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Retro Fire

Written: 11.26.06
Acquired: 9.18.06
Status: CIB
Price: $40

Publisher: NintendoReleased: 1.1.99
Developer: Atelier DoubleScarcity: 3.5

Can't get enough Soukoban on your Super Famicom? Never fear, Nintendo is here. On New Years 1999 (yes, '99) they published this update
to that ole classic...

Taking control of a devil, you go through a series
of mazes with the same goal in mind as SUPER SOUKOBAN, pushing boxes (this time stones)
to cover purple dots (this time pits). The modern twist?  But of course, STAYING ALIVE

Staying alive?  Yes, for from the excavation comes forth HELL'S ARMY!

OK, in all honesty, more like Hell's Rejects, no, Purgatory's Rejects

Baddies are more of a nuisance than legitimate threats. There are two ways to dispose of 'em:

  • Push a stone over them


  • Zap 'em

Another modern twist is the ability to throw fireballs. You can also charge to create a powershot a la Megaman. And there's a run button as well

So then, this update is an action-puzzler with sort of a Zelda-y feel/atmosphere, very slightly, BUT it's certainly there, as anyone who has played it would surely attest to...

Rocks can also be pushed via the powershot

                     Whereas SUPER SOUKOBAN
                     was straight-to-the-point, POWER
                     features multiple paths, multi-tier
                     puzzles and there are even friends
                     to guide you along with hints (in
                     Japanese, mind, but nothing you
                     can't do without)

Speaking of friends, here's the cast

The game opens with this screen.
The iron gate's locked so you must
find an alternate route.... hey, what's
that little crack doing there in the wall...



And off you go. There are many rooms and you can run to the next without solving the current one, but it's advisable you take care of each one as you go along


Multi-tiered puzzles adds new dimension to the ole formula

Watch out for the statues up top... they'll come alive!  No, not really

As you advance, more pits means more enemies. As long as the pits remain open, baddies will keep spawning. But again, they're really a non-factor... but at least they're there, eh?  Plus, when defeated, some drop a power-up to aid your quest

Some of the enemies look like rejects from Super Bomberman 5...

I said earlier it'd be wise to finish each puzzle as you confront 'em; however, for some the solution is not immediately available. Only by advancing do you later arrive at a point where
you can then solve a previously impossible puzzle. Confused?  You needn't be


See, here you enter this room
on the lower floors. Blasted
stones... how can you push
them to cover the slots from
this vantage point?  The answer
is you can't, and remember you
can't pull

  Later traversing to higher
                       ground, you'll find a room leading
                       downstairs where you can now
                       use your powershot to shove the
                       blocks where they belong


SS had you going from one warehouse to the next, PS, on the other hand, is different

[What are you saying about the Sega Saturn and Playstation eh? -Ed.]

POWER SOUKOBAN doesn't have levels, per se. Rather it's interconnected like (Super) Metroid or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night


More multi-tier madness

                                    Use your Powershot to
                                    break those dirt clumps

The occult-ish statues add nicely to this dungeon underworld's atmosphere

"Quick, snap a shot of me!"

                                    Can you complete this
                                    while avoiding the
                                    circulating ring of fire?


Another major diff in this modern update: you'll fight BOSSES!  These include more traditional American-looking fiends such as Medusa and Frankenstein to name a few. These end-of-stage bosses are entirely combat-based


Something to take note of if you buy this game CIB: the game's manual is a fold-out map, with instructions on the back side. So don't fret when you don't find a "regular" manual inside the box


Which do I prefer?  I love the update. But there's something pure about the original I can't deny. These two are must-own's if you love these type of games, and they complement each other well. POWER SOUKOBAN is one hell of a nice update, but I prefer Super Soukoban by a hair

Jan '93 vs. Jan '99!  Both are well worth owning