A sliding puzzle for the 21st century generation.
What is the Sokoban Puzzle
Actually, Sokoban was invented in Japan in 1981 and it’s puzzle video game. Remember that at the time video games were still in their infancy and they borrowed a lot of ideas from traditional games, in this case the sliding puzzles.
The term Sokoban is derived from the Japanese word for warehouse worker. You play as the warehouse employee and your job is to move crates to their designated place. Some of the squares on the screen represent the floor, while others form walls which restrict your movements. To solve the puzzle you must create paths to slide a crate to a designated space. Keep in mind that you can only push the crates, but not pull them. There are usually several crates to maneuver so you must pay attention to those as well and make sure you don’t push any of it against a wall in a position from which you won’t be able to move it later on.
The good thing about video games is that you can start all over again as many times you want and learn from your mistakes.
Sokoban Puzzle Variations
The release of the first Sokoban puzzle was a huge success in Japan, so over the following years many variants were released. The 1982 Sokoban version featured walls you could destroy to clear a path. Another version, Hexoban is played on a hexagonal grid, rather than a square one. Multiban implemented multiple characters, so you decide who does what. Sokomind Plus introduced new restrictions – each crate has a number on it and must be placed on the empty corresponding slot.
Later versions allow the character on the screen to also pull a crate, or to use such features as holes, teleports an one-way passages.
The idea behind Sokoban has been incorporated in numerous computer games, which sometimes complicate the situation for the player by adding ice patches or holes in which the character might fall and die. However, he can sometimes use the same box or crate to cover a hole so he can move around safely.