• Graphics
  • Sound
  • Playability
  • Lastability
FormatCommodore VIC 20
DeveloperMichael Kircher

Main review

Usually here at Oldschool Gaming, the reviews will have an opening paragraph or two where the storyline and basics of the game are described… but do we really need to do that when the game in question is a rendition of Sokoban? Okay, so for the people who have somehow managed to avoid the eleventy billion clones, remakes and tributes released for just about every imaginable platform, the player takes the titular role (the word “sokoban” translates to something along the lines of “warehouse keeper” in English) and must move stock around various irregularly-shaped warehouses to marked storage areas; objects can only be pushed and, if they end up against a wall, the odds are that the level will need to be restarted.

Of course, anyone who has ever actually worked in a warehouse of some kind is aware that Sokoban isn’t really that accurate a portrayal of a warehouse worker’s lot even if you remember that most of them can pull as well as push; usually the job is less about organising the stock optimally and more a case of trying to get orders onto a palette and out of the door on time; this distinction is probably why I can enjoy playing these games despite a previous order picking job still giving me nightmares to this day!


This implementation of Sokoban may be written in “good old” Commodore BASIC but it still manages to be a reasonable version of the game. Although it only requires an unexpanded VIC 20 to run, a giddying ninety warehouses have been included through the magic of multi loading – these challenging stages can either be played through in order or a specific stage selected from the title page.

The only issues are all cosmetic ones; the sound is merely a couple of spot effects depending on if the warehouse keeper is pushing something or not, the graphics are all in a single colour and during play there’s no status information and subsequently no on-screen indication of which level is currently being attempted, which makes so returning to a stage at a later date difficult unless the player is keeping notes during play.

Those ninety levels, which are credited to Sokoban‘s original designer Hiroyuki Imabayashi on the title page, may well be approaching three decades old they’re but still enjoyable and frustrating to tackle in equal parts and the load for each isn’t off-putting so as long as the below par graphics and sound can be overlooked, this is a reasonable version of what is still an exceptional puzzle game.