By Mike Wallinga and Adam Karneboge
Author: Ingemar Ragnemalm
Mike: Ingemar Ragnemalm is a pretty great guy when it comes to helping the Macintosh shareware community. He’s authored several popular Mac games, such as Ingermar’s Skiing Game and Bachman, and has also released what has become an essential tool for countless Mac shareware authors, Ingemar’s Sprite Animation Toolkit. With MacSokoban, Mr. Ragnemalm has done strategy and puzzle game lovers another favor. He has written an excellent port of the Unix-based classic, and released it as freeware.
Adam: Hats off to Mr. Ragnemalm on another fine freeware game!
In MacSokoban, the object is very simple, to push strategically-placed bags of money through a “warehouse” to their proper resting place on crates. Now, this doesn’t sound very difficult, does it? Well, it is! You see, you can only push one bag of money at a time, meaning the path ahead has to be clear, and you have to have at least one space behind you to get behind the bag of money to push it! This means that you have to find your way through the maze, going around different bags of money, in order not to trap them in a corner.
Mike: As with any of the best puzzle games around, MacSokoban is not very complex. In fact, the beauty of the challenge lies in its simplicity. You’re cast as a worker in a warehouse, who has to clean up the warehouse. There are many boxes strewn about the warehouse floor, and you have to push them to their proper places. Actually, Mr. Ragnemalm has changed the original boxes into large bags of money, giving you a little more incentive to want to push them around.
The catch? First off, in your way are walls and other obstacles. (I think the architect of this warehouse should be shot!) Secondly, and more importantly, you can only push the moneybags, and even then only at right angles – you can’t lift them, pull them, or push them in a curve. This creates quite a challenge in maneuvering the bags properly. Here’s a hint: never, ever, push a money bag into a corner.
Adam: If you do happen to trap a bag of money in a corner, there’s no way to get it out. That’s where the handy undo feature comes in. Going under the “Edit” menu to “undo” will undo your last move, and it will undo all the way to the start if you select “undo” that many times. Although there’s no penalty to undo a move, there is a penalty for moving to many times. That’s why you want to also find the shortest way around the maze. The fewer moves you have, the higher your score.
Mike: The graphics are crisp, the sound effects are well-done, the controls are simple and user-definable, and the interface works fine. The game comes with fifty levels, and instructions on how to make your own using any word processor. The first few levels are fairly easy, but get increasingly more challenging as you go along.
Adam: One of the few options in this game is a nifty little statistics window, which tells you how many pushes and moves you have, so you can keep track. And, if you find a shorter way, you can always undo, so once you find your way around the maze, it’s a cinch!
You can move your guy around with the mouse, or with a configurable key combination. Once you have completed a level, you can start at any level up to what you have completed. There is also a “Players” menu, which allows you to have multiple players, and MacSokoban remembers what level you are at when you resume your player.
Mike: MacSokoban is not high on bells and whistles, but it doesn’t need to be, and in my opinion shouldn’t be. There’s not a whole lot to say about this game, but the bottom line is this: if you like puzzles and want a challenge, check out MacSokoban. It’s well-done and requires a good deal of thought. It’s got all you can ask for in a puzzle game.
Adam: What a neat little game! A simple concept, that makes you think hard. MacSokoban leaves a small footprint on your hard drive, weighing in at only 255k, and it only uses 500k of RAM. Great for older Macs. If you download MacSokoban, be ready to think!
MacSokoban is available at the My Mac Software Library (https://www.mymac.com/software) in the Games section. MacSokoban is freeware, but for a $15 fee, you can order Mr. Ragnemalm’s “Shareware Pack 1,” which consists of MacSokoban, Bachman, Slime Invaders, and more!
Download MacSokoban 3.0.2