Another Sunday means another episode of 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, the (hopefully) weekly series where I play through all of the games listed in the book - 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. If I played the game before, then I will share my memory of the experience. If I haven't played the game before, then I find an online version or an emulator and I play the game (for at least 30 minutes). This is a book every gamer should have in their library, and if you're interested in purchasing it, you can find it here.

Last week was Xevious, a delightful but challenging game that some of you have played before and others (like me) had never heard of it. Speaking of obscure games few have heard of, check out this week's featured game - a Japanese puzzle game titled Sokoban.


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). 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. (Source: Wikipedia)

Sokoban, which translates to warehouse keeper in Japanese, is a highly addictive and challenging puzzle game. It is one of the few games from this book that I've played or replayed for any length of time and thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't think I've played it or even heard of it before, but I have played games very similar to it. Apparently it was a fairly obscure title, so there aren't a lot of cameo appearances or interesting facts to go along with it. The element the reviewer mentioned in the book is how some puzzles are easy and can be accomplished in seconds, while some of the more complex puzzles can take days (and years) to finish.I can't imagine working on a level for a year...for any game.

Sokoban sort of reminds me of that little golf tee peg board game they have on the tables at Cracker Barrel. Your goal is to eliminate the most pegs as possible, but the challenge is coming up with a strategy to eliminate all of them but one. In this game, you don't lose pieces, but you do have to carefully coordinate your movements or you won't be able to make any more moves. It's also quite challenging to see if you can complete it in the fewest moves possible.

I played the game for longer than my self-imposed 30 minutes of playtime and passed a number of the levels. I thought it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. Of course if you are interested in trying it out yourself, you can find it in a number of different places, but I played it here. Try it least one or two rounds. See what you think.

So, mission accomplished. I've scratched Sokoban off the list of 1,001 games I have to play before I die. It's a great little game. I'm kind of surprised to see it on this list, but whatever...its there, and I've played it now. Next week is a very popular game from the arcade era that even spawned one of the earlies video game / movie crossovers. I've played it, and maybe you have to. Check back next week to see if you know what it is. Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week.


Previous Episodes:

Episode 1: 01 - 05 (here)

Episode 2: 06 - 10 (here)

Episode 3: 11 - 15 (here)

Episode 4: 16 - 20 (here)

Episode 5: 21 - 25 (here)

Episode 6: 26 - 30 (here)

Episode 7: 31 - 35 (here)

Episode 8: 36 - 40 (here)

Episode 41 (here)

Episode 42 (here)

Episode 43 (here)