Sokobond Review

An Elementary Science Puzzler

I really, really enjoy a well-done puzzle game. One that introduces interesting yet simple concepts, then builds on it slowly. Introducing new elements as the game progresses is essential, but in Sokobond it’s even more than that. A chemistry-themed adaptation of the old block-pusher style games, Sokobond tasks the player with connecting atoms scattered about the level into a single molecule. As you put each molecule together, you’re shown the name of the molecule you created, as well as some “random” fact about it — a miniature science lesson between each stage.

Sokobond opens up with a molecule most anyone will recognize: good old H2O. This simple, three-atom starter is the goal for the first few levels, helping introduce the goal and methods of the game. It’s not long before things get much more complex, from adding more atoms to the mix to adjusting the number of bonds between two atoms in order to balance it all together. Each new mechanic is, for the most part, introduced on its own, giving ample opportunity to grow accustomed to the how and why of it.

An early level showing off the tool represented by a red cross. This breaks bonds between atoms, reducing or removing them.

An early level showing off the tool, represented by a red cross on the right side of the field. This breaks bonds between atoms, reducing or removing them.

The creative approach combined with simple yet effective design alongside an entertaining dash of actual scientific knowledge makes Sokobond a unique and interesting experience. The puzzles are clever, challenging, and – though perhaps in a very rudimentary way – educational, and it all comes together very nicely. The aesthetic of it works very well with the theme, and a quiet soothing background sound ties in nicely. It’s a pleasant experience, even when the challenge rises and the difficulty stops further progress.

The success screen from the above puzzle, showing the handy fact about the molecule you've put together.

The success screen from the above puzzle, showing the handy fact about the molecule you’ve put together.

All in all, in case you haven’t noticed, I really enjoyed Sokobond. Through and through, it’s a well-made experience, and a joy to play. I would certainly recommend it for puzzle fans of any level of interest or skill, and could even see a place for it in elementary or junior high science classes as a fun, engaging way to reinforce some basic concepts. Since ‘back’ and ‘restart’ functions let players win by trial and error on the fly, it’s open for anyone to pick up and learn with time. For $9.99 via Steam ($7.99 on sale as I write this), it’s asking a fair price for the number – and creativity – of its puzzles, and is something I’ll come back to and likely introduce my kids to.

Final Breakdown

[+Interesting, challenging puzzles] [+Smooth, appealing aesthetic] [+Responsive, forgiving controls] [+Cool science theme and information]

Superb Review Score

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