Forget the box. Think outside the whole warehouse!
Little Square Things is a game of thought, patience, and, most of all, creativity. Influenced directly by games such as Sokoban 🗗, Chip’s Challenge 🗗, and Deadly Rooms of Death 🗗, Little Square Things is easy to pick up and play but requires more and more thought and strategy as the game progresses.
My goal is to make Little Square Things easy to pick up and play. The controls are very simple. There should be little need for tutorials; very minimal text-based help; “show rather than tell.” The first parts of the game or so should be accessible to the most inexperienced of players. Concepts and difficulty will pick up from there. The puzzle pieces shouldn’t be cryptic… even if the puzzles themselves are at first glance.
I do want this game to be “you-driven.” I’m heavily interested in feedback from gamers (and non-gamers) across the spectrum. Never even picked up Tetris? Give level 1-1 a shot and tell me what you think. World record Puyo Puyo speedrunner and Sokoban master? I want to know your thoughts as well.
More about the gameplay
In Sokoban, you play as a warehouse keeper. It’s your job to move boxes onto panels, navigating some labyrinthine, architecturally and ergonomically questionable factory floors. (Seriously, who designed those warehouses?)
In Little Square Things, the rub is that you’re lazy. Or, as you like to frame it, you’re “efficient.” Trying to make your job of moving boxes to panels as easy as possible, you divine some help, Sorcerer’s Apprentice style. The boxes can move on their own! And at the same time! And if all goes well, they’ll just do your job for you!
But like a certain cartoon mouse, you’re going to be dealing with unintended consequences. There’s some fallout associated with your not-so-bright agents. There are some drawbacks to using a remote control rather than brute strength to push your boxes around. What’s more, your warehouses are even more bafflingly architected. Levels wrap around, Null Spaces mess with geometry, and Buzzsaws and Cannons keep you on your toes.
The core design philosophy has a clear focus on puzzle rather than action elements. There are Lasers and Bullets and Buzzsaws that need to be avoided (or exploited!), but you have the option to pause time and move deliberately. If you’re feeling brave or impatient, however, you can increase the speed so that time marches forward.
LST ’08, its freeware predecessor
A version of Little Square Things was quietly released in 2008. It’s free to download.
This older version is more action-oriented and also arguably more scattered. The goal of the remake is to open the door for cross-platform deployment, weed out the bad mechanics and levels and replace them with good mechanics and levels, and rework the graphics, sound, and overall feel.
The newer version has a several key differences:
- More focus on puzzle and practically zero to action and button-mashing, enabling the player to think ahead and strategize.
- The set of puzzle pieces is very streamlined. The new version does more with fewer pieces. Gone are pieces such as Ricochets, Water Safety Squares, Compass Cubes, block transformation switches, Bears, Forests, timed Laser Cannons, Cannonballs, Circle and Triangle nemeses, Teleporters, and level rotation, just to name a few.
- Levels have multiple goals behind them, all with rewards that contribute to your progress. Finish a level and earn a star. Finish a level under some certain number of moves to gain another. Or revisit the level to collect Star Shards.
- Game progression is more flexible. Earn Stars in levels, use Stars to unlock more levels, and so on, rather than having to take every level, one at a time.
- Less of a “Flash game” aesthetic. This time around, we’re in glorious EGA 16-color, MIDI/SoundBlaster powered aesthetics.
- More streamlined in terms of features. LST’08 had several minigames available. As well as a debug mode. One may make it in the new version, though, and a level editor will hopefully be available post-release.
- With Steam, automatic updates and patches can be pushed; in-game achievements can be recorded; and you can even compete with your friends to see who is the best warehouse keeper of them all.
Some assets are reused. Some are remade or “demade.” Lots of content is scrapped. But, still, it’s archived and available for all to play.