Patrick’s Parabox May Be the One of the Best Sokoban Game
Image via Patrick Traynor

Patrick’s Parabox May Be the One of the Best Sokoban Game

Sokoban became a puzzle game genre back in the 1980s, when the title about moving boxes around a space to complete objectives appeared PCs in Japan. Since then, we’ve seen different sorts of variants, like Chip’s Challenge or Baba is You. With Patrick’s Parabox, we get a box-pushing game where there’s more than meets the eye, like Baba is You, but maintains the traditional type of gameplay we’d see in more straightforward games of this type.

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In Patrick’s Parabox, players always control an anthropomorphic box. Your goal is to get the inanimate boxes in a stage to specific positions, while getting yourself to the “goal” box with two eyes. The concept is straightforward and is about spatial awareness. The fact that there are these distinctive markings where other boxes must rest even resemble the original Sokoban. Back then, you were making certain specific points were covered too.

The gimmick here is that you, and the blocks you push, can sometimes go inside other blocks that house additional spaces. As such, a puzzle that might seem impossible works, because you (and another block perhaps) hop inside of a block and perform additional movements and actions within to get into proper positions. But it’s once you start to get comfortable that the game starts really getting challenging, and I can’t get over how thought provoking and satisfying it all is.

Because initially, Patrick’s Parabox starts small. You’ll push a box into a position. You push your block inside of another box, so you can get to it from a different angle and into its position in the main stage. Soon, you’re pushing other blocks into the blocks with you. Eventually, you’re in puzzles where you’ll see your avatar appear at the outskirts of the puzzle when you move. You’ll be inside and outside of the same puzzle as it happens, and you’ll use that to approach from different angles or exits to get to the right spot. You’ll arrange other blocks to make sure you can push a block with path into the right spot so you can use it to access different areas. You’ll eventually also see yourself multiple times in a space, being forced to examine how your movements work and offer new perspective

I mean, there’s a reason I embedded trailers here, instead of including screenshots. There’s a certain magic to working things out in this game. Stills don’t do it justice. I found myself constantly playing with how things move and work. Even if the actions would be straightforward, I’d enjoy taking my time or experimenting with other moves to appreciate just how everything worked together.

It’s just such a delight to see how the puzzles work in Patrick’s Parabox work. Especially since you can see, even after the first 100 or so puzzles, how they’re a simplicity even in their complexity. At the same time, we always see exactly how it builds on past Sokoban sorts of games while building on their influence.

Patrick’s Parabox is available on the PS5, Switch, and PC.

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.