Sokoban is a puzzle game in which the object is to move all the packing cases into the storage area. You can only move the packing cases by pushing them, and since they are large and heavy, you can only push them one at a time. Also, you cannot climb or jump over them. To succeed you must be very careful not to get cases into positions where they cannot be moved. For example, pushing a case into a corner or two cases adjacent to each other against a wall will ruin your game.

Slash'EM and the latest version of Nethack have an optional Sokoban branch. Since there is no way to start a level again if you mess it up, you are permitted to "cheat" in various ways, but this is bad for your luck.

Some other snippets about sokoban.

  • It was invented in 1982 by Thinking Rabbit Inc.
  • Sokoban is the Japanese word for warehouse keeper.
  • Solving sokoban positions automatically is a subtle AI problem.
  • There is a standard format for sokoban positions.
    • # denotes a wall in the maze
    • . is used for a goal and
    • $ is used for a crate.
    • @ is the man.
    • + is used for the man on a goal.
    • * is a crate that is stacked on a goal.

    Here's a position (created by Noether):

      ####
      #  #
    ###  ###
    #  .*  #
    # #**# #
    #   *@ #
    ##   ###
     #$# #
     #   #
     #####  
    
  • Creating Sokoban positions is a mixture of art and science. Why not have a go?

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