Have You Played… Hoshi Saga?

Hoshi Saga has been my constant companion throughout the years of RPS. Collections of micro-puzzles from developer Yoshio Ishii, they appear without warning, with gaps of a couple of years, then two in six months, then vanish again for a bit. In wanting to recommend the series as a Have You Played, I’ve checked back, and noticed I’ve missed everything since 2011. HOW? There are four more Hoshi Saga games waiting for me! What a silly happy thing.

Ishii remains an enigma to me. I’ve reached out in the past, but never heard back. He makes these tiny little web games under the banner of Nekogames, bursting with incredible creativity. Then makes some mad Flash thing about cats, or a game where you have to chop a tree down so it crushes a boy and girl before they meet.. Then a concept as ingenious as Cursor*10. Absolutely barmy.

The Hoshi Saga games stand out above all else in his crazy archive. While the difficulty is often pitched a little too low, ploughing through each game’s 36 tiny puzzles to find the star is immeasurably rewarding. And I’m stopping writing now, because I’ve got 144 more of them to play! Bye!


  1. holokraft says:

    Did I miss something, or did you link to a Japanese site with no warning or explanation? Well, for those who actually want to try the games and don’t know Japanese, Hoshi Saga is spelled as 星探, which is in the top left of the list of things.

  2. Urthman says:

    I sure wish there were Android versions of these. Seem like perfect phone games.

    • Marlamin says:

      I’ll just leave this here:

      • Marlamin says:

        Link got eaten. Let’s try again: link to play.google.com

        • Urthman says:

          Oh, wow. Thanks. I searched for an android version a while ago and didn’t find one.

          One of the best internet feelings is when you post, “I wish X existed” and someone replies, “It does!” Thank you.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        And if that doesn’t work for some reason, you can also try copying and pasting…
        …into the Google Play app.

        After all John’s Hexcells articles, I had to check this puzzle game out (on Android because it was convenient), and so far I’m not disappointed. Completely different from Hexcells, but definitely charming and otherwise fun! Thanks, John. :)

  3. Radiant says:

    This is one of the finest puzzle games.
    Doesn’t over extend, doesn’t let the designer get in the way, doesn’t frustrate, just a pure puzzle experience.

  4. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    My god, it’s full of stars…