Judging from the name of this game, you would be forgiven for thinking that SokoBlast is just another Sokoban game. But you would be wrong! There is so much more to SokoBlast than just the standard push-blocks-into-position concept. SokoBlast has taken the basic idea, but adds a few twists and surprises of its own.
What is so different about SokoBlast? Well, for a start, you have to find your way to the exit, which is represented by a square with a silver padlock. But the padlock will not open until you have collected every single gold bar on the screen. Collecting these gold bars is the hard part! Some bars are easy to get to, and will give you no problems at all. Some bars are protected by a small gap, and you have to push blocks which are in plain sight in order to reach them. Still not a problem, you might think. But things can get a LOT trickier than that. Gold bars can also be protected by a locked door, and you must find a key in order to unlock the door. Many areas are blocked by a coloured ... block, and different colours are dealt with in different ways.
So how do you get past the different colour blocks? Purple blocks are my favourite. replique montre suisse You cannot just push them out of the way, so you need to use dynamite sticks to blast them (hence the name SokoBlast - hehe). Dynamite sticks are scattered around, if you need them in that particular level - you just have to find a way to reach them. Blue blocks are activated simply by walking over a blue switch. Yellow blocks are turned off by placing a block on top of a yellow switch. There are other coloured blocks as well, but I will let you figure those out for yourself.
Sokoblast is a fun little game made by Hellbound in 2004, and is controlled by the keyboard. There is a short tutorial to begin with, just to show you basics of the game, then the game begins properly. You control a cute little guy with big eyes and blue hair. Use Arrow Keys to move your little character around the screen, press 'X' to throw your boomerang, and press 'Space Bar' to drop a stick of dynamite (if you are carrying one). Pressing 'Escape' brings you to the Main Menu, where you can Save or Load a game, start a New Game, or Quit. I highly recommend you Save your progress at the start of each level. You get infinite lives in this game - if you fail the first time, you can try again as many times as it takes. But there is no option to undo your move, or even to restart that level. If you make a mistake, you can easily find yourself trapped, with no way to escape.
As I said earlier, you have to make your way to the exit by collecting all the gold bars. But things are not always that simple. Each level is like a labyrinth, which is made even trickier with the fact that you can only carry one item at a time. You have to figure out the correct order in which to do things - should you pick up that key first, or get the dynamite to blast a block out the way. A lot of trial and error is involved, and you will sometimes be pulling your hair out in frustration (hehe).
The game is quite short - only 27 levels, and the backgrounds change on Levels 12 & 23. First and third sections have nice, plain backgrounds, which compliment the game nicely. But the middle section has quite a ghastly blue & white chequered background which hurts the eyes. Your score, the item you are holding (if any), and the level you are currently playing are shown at top of the screen. Your character's reflection is shown below her as she walks, which I thought was a nice touch. Don't be fooled by the colourful graphics though. Sometimes, moveable blocks are hard to spot, and you have to search VERY carefully before you can find them.
MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS
SokoBlast has some nice music, which doesn't overwhelm the game, but it is quite quiet and hard to hear. There are a lot of sound effects, which makes the game so much fun to play. You can hear a nice 'pop' as you collect gold blocks. You can also hear a sort of grating sound when you push block around, as though the blocks are really heavy and hard to push. There is a lovely explosion when dynamite explodes, as well as creaking when the Exit door is opened.
SokoBlast is a fun little puzzle game that is not as easy as it first appears. It takes the basic Sokoban idea, and refreshes it by adding some new twists. Levels are well designed, with no time limits, so you can take your time to work out all the puzzles. You are given infinite lives to complete each level, so it doesn't matter how many times you try. However, there is no 'Undo' button, which I was a little disappointed with. If you make a mistake (for example, accidentally dropping dynamite in the wrong place), then you may not be able to complete the level. But as long as you save your game at the start of each level, this shouldn't be much of a problem. The trick is, learning which order to do things! It's easy to control your character, and I really like the added tricks of using dynamite and boomerangs. Graphics are cute, and you can even see your character's shadow! There is a lot of sound effects, which compliments the game nicely. It's just a pity that the game only has 27 levels, but you can't have everything. All in all, a lovely game which I enjoyed playing.
Review by: Frodo