Blockoban


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Rating: 4.3/5 (53 votes)
| Comments (25) | Views (90)

PatrickBlockobanBlockoban is the latest from JP (pepere.org), who has just launched a new website that features user-created content, called Bonus Level, along with fellow game designers, Wouter and Tonypa. With names like that attached you can expect high quality, and Blockoban delivers. It's a game where you slide blocks around and try to match their colors to specific spaces. That simple mechanic is fleshed out with challenging level designs and high quality production values, delivering an experience that will keep you hooked.

Simply click on one of the blocks, and then click in the direction you want it to move. A striped rectangle will pulse out of the respective side, like a cardinal gel—a nice touch. When you click, the block slides in that direction until stopped. Located on the board are dots that fit neatly into the donut hole in the center of the movable blocks. Your goal is to move all blocks onto the dots of the same color. Easier said than done—solutions often require tricky uses of a one block as support for another; in a way that allows all of them to settle on their final resting place.

Analysis: Puzzle fans, particularly people who enjoy Sokoban variants, will get a kick out of Blockoban. Those of us less familiar with block-moving mechanics may be put off by the difficulty. A puzzle can persist like a knot, teasing with its apparent lack of an out, and then suddenly something that seems obvious, yet hidden, presents itself and you solve the level. A major strike against it is that levels can only be unlocked serially, so the more casual player cannot sample the content and skip puzzles that seem too difficult. Another strike, and this is a general sin, is the inability to turn off the audio, which while loaded with 70s disco charm, isn't something you'd want forced on you. Fortunately, the level editor is easy to use, allowing you to contribute to the game in the same session length that you'd devote to playing it.

Slide those blocks around like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, when he's wearing socks and there's the music, you know? It's like that.

Play Blockoban

25 Comments

You can turn off the audio, but only in the intro screen, unfortunately. (You can go back there at any time by clicking on "Stop," but you will lose any progress you've made on a certain level.)

I'm currently on level 10, it looks fairly easy, though.

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The text link doesn't work.

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Oops. Thanks, Evan! :)

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OrigamiMarie Author Profile Page April 27, 2008 10:20 PM

Kind of a neat game, and I am finding it easier to solve than the most standard Sokoban. However, when I hit the save&next button after level I-can't-remember, it seemed to go into an infinite waiting loop. I got tired of that after about 30 seconds, and figuring that the button had not been lying about the save after each round, I reloaded the page (since the whole game freezes up during that waiting stage). No dice. I am back to level 1, the others are locked, and I don't think I'll bother playing more.

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I've done Sokoban puzzles before and thought I was pretty good at them, but I'm stumped by the first level of this. I always have one left out however I try it. Grr.

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Bug: At one point, I tried to move a block, and the board disappeared. I was stuck in move-block mode, but it wouldn't let me move it anywhere. And the buttons at the bottom didn't do anything.

I don't have any steps to reproduce; sorry.

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Thx for the review Patrick and JIG team.
And thanks to the authors of these comments, there are very useful!

Peter Hosey, your feedback is itneresting, if you can give me more info, you can use the contact email on bonuslevel.org homepage.

OrigamiMarie, it was a server failure, I have to manage this in a better way. What is more surprising is that you lost your progression, it should be saved. Please contact me also using the contact email on BL homepage.

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Difficulty curve's too shallow for me - got bored before reaching a level requiring actual thought.

Also, it crashed just after I completed "Slim". Remained stuck indefinitely on the 'Wait' animation.

Those grumbles aside, the game looks like it has potential.

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Anyone annoyed by the music on this game or any other game should use Flash Mute http://www.indev.no/?p=projects#FlashMute It basically just disables all Flash sound, so is good if you want to listen to music while on Flash games.

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A nice one. I like puzzle type games and it's one I can enjoy.

Btw., is it only me, or does the game really not tell you that tiles that have that distinctive marking in the corner will move synchronized when you move one of them? It's level 4, I guess. Not a big issue, though, but I just thought it might be good if you know about a rule before you experience it :)

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I got level and feel like an idiot. Once I got three into place, I just looked at the board as if it was a single-block puzzle and then it was a no-brainer. I'm on level 5 or 6 now.

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Same as the others... Endless "Wait" loop after beating the Slim level.

None of these levels were really difficult. The Math one gave me the most problems before I realized moving the edge row was stupid. :P

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OrigamiMarie Author Profile Page April 28, 2008 8:56 PM

Okay, that's the trouble. If you have an account with bonuslevel.org, your saves persist across sessions and it doesn't blow up after level Slim. That's not a very good advertisement for the website; if there is going to be a restriction like that it should be plain that you are being blocked for not being a member, otherwise people will think the game is buggy and likely not sign up with the website at all.

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Thx a lot I wasn't aware of this bug after the slim level for non regsitered member. I will look at this as soon as possible!

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You *can* mute the music, but you have to see the mute button on the loading screen before you bring up the menu. The mute button should get a more prominent spot.

It's a cool variant on traditional Sokoban games, but it would be nice if it saved your progress in a cookie even if you aren't a member of the site. I accidentally clicked on the link to the game while it was still open, and my progress got reset. :(

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I'm terribly sorry for this bug.
The game was designed to save your level progression even if you are not a member.

It's now corrected.

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hespetre April 29, 2008 5:13 PM

Still doesn't save my progress.
Fun game, but this is annoying.

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pigmonkey May 1, 2008 1:08 AM

Saving is working for me now. You may have to clear your cache or force a reload on the page.

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hespetre May 1, 2008 12:39 PM

Clearing the cache did the trick! Thanks.

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I am stuck on just 2 levels... Shooting Star - and Man... Has anyone completed these? If so - do you have any tips?? I have 83 of 85 finished, and it's going to kill me if I can't get them all!

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Me again - I just figured out Shooting Star!! I wasn't paying enough attention to see that there are a couple blocks which aren't controlled by the middle pieces. From there, it was actually pretty easy. NOW, level "Man" is a nightmare. I have no clue on this one. I can get down to 1 piece out of place, but can't do it. ARGH!

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Anonymous June 18, 2008 2:09 PM

Great game, though I think the categorization is off. Some of the "hard" puzzles are just tedious, and I at least found some of the earlier ones much more difficult.

Also, I like the ability to request/offer hints in the game, though I found one (on Pac Man) misleading.

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Cucumber Jones August 5, 2008 3:15 PM

How do you beat level 26? It's the first one that's really stumped me. There's been 4 or 5 that I got stuck on and had to think about, then I got through it. But this one, I have no idea. Any help?

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Anybody have any hints on the level "Maize"? I couldn't solve it when I played this months ago, and I'm still clueless now.

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Does anyone know how to beat level 33 I am stuck on this level

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