Minnano Hoshi Saga 2
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The Elements of Harmony. The A-Team. Voltron. And now Yoshio Ishii and literally a billion other developers. Minnano Hoshi Saga 2 is another installment in the popular Hoshi Saga puzzle games that ask you to do just one thing... find and click on the star hidden in each level. This time around, however, the developer is joined by an entire host of other creators, each of whom has made their own level, so be sure you check them all out in the "link" section of the main menu to visit their sites! From the level select screen, the stars beneath each stage indicate how difficult it is, and it's up to you to figure out how to play since the setup of each one is vastly different. Sometimes you'll need to solve point-and-click scenes, others take an almost mini-game approach to the concept. Experiment by clicking around to find out how each level controls. Unfortunately, unless you speak Japanese, language will be a barrier in some levels, so sadly this game isn't nearly as accessible as other games in the series just yet. Completing levels will actually reward you with stars that you can spend on skipping other levels, five stars apiece, by clicking "menu" will playing and choosing "GiveUp".
This isn't the first time Yoshio Ishii has banded together with other creators for the greater good, but even more grievous accessibility issues and quality that felt a little all over the board meant that it was destined for Link Dump Friday when such beasts still roamed these plains. Of course, some levels in this sequel are still much more intuitive than others, though more often it's fiddly controls that wind up being the issue. Occasionally you can see what you're supposed to do, but the means of manipulating the level, such as stage four, makes you feel like you're trying to assemble IKEA furniture while wearing oven mitts. Despite all that, however, there are some seriously creative and creatively charming puzzles to be found here. Some of the puzzles you'll be presented with are simple with a smart mechanical construction that makes them challenging nonetheless, while others are abstract enough that they're almost fiendishly tricky, and you'll want to play each level to see just what new variety of puzzle pops up next. Minnano Hoshi Saga 2 isn't perfect, but it's a remarkable showcase of talent and ideas that serves as a celebration both of the genre, and of the developers who make it so great.
Thanks to TheGreatEscaper for sending this one in!