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Heart Star


  • Currently 4.1/5
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Rating: 4.1/5 (51 votes)
Comments (8) | Views (3,633)

Heart Star

AllyJust how cute is Adventure Islands' Heart Star? So cute, it gives kittens serious self-esteem issues. So cute, just looking at the title screen gives you your daily recommended amount of sugar. So cute, it automatically removes your ability to enunciate "L's" and "R's," thereby making this puzzle game a tale of two widdle fwiends from diffwent wowds who need youh hewp to... hold on, let me look away for a second. Ahem. These two interuniversal buddies need your help in order to reach the one place where they can be together... Or more accurately, they need your help to help each other! They each live in their own, pink-and-blue color-coded universe, with its own obstacles and hazards, but while neither can see nor feel objects from each other's world, they can still touch... each other. D'awww. Run and jump with the [arrow] keys, and when one character can't go any further, swap over with the [spacebar] to give your partner a helping hand! You can carry them across spikes, push buttons to open their path, or just offer up your head as a platform so that the two of you can get to where you need to go. Originally developed for Ludum Dare 30, designer Jussi Simpanen has taken his original concept and expanded it into a full, ludicrously charming puzzle platformer, with a plethora of tight puzzles to compliment its cupcake-sweet looks.

Heart Star Many games have you controlling two or more characters in an attempt to reach the level's end, but what makes Heart Star especially enjoyable is the emphasis it places on having the two characters interact with each other, and their respective worlds. Rather than simply make you navigate one set of obstacles twice, you've got to make your way through two different layouts in each level. The game eases you into things gently before ramping up the difficulty, making you learn both sides of each stage while you use your partner to strategically fill in the gaps. And as it turns out, what you don't see CAN hurt you; if you put your partner on a collision course with spikes in their world, simply switching over to your world won't save them! The game toys with these central mechanics in different ways right up until the ending, keeping the formula on its toes. It puts your spatial awareness and memorization skills through their paces, helps both sides of a level feel truly connected, and cultivates a sense of real teamwork. It also provides a vehicle for some surprisingly precision platforming segments, as your partner is a fairly small stepping stone. Since your jump is large and wide, this can make some of these tighter jumps a little more tense than they should be, as it's hard to make small movements in the air. But there's very few of these setbacks in this otherwise delightful game. Sweet as it is, there's more to Heart Star than a cutesy-wootsy face; it adeptly melds many familiar elements into a neat and unified whole.

Play Heart Star

8 Comments

Did they..turn into a horrifying two-headed creature at the end?

Reply
Leopardmask November 2, 2014 8:42 PM

D'AWWWWWWWW! It's so freaking adorable!

Reply

@Xinadris: I think they just held hands and merged their worlds to one purple one they could both interact with. Their bodies stayed different colors.

Anyway, as to the game itself, it was definitely fun, although the hit detection was a little hit-or-miss. When I'm expected to regularly ride on my partner's head over empty spaces, I'd appreciate if said head was a little more sticky, and once I found myself "falling" on solid ground, with no ability to jump or do anything but restart the level. The sprite size also made the movement options in some levels feel a little limited, since the spikes were so large on the screen that they eat up a good chunk of level real estate. Other than the hitbox issue, though, the game was enjoyable.

Reply

I noticed a very intriguing glitch while I was playing that I hope never gets fixed. If you push r with the right timing immediately after dying the music cuts off when you die, and then doesn't come back until you die again and don't push r at the right time.

Reply
lehleh.lopes November 3, 2014 3:31 PM

Got stuck at level 23 :T

Reply
marshalljpeters November 3, 2014 6:09 PM

Is there a way to view your achievements?

Reply
Patreon Crew SonicLover November 5, 2014 2:32 PM replied to marshalljpeters

I think the achievements are for people who play the game on Newgrounds.

Reply
jwo7777777 November 5, 2014 3:39 PM

Controls fiddly. Not accepting some of my 'w' presses.

Reply

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