Do you know Sokoban? Even if you’re not aware of the 1982 original, you’ve probably seen it as a minigame somewhere. It’s a single-player, grid-based puzzle where you push boxes or boulders or into marked locations. Mess it up, and you’ll block off your path and render the level impossible.
But while Sokoban-style games have since become a genre in their own right, it’s taken the last 36 years to realise what the formula was missing: electronic music. And Resynth is here to redress the balance.
You see, each of Resynth’s grid-based puzzles is also a musical loop, waiting to be unlocked. All of the components – the ‘boulders’, the ‘holes’ and more – are also synth notes and drum beats.
As you make your way through the level, flicking switches and pushing boulders into their homes, you’re also activating those sounds – bringing the level to life in a chorus of resonant synth tones and punchy drum machine hits.
It’s a simple twist to the Sokoban formula, but it makes a big difference to the moment-to-moment gameplay. There’s real satisfaction in hearing the game’s loops gradually take form, burnishing the Sokoban experience with welcome life and energy.
But however much you want to charge through like a mad dancer in an implausibly Sokoban-themed nightclub, this is still a pure puzzle game, with no rhythm-action or real-time elements. Resynth’s early levels are straightforward, but they soon enter true head-scratcher territory.
Of course, that’s what you want from a puzzler. But it means your final enjoyment of the game will come down to how much you like Sokoban – and how good you are at it.
This was my ultimate sticking point. I like Sokoban, but I don’t love it. I’m super into electronic music, synthesisers and drum machines – but after a few hours, I’d simply reached my natural limit. Make no mistake: this can be a fiendishly hard game.
That said, Resynth is without question the most exciting Sokoban game I’ve ever played. If you’re already a fan of the block-pushing puzzler, you’re in for a delightful musical treat.
And for those sitting on the Soko-fence, there’s still a lot to recommend. Beyond the satisfying puzzles, the game has a strong “fiddling with musical toys” appeal – and a level editor that unlocks deeper creative possibilities.
Of course, none of this matters if you can’t stand Sokoban (or electronic music). But otherwise, Resynth’s sub-fiver price makes it well worth a place on your puzzle gaming shelf.