Sokoban is a type of transport puzzle, in which the player pushes boxes or crates around in a warehouse, trying to get them to storage locations. The puzzle is usually implemented as a video game. Sokoban was created in 1981 by Hiroyuki Imabayashi, and published in 1982 by Thinking Rabbit, a software house based in Takarazuka, Japan.
The game is played on a board of squares, where each square is a floor or a wall. Some floor squares contain boxes, and some floor squares are marked as storage locations. The player is confined to the board, and may move horizontally or vertically onto empty squares (never through walls or boxes).
Soko-Ban (DOS version)
The player can also move into a box, which pushes it into the square beyond. Boxes may not be pushed into other boxes or walls, and they cannot be pulled. The puzzle is solved when all boxes are at storage locations.
In 1988, Sokoban was published in US by Spectrum HoloByte for the Commodore 64, DOS and Apple II as Soko-Ban. A version for the BBC Micro called Robol was published by a third party in 1993. The game was a hit in Japan, and had sold over 400,000 units in that country by the time Spectrum HoloByte imported it to the United States. This version of the game includes 50 levels.
A 1988 review in Computer Gaming World praised the game for being 'pure and simple, very playable and mentally challenging', citing its addictive qualities. It was also reviewed in 1988 in Dragon #132 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in 'The Role of Computers' column. The reviewers gave the game 4½ out of 5 stars. Brian Wierda for Compute! said 'Soko-Ban may not be suited to the gung-ho action-adventure gamer, but if you're a puzzle solver, it's one of the best challenges you can find.' Paul Statt for InCider said 'once I got the tricks down – not just strategic tricks, but tactics such as using the arrow keys instead of the joystick – Soko-Ban became, if not easy, mindless. It simulates this type of work well – unfortunately, that's pretty weak praise for a game.'
Find digital download of this game on
This version of Soko-Ban was designed for personal computers with operating system MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System),
which was operating system developed by Microsoft in 1981. It was the most widely-used operating system in the first half of the 1990s. MS-DOS was supplied
with most of the IBM computers that purchased a license from Microsoft. After 1995, it was pushed out by a graphically more advanced system - Windows and
its development was ceased in 2000. At the
time of its greatest fame, several thousand games designed specifically for computers with this system were created. Today, its development is no longer continue
and for emulation the free DOSBox emulator is most often used. More information about MS-DOS operating system can be found
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for Soko-Ban. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Soko-Ban are summarized in the following table:
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