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Shove It! The Warehouse Game (Sega Mega Drive)

Introduction

Sokoban is classic puzzle game invented in Japan back in 1980. The simple rules, easy implementation and wide possibility for different stages at various difficulty levels, made the game quickly popular all over the world. Many remakes of the game are done for almost all the console and computer platforms available, including the BoxWorld game written by me for Amiga, Apple MacOS X, Windows and Apple II. There is also BoxWorld for Oric, written by Stephane Geley and the game Danger Zone for Oric, written by Radoslav Isaev. One of the better versions of the game is Shove It! - The Warehouse Game for the 16 bit Sega Mega Drive console, released in 1990.

Package

Shove It! - back cover of the game box. Shove It! - front cover of the game box. The game comes in standard Sega game box. On the front is a nice coverart of the game hero happily pushing box in a warehouse, while thinking a girl, a car and money. On the back is also the character pushing a box. There are two screenshots of the game, along with the descriptive text about the goal:
You'll need brains and brawn to solve these mind bending puzzles. You're Stevedore the warehouse man. You shove boxes for a living. This morning you met the girl of your dreams, but to get to her you'll need the car of your dreams! And that means working overtime and using your head. Now you've got a big job ahead of you, 16 levels, 160 warehouses that need to have their boxes shoved into order. Each room is a puzzle that takes skill, strategy and your wits to solve. As you progress, the ware-houses get harder. It's addictive! Once you start you can't stop. Some warehouses may seem impossible, but there is a solution to each one. To help you there is a "trace mode" to retrace your steps and passwords to access each level, once you've earned that level. You can even design your own warehouses to stump your friends. If you can beat all 16 levels, a brand new sports car... and the girl... will be yours. Fall and you'll be yelling Shove It!
The text on the box is good enough for novice players, but even without the introduction, most people are aware of the game and it's rules.

The game

Shove It! - title screen of the game. The game starts with Stevedore pushing different sized boxes to the center of the screen. The game title appears at the boxes place shortly after. Slow relaxing music plays in the background, while our hero thinks of the girl of his dreams and red car. He wears the working coverall and red hat. After pressing the start button, there are three possible menu chooses for player - GAME, CONTINUE and EDIT. The GAME is for a new game, where the player starts from the first stage. Selecting CONTINUE gives the possibility to continue at a later stage, after input of a password. Passwords are given after completion of a stage (10 rooms) and can consist of letters from the whole Latin alphabet. By entering the EDIT mode, the player can create his own levels and play them or give them to someone else to try to solve them. Unfortunately, there is no possibility to save the created puzzles, for later play or share with other people, after turning off the console. The editor is easy to learn and simple levels can be built very fast. When selecting play, the game asks for the initial player position and the test starts. The game does not test if the puzzle is solvable at all. It does not even test if there are equal boxes and places to shove them.
Shove It! - stage 1 - room 2. Staring the game from the beginning, brings the player at the first stage, first room. From here the player can select the room to play - from the first to the tenth. The sequence of the rooms completion is not important, but to advance to the next stage, all the rooms must be solved. The graphics are okay for this type of game. Stevedore is looked from above, giving overview of the stage as well. The whole room is viewed all at once. There is no scrolling in the game. Nevertheless, the game always try to make use of the whole screen. If the room is small, the graphics are doubled. For the bigger rooms, the graphics are smaller. At the later stages, the graphics themes are changing as well. The music during the game is more dynamic, giving more pushy atmosphere to the player, but the sound can get annoying after a while, especially at the hard rooms, where the player need more time to think. After successful completion of the puzzle, there is animation sequence between the rooms. The same music is playing over all the rooms. With the TRACE MODE mode, the player can follow his own movements and analyze what he is doing right or wrong. There is steps counter on the bottom of the screen along with information for stage and room numbers, but no counter for the made pushes. The difficulty of the stages seems to be selected very carefully to increase over the advance in the game. The player moves pretty fast, but there is a possibility to undo the last move. There is also unlimited numbers of replays and even change of room, if the player can not solve it at the moment. The animation of the sprites is smooth, not hard to the eyes. The boxes are easily distinguished if they are on their right place or not.

Conclusions

Shove It! - stage 7 - room 62 of the game.

  • Gameplay: 8/10 - Very nice puzzles, but it is possible to put much more levels into Sega Mega Drive cartridge. The player moves too fast.
  • Presentation: 9/10 - The game is presented very well on the Sega Mega Drive in it's own unique way.
  • Graphics: 8/10 - Different graphic themes and different bitmaps sizes are real plus for this type of game. There are not much animations in the game.
  • Sound: 5/10 - There is no sound, but only one atmospheric music, which gets annoying after a while.
  • Story: 10/10 - Great story about the motivated warehouse man, going for his dreams by clever think for solving the puzzles.
  • Overall: 80% - Classic puzzle game. Decent implementation on the Sega Mega Drive console. Can keep the children and adults occupied for weeks. Fun for the whole family.

Solutions for the game along with video and more pictures are available from Shove It! solutions page.


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