Sokobond

Common Sense Media says

Clever game elegantly fuses puzzles with chemistry.

Age(i)

2
3
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5
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8
9
10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There is no narrative or message in the game.

Positive role models

There are no characters.

Ease of play

Like most good puzzle games, Sokobond starts off easy, focusing on the familiar water molecule, H2O. This gives players a chance to focus on learning controls rather than on molecular patterns, so they can figure out unfamiliar molecules (as in, new patterns) later on.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sokobond is a casual puzzle game wherein players push an atom around a grid map, connecting to other atoms and forming molecules. It's elegantly and beautifully designed, highly engaging, and challenging with light and interesting -- but not significant -- connections to actual chemistry. As it's an abstract puzzle game, there's no objectionable content, and accessibility relies mainly on whether kids are up to the game's challenge or not.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • chemistry

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Sokobond is very engaging, giving players a minimal, beautiful interface that's easy to grasp. The puzzles ramp up in difficulty nicely, enticing players to push their thinking just a bit further with each level.

Learning Approach

The game isn't meant to teach chemistry, but the arrangement of atoms (with varying positive and negative charges) into different molecules is modeled after real molecules.

Support

Although the first few levels are deliberately easy, there are no built-in hints for later levels. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • chemistry

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles

Sokobond may look like a chemistry game, but it wasn't created to teach science. Still, kids can learn how specific molecules, such as H2O, are configured, and they could be motivated to dig into actual chemistry. Kids also will learn logical and methodical habits of mind as they work through and solve puzzles. In Sokobond, kids only scratch the surface of chemistry, but they'll exercise thinking skills that translate to science classrooms and beyond.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mark Chen

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What's it about?

SOKOBOND is essentially a new take on a puzzle genre most associated with a classic game called Sokoban. In these games -- sometimes referred to as "transport puzzles" -- players must slide blocks around on a grid to make a clear path to the level's exit. Sokobond's twist is that players manuever atoms instead of blocks, connecting them to form molecules based on real molecules. When a molecule gets formed, players get a surprisingly rewarding musical diddy, a nice animation, and a bit of chemistry trivia associated with the molecule that was just formed. It's a light, fun game, and the clean presentation style, simple color scheme, and mechanics are perfectly designed. The music is especially delightful, lending a gleeful sense of accomplishment and joy to the end of each level. Also, with each completed level, players move on to increasingly complex challenges.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Sokobond is a pleasure to play, likely to have players grinning gleefuly and crinkling brows contemplatively in equal measure. There's an effortless perfection in its clean presentation style and clever mechanics, which breathe new life into a familiar genre through the lens of chemistry. That said, although the developers drew inspiration from the constraints that particular atoms provide, Sokobond doesn't attempt to accurately model chemistry. Players will, however, gain exposure to molecules and get little chemistry tidbits here and there. By nature of its tricky and addictive puzzles, Sokobond also gets players exercising logical reasoning and lateral thinking and loving every minute of it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can explore how closely Sokobond models how molecules actual work.

  • Families can discuss the Sokoban genre of puzzle games. Are there other games you've played that have similar mechanics? How do you see the real world modeling the block-pushing puzzle genre?

Game details

Platforms:Linux, Mac, Windows
Price:$10
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Alan Hazelden and Harry Lee
Release date:August 27, 2013
Genre:Puzzle
Topics:Science and nature

This review of Sokobond was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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