Sokoban Manual

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Introduction

This manual will describe the gameplay rules and features of Sokoban World. The basic premise is very easy to grasp. In each level there are an equal number of blocks and targets. Your goal is to push, but not pull, blocks onto all of them. It does not matter what blocks go onto the targets, but often position will dictate what must go where. It sounds like an easy enough task, but you will almost certainly find yourself stumped(repeatedly) as you figure out how to solve each of the harder levels. If you have really tried and are on the brink of frustration, I recommend you use the solve feature. This is available in the game menu and will playback a demo(spoiler!) that shows you one way to solve the level. Usually there will be an "Aha!" moment you were looking for that is revealed. At least you will see how the position is solved, but don't ruin all the challenge :) Now let's cover the basic concepts that will let you quickly check if a move will land you in trouble down the road. Usually you will want to apply these logic checks first, to quickly weed out bad paths.


Options

There are several options available and all of them are accessed through the in game menu(start button). Options are selected by moving the cursor to an option and pressing start again. Most options should be self explanatory, the only caveats involve Gfx and BGM. Both of these options can be changed from 1-5 indicating the different worlds. When you press start on one of these options it becomes the default until you quit the game. Both of the options have a star next to their number if it is the default for the particular map you are on. To turn the preferences off, simply select the default for the level you are on(or return to title) and they will follow the default layout according to the world henceforth. Music can be turned off entirely by pressing left until it says off.

Achievements

The game will keep track of your achievements as you play, hopefully giving incentive to master all the levels. On the level select menu, these will be represented as two symbols side by side next to the level name. A '-' indicates it has not been achieved and a '*' indicates it has. The left indicates the level has been completed and the right is whether the "par" has been met for it. You will be able see your statistics after you have solved a level and a given rating of "OK" or "GREAT!!" depending on your score. For a real challenge, see if you can match or beat all the CPU's solutions! To continue from where you left off, select continue from the main menu and you will be taken to the first unsolved level. I am not denying the existence of an "ending" BTW...consider yourself the most dedicated player if you manage to see it(without cheating!).

Tactics

There are a couple basic tactics you will want to understand if you wish to progress into the later stages.


Trapped Blocks

Sokoblocktrapped.png


When you push a block so that it touches a wall, it becomes tethered to it. Basically, it's dimensions of movements have been cut in half(think about it). It is possible to break the block free, but only if you can push it into a position where it becomes open to another dimension of movement. A tethered block does not necessarily spell defeat. If there is no way to free it, and its range of movement does not allow it to move onto a target, well...you're screwed unfortunately. Pushing a block into a corner always results in this. You'll want to remember this so you don't end up in that situation again. Use the retry option in the game menu.


Trap Doors

Sokotrapdoor.png


Trap doors are quite common, although their situations can be very different. Essentially it's any area that you must move a block into, but can't move the block back out the same direction(without trapping it). Before you even enter make sure you have to do it. If you are sure, you will need to be thinking ahead of how you will be able to loop back around the level. These situations can become extremely complex, especially when multiple orders of operation would be possible. For sokoban solving programs, small numbers of trap doors can cause it to be unsolvable even on a high end machine. Think high level.


Order Of Operations

When you have thought your position through, hopefully you have a pretty good idea of what blocks need to end up where. Usually that will only be half the battle however. If you keep trying small variations and repeatedly end up close to solving, you probably just need to investigate which order to make your moves. This is pretty tough to explain or make a diagram for. Your experience will grow as you play and you will be able identify these situations.


Game Controls

  • D-Pad - Move character
  • Start - Open game menu
  • R - Toggle double speed movement

SokEd

SokEd has been removed from the latest release of Sokoban World. Mostly because this was because it was just a novelty, took too much space, and had bugs I didn't care to fix in light of the previous reasons. If I ever decide to re-implement this, it will be an improved version in the form of a separate hex file. At that point I'd have to re-implement the level loading for custom levels, change the save structure to use more blocks,...in short don't hold your breath on this.

Demos

As previously mentioned, there is a demo solution for each level. The only detail you have to know here is that there is a fast forward feature. By pressing L/R you can decrease and increase the playback speed of the demo: 1x,2x,4x,8x. This is a handy feature on the larger levels having pretty long solutions.