Sokobond review

Sokobond

Breaking Bad may have finished, but if you’re searching for more chemistry-themed entertainment then you could do worse than Sokobond. This PC title presents a molecule-constructing twist on classic block-pushing puzzles in general and Sokoban, the Japanese puzzler from which it gets its name, in particular.

Recalling the atom diagrams we had to painstakingly draw in chemistry classes, Sokobond’s molecular theme helps make its abstractions easier to grasp. You’re not just moving a blue block so it’s positioned between two red blocks, but sliding an atom of Oxygen with two gaps for potential atomic bonds between two Hydrogen atoms, which each have a single electron to spare. The result? A single molecule of water and a completed puzzle.

You always control a single atom, and the block-pushing heritage can be seen in the way you use it to nudge or tug other atoms around Sokobond’s small puzzle chambers before slipping into place to form a molecular chain. There’s an elegance in this combination of block and block pusher, from its minimalist, colour-coded visuals to its equally simple musical chimes. Each atom has an associated note, so each completed molecule plays a short tune.

Sokobond introduces complexity via level furniture that breaks bonds or lets you adjust the position of bonded atoms, but even the basic chambers provide ingenious challenges. Forget chemistry: it takes alchemy to produce a puzzle game as refined and smart as this.

Sokobond is out now on PC.