People have told me that once you’ve played one Sokoban game you’ve played them all, while I understand what they’re getting at, Sokobear: Cave proves that a decent theme, steady introduction of new mechanics and fun artwork are more than enough to bring a well-trodden subgenre to life. There’s a demo up on Steam, and we gave it a spin.
Sokobear: Cave‘s premise is incredibly simple (so much so that English-language monoglots can probably leave the game in Portuguese): You’re a bear and you and your worm friend are fresh hires at a local mine. Rather simply, all you have to do is roll some massive gemstones into the right spaces and then that’s it, you’re done with your workday.
Standard Sokoban sliding block rules apply, except that the gemstone will keep rolling until it hits an obstacle, this means that you’ll be pushing it from object to object, rather than space to space. Where it gets interesting is that right from the outset you can swing your pickaxe to break select obstacles, and that within only a few levels there’re new mechanics making their way into the mix; namely, rocks that shatter when hit with the gem, adding a new blocking obstacle to the level on the opposite side that the gem hit, more comes along soon after too.
It’s very interesting and well made, with my only complaint being that – at present – movement is a little on the slow side for a game that features a timer.
Something interesting I noticed though. Sokobear: Cave, out on 2nd of November, is actually the sequel to Bad Kid Games‘ Sokobear: Winter which was released back in October 2021. What’s interesting is that while the team have strafed genres previously, with Jigsaw elements in Miguelshroom, and platforming in Hollow Witch and Catarro, this is the first time they’ve returned to a game for a sequel… it’s also the start of a franchise, as Sokobear: Goo, Spring, Summer and Autumn also seem to be in the works and due for release throughout November.
Bad Kid Games are clearly chasing the 40 level, £3.99 pricepoint formula with this upcoming series, which could be a very clever move if they can pull Sokoban fans out of the woodwork in decent numbers.
Sokobear: Cave has a demo on Steam, when it launches it’ll be available for Windows PCs.