|(Click to Enlarge)|
Who doesn't remember playing Sokoban on the computer way back when? I remember playing countless levels and never get bored. The concept was very creative and made the game extremely addictive. Because I have so many fond memories of the game, I couldn't resist in getting a copy of ThinkFun's Treasure Quest, and finally play the game for real with physical tokens instead of virtual ones.
The game was designed by Harry Nelson - I don't want to say 'invented' because the concept already existed - and the 40 included challenges were created by Serhiy Grabarchuk Jr., Hiroshi Yamamoto and also the designer himself. The game isn't an exact replica of Sokoban, so there's merit of the designer in creating something different while still honoring the original.
(Click to Enlarge) - Beginner Challenge (Start and End Positions)
The theme for one, is different between the two games. While the Sokoban had you reorganizing and replacing crates in different spots, in a warehouse setting, the Treasure Quest puts you in the shoes of an Indiana Jones-type character where the goal is to collect gold masks. In the Sokoban game, the crates never left the game area - the goal was to simply replace them neatly together in another part of the 'warehouse'. On the Treasure Quest, you not only have to remove the gold masks from the game board - using only one exit - but you need to worry about another rule, the arrow tokens. The arrow tokens can only be moved in the direction they're pointing, so you need to think twice about your moves before executing them. Another interesting difference between the two games is the layout. On the Sokoban, every puzzle had basically a different layout, but the Treasure Quest uses the same 7x7 game grid. Only the arrangement of the tokens change from puzzle to puzzle.
(Click to Enlarge) - Advanced Challenge (Start and End Positions)
There are a few other things to keep in mind while you attempt to solve any of the 40 challenges: You can't jump over other tokens; Your character can only slide around a token and move one at a time; The green blocking tokens cannot be moved; If a gold mask gets stuck in a corner you're the one getting stuck and you need to reset the game board and start again.
The difficulty of the game slowly progresses through the four different levels, from Beginner to Expert, but even the Expert levels aren't that challenging, perhaps because I already knew the concept, but some of them can take a few minutes to figure out, and I needed to reset the board a few times. Thinking a few moves ahead will prevent a lot of resets, though.
(Click to Enlarge) - Expert Challenge (Start and End Positions)
The Treasure Quest is a great puzzle game, especially if you were (or still are) a fan of Sokoban-style games. My only gripe with it is the small number of available challenges, only 40. The Sokoban had hundreds of them. Unfortunately, this is not an exclusive problem of the game, but actually by ThinkFun themselves, since most of their multiple-challenge games suffer from the same problem. It wouldn't be asking much for at least 100 challenges included in each game.