Game Review

Sokomania 2: Cool Job Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Lee Meyer


Cinemax's 2010 DSiWare puzzler Sokomania received a disappointing 3/10 in our review, due to its cheap presentation, lack of content and absence of variety. Unfortunately, Sokomania 2: Cool Job, while sporting a little more personality and improved visuals than its predecessor, doesn't improve upon the one-note gameplay and feels just as empty an experience.

"Sokomania" is a play on the word "Sokoban," but players unfamiliar with Sokoban puzzles needn't be intimidated, as anyone who has played video games has likely encountered a Sokoban puzzle in some form or another without realizing it. Sokoban involves moving crates to the correct targets by pushing them, tile by tile. Games like Adventures of Lolo and the WiiWare horror puzzler LIT are variations on the puzzle, and series like The Legend of Zelda have incorporated crate-moving riddles as well. But where these titles use the Sokoban format in clever ways, Sokomania 2 feels like a template that has barely been customised.

In Sokomania 2, players are dropped into the role of a factory worker who has to move around crates and manipulate switches, conveyor belts and other contraptions to get crates to the designated target. The levels start out very simply, with some requiring little to no thought whatsoever, and gradually ramp up, with levels that introduce crates that will travel across the stage when pushed once, levels that start with crates already moving and levels in which one wrong move will force the player to start over. The puzzle design is competent, with no broken solutions, but there's also nothing that will prompt an "ah-ha!" moment. Everything feels very routine, formulaic and dull.

The action takes place on the top screen, while the bottom screen functions as an overhead, zoomed-out map of the stage, which can be helpful in larger stages. There is limited camera movement via the stylus, but it's not very useful, and most players will be able to solve each puzzle by looking at the bottom screen. There is an undo button that players will definitely use, and the bottom screen tracks steps and pushes. There are no online leaderboards, but a code can be generated to upload statistics onto the developer's website.

While the game's art shows a hint of whimsy, the in-game graphics fail to follow through. Visually, Sokomania 2 is a step up from its incredibly primitive predecessor, but the drab factory setting allows for a limited colour palette and no environmental variety. The title screen also seems to be its sole piece of art, and the factory worker is little more than a tiny sprite. The sound effects and music may as well be turned off entirely, because neither makes any kind of impression.


Sokomania 2: Cool Job is a competent, playable little puzzler that, at its low price point, could provide the player with a few minutes of diversion. However, the lack of variety, originality and "hook" to distinguish it from superior titles holds it back from earning a recommendation. Skip this one unless you've exhausted all your other options.

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User Comments (16)



SleepyCrossing said:

Well, that looks unappealing on all levels possible, according to this review I'm just shocked there are dsiware games coming out



Obito_Sigma said:

@leemeyer26 It seemed as if you guys picked straws and you had the shortest straw, so you grabbed $2 out of your pocket and make a quick review. Nice review, nonetheless! Certainly enjoyable!



noctowl said:

Companies putting out dsiWare games seem to be as relevant as putting out N64 games. It's mind boggling.



ToastyYogurt said:

@noctowl Doesn't mean DSiWare isn't worth buying and playing on a 3DS. Not everybody buys only games they intended to buy before buying the system.



Einherjar said:

@noctowl So, according to your logic, Pokemon Black and White should have been massive failures, since they were released DS games, while the 3DS had clearly kicked off. People didnt get a 3DS to play DS games right ?

Every good game is relevant, whatever system it is released on. Ever heard of Pier Solar ? That thing was made for the Sega Genesis of all things, and people bought it.



memoryman3 said:

Cinemax clearly had to focus on where the consumer is, so they decide to captilse on the MASSIVE 200 million pontential sales. Making a next-gen version isn't free, and isn't worth the risk considering most of the fanbase hasn't upgraded yet.



World said:

I actually really liked this game, but I'd probably give it maybe a 6 or something on Nintendo Life's scale. If you're like me and only got into sokoban recently, I'm sure you'll like it. If you hate sokoban, you won't!

If you're already a sokoban expert, though, I don't know! There aren't that many games like this on the eShop, so it might be worth it for portable box-pushing?



Obito_Sigma said:

@brewsky They get free copies? How does that work? Are the companies forced to give a copy of their games to reviewers for purposes of reviewers? Does Nintendo Life get rights to receive a free copy of every new Eshop games and if they don't review it, then they'll get a fine? I'm just curious on how this works.



Yoshi said:

@Obito_Tennyson Let me explain everything.

First, Nintendo Life is by no means required to review every game. However, their goal is to review ever game released on a Nintendo platform. They are not required to, though.

Second, developers and publishers are by no means required to give a free copy of their game to reviewers. It is entirely their discretion if they wish to provide a reviewer with a free copy.

Now that we have that established, let me elaborate further. I bet you're wondering, "Why do developers and publishers hand out a free game when it's going to be reviewed anyways?" Great question! Generally, big name publishers hand out free games to generate publicity. In addition to that, the game usually is reviewed before it is released to the public, creating even more publicity. If a free copy is not provided, then the review has to wait until it is released to the public.

Now you're wondering, "Why would they provide a free copy of this game if they didn't have to?" To which I answer, I have no idea.

And lastly you're wondering, "How did you know they provided a free game?" It's quite simple. Do you see the rating for the game? Directly below that it says Scoring Policy. If someone provided a free game, it'll say so directly below Scoring Policy.

Any more questions?

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