Sokoban (倉庫番, Sōkoban, which translates as warehouse keeper) is a transport puzzle in which the player pushes boxes around a maze, viewed from above, and tries to put them in designated locations. Only one box may be pushed at a time, not two, and boxes cannot be pulled. These puzzles exist only as a computer simulation.
Soukoban was created in 1980 by Hiroyuki Imabayashi as part of a Japanese computer game competition, which he won. It was published in 1982 by Thinking Rabbit, a software house based in Takarazuka, Japan. The company's president at that time was Mr. Imabayashi.
Implementations of Sokoban have been written for numerous computer platforms, including almost all home computer and personal computer systems. Versions also exist for several hand held and video game consoles, mobile phones, graphic calculators, and other devices. Many other puzzle games, such as Chip's Challenge and Rocks and Diamonds, implement Sokoban-based gameplay.
Publisher Spectrum Holobyte was the first to import Soukoban from the far east and introduce it to the western world. Spectrum released the game in 1987 for the Apple II, Commodore 64, and IBM-PC platforms. This version included 50 stages that were referred to as "Original levels."
In 1989, Thinking Rabbit created Sokoban Perfect, followed by Sokoban Revenge in 1991. Both versions were sold only in the Japanese market and currently includes 306 levels. Some of these levels appeared later in two Boxxle versions for the Nintendo Game Boy.