall-crawling robots and even flying aircraft carriers to repair my teammates’ vehicles. And, thanks to the latest update, you can now build helicopters and mega sized robots which turn into boss battles for players on earlier tiers.

Robocraft also features a large variety of weapons platforms suited to every type of player. This includes lasers, railguns and melee weapons called Tesla Blades. Each unit is defined by its pieces and limited to tiers while the Robot CPU power is measured in pFlop’s. This type of creativity amazes me because these aren’t just art pieces, they’re complicated systems designed to solve problems – especially when your vehicle takes fire and breaks off into little pieces, leaving just a jet engine for you to limp home.


I haven’t even played it yet but Besiege will definitely be my next physics game. It’s similar to Robocraft but is set in a medieval world where you build siege weapons of mass destruction. The type of weapon depends on the map and can be used to attack everything from a windmill to an entire village. The weapon designs appear to be endless and a quick search on Imgur reveals amazing things: everything from the completely complex to the very simple looks awesome.

This game isn’t really for younger audiences because it features a large amount of  carnage. But if you’re in the mood for good ol’ explosions, you’ll quickly realize it’s another great example of a physics game limited only by your imagination.

Physics is Phun

Learning about physics in school can be boring but it’s actually fun once you start applying the principles. Don’t believe me? Try playing any of the games on this list and try not to have a blast. Better yet, tell me which games are better in the comments below.

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Author Dennis Kralik

A Newegg Insider contributor

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