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Beek – “Sokoban Online Soundtrack” Review

A deceptively simple chiptune album, for a deceptively simple game
Sokoban Online Album Cover
Sokoban Online

I love my chiptune, and I love my puzzle games, so hearing that Beek was doing the soundtrack for Sokoban Online, the two meet nicely in the middle.

For the Sokoban Online soundtrack, Beek has aimed the majority of the soundtrack at the Game Boy and Atari style of chipset. The fuzzy rubber bass lines are cute, the percussion is crunchy white noise and pitch bends are adorable. The theme “Sokoban Online” is cute and upbeat whilst having a catchy melody but its the five mood tracks that really showcase the simplicity of the melodies and soundscape. “Joyful” channels just that, whilst “Mindful” has an excellent play of that tense tradition of going up and down a chord to a double beat like time is stalking you. “Blissful” is like a Haribo marching band. Its full of life and colour. It’s also insanely catchy. I found myself putting something into the microwave to its beat. “Thoughtful” is the ballad and is a bit bass heavy to let the arpeggios shine through whereas “Sleepytime” is airy and breezy in its waltzing chords. The main section of the soundtrack is closed off with a fantastically happy and full to the brim “Credits” which is a standout.

Taking you beyond the game is a selection of bonus tracks. “Cheerful”, “Youthful” and “Grateful” are three quite different tracks that all add that playful innocence that the rest of the soundtrack imbues so well. In fact, the latter two are probably my favourite mood tracks on the whole release, Youthful being like a dance anthem and Grateful’s happy swing beat really playing to Beek’s strengths as a melody maker. “Blissful (16-bit version)” is utterly adorable as the chipsets are replaced with metal drums and brass synths. “Thoughful (acoustic version)” is a roughly recorded piano version. Whilst it suffers a little in recording quality, the arrangement is soothing and rolling like the ocean of the mind. Rounding things off is the excellent “Credits (Beatbox Version)” which replaces all the percussion with real beatboxing. It’s a subtle change but a really unique one – and has opened my eyes to some potentially great game music arrangements outside of the amazing Visa Roster.

Beek has captured a warm innocence in his soundtrack for Sokoban Online. It’s a simple, melodic affair, and a really nice ear cleanser when I’ve spent so long enjoying really complex chip music. Sometimes, you just need a good anthem.

Recommended Track : Youthful

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