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Star Search: Hoshi Saga 3

This level deserves songs written about it.

While it appeared a couple of weeks ago, I’ve only just noticed the latest Hoshi Saga game has been released. Yoshio Ishii is a wonderfully inventive man, his tiny, simple Flash games stacked with gorgeous ideas. And the Hoshi Saga are best of all, each comprising of 30 minuscule gaming morsels where you must aim to find a star. You can find part one here, and part two here.

The aim is to solve what you’re meant to do on a level. You may start with an entirely blank screen, and be required to find out what mouse interactions will respond. Or there might be a peculiar geometric shape that needs to be manipulated in some way. Or you might simply have to encourage day to turn to night, by helping the sun on its way.

It really is mindblowing all over again. Even the simplest levels that offer no great challenge are still overwhelmingly lovely. This man’s imagination is incredibly vivid and inspired – I’ve still no idea who he is, and I’m increasingly bemused that he’s not in some enormously important position at Nintendo, revered alongside Shigeru Miyamoto. The man doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry.

There is one problem – too many are too easy this time. It’s nicer to be stumped for a bit, and a few too many are finished in ten seconds. But they’re still lovely. Take a look. Especially at Stage 77, or 79. Just look at the animation that went into 79, with different movements depending on the size of step you formed. Or, 81 or… see, you’ll find them for yourself. And tell everyone. Let’s force this guy into some sort of notoriety.

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John Walker

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One of the original co-founding robots of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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