Something about reduction


Once in a while I have some fun (?) fuzzing around with other authors levels. Levels that I think could be much better if the author used a little more time finetuning the level before publishing it. (That’s my opinion of course).

What do you need for this task? A Sokoban suite with level designer and solver. The only Sokoban programs worthy are YASC and J-Soko. These programs contain a level designer and a solver.

I prefer YASC but it can be used only with Windows. If you are an Apple fanatic you need to use J-Soko that works with iOS and Windows as well.

Don’t bother about online level designers. They simply don’t have the tools you want.

Let’s give it a try.

r01The original level above was published at Game-Sokoban a few weeks ago.

It is obvious you need to move the boxes 1 and 2 to solve the level.

And you need the pathways both ways round the central part of the level to move these. It is also quite obvious you do not need to transport boxes outside the inner wall.

Let’s just slim the outer pathways.

r02That done we observe awfully many floors inside the inner wall.

Really a lot of floors and without much more thinking, shouldn’t we just try to reduce the floors by making the inner wall double nearly all the way round?

I just might be a little worried by the marked floor since if I double the inner wall it is not longere possible to use this floor as a temporary storing place.

Let’s give it a try anyway.

r03The autosolver confirms that worked well.

Always look for neighbouring lines and rows exactly the same. These can be reduced to one line right away.

We go for that.


But there is still a lot of floors in the inner part of the level. Aren’t there? I think we can do something in the marked areas.

r05Just add a wall one by one and use the autosolver. You can add three walls lower left before the autosolver gets problems.

r06And you can add 7 walls upper right before the level gets unsolvable.

Probably not more to be done if you want the level to still be solvable (Of course you do).

Any difficult stuff done so far? I think not.

The rest is just cosmetics.
Nice straight outer walls but still a lot of superfluous walls inside.

r08Really. Now we got a lot of unnecessary floors instead. And the two walls upper left adds nothing to the level

r09That removed and we got the finished level. Unbroken walls both inside and outside.

No complicated work done except reducing the number of floors and on the way letting the autosolver check the level is solvable.

r10Title: Closer But Still No Cigar
Author: Alonsodelarte + DrFogh
Original: Frustratingly Difficult 10
Date: 18-07-2020

I like an unbroken outer wall and the inner walls reduced as much as possible. So this would be my candidate for publishing.

A little more tricky to solve now but still not really difficult.


You can reduce the outer wall as well.


And now som homework.

On the left Three Walls by BernardMarx

Use the advice above and a little of your own thinking and reduce the level to my version on the right.