Something for the weekend: Hoshi Saga

Iain Simons recommends something to while away those office hours. But don't let the management see

"This game is to discover a star hidden in a stage"

Yoshio Ishii's sublime Hoshi Saga offers only those words by way of explanation, and then leaves you to explore. Challenged with this simple goal your task is to variously uncover or create stars by experimenting with the different elements of each level. Initially, this is a childishly simple and utterly arbitrary game of hide and seek but don’t be misled - the game rapidly evolves into something altogether more imaginative. By level three, it's apparent that you're playing with the results of a design experiment which has yielded some startlingly inventive work. 

Minimal, monochrome design and a sparse soundtrack allow you to focus entirely on what this game is really about, the playfulness by which the star is revealed. Whilst entirely mouse-driven, don't be led into thinking that pointing and clicking is necessarily always the answer. The stars you seek are formed by chipping away at blocks of pixels, pulling away corners of leaves of paper, photographing the cosmos... Each level is a sealed game within itself which usually uses an entirely different mechanic to the last. Endlessly inventive, the quiet mischief that bubbles throughout is a joy.

Hoshi Saga really is a bookmark-able treat that rewards your patience amply with its quiet charm. It knows you’re going to want to return to it, and automatically saves your progress to make this effortless. Should you make it through to the end, I'd like to direct you to trying the sequel - combined these will easily keep you going until this time next week. More from the brilliant Yoshio Ishii soon...

Play Hoshi Saga and Hoshi Saga 2

Iain Simons writes, talks and tweets about videogames and technology. His new book, Play Britannia, is to be published in 2009. He is the director of the GameCity festival at Nottingham Trent University.
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Appreciate the full horror of Nigel Farage's pro-Trump speech

The former Ukip leader has appeared at a Donald Trump rally. It went exactly as you would expect.

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce Nigel Farage is at it again.

The on-again, off-again Ukip leader and current Member of the European Parliament has appeared at a Donald Trump rally to lend his support to the presidential candidate.

It was, predictably, distressing.

Farage started by telling his American audience why they, like he, should be positive.

"I come to you from the United Kingdom"

Okay, good start. Undeniably true.

"– with a message of hope –

Again, probably quite true.

Image: Clearly hopeful (Wikipedia Screenshot)

– and optimism.”

Ah.

Image: Nigel Farage in front of a poster showing immigrants who are definitely not European (Getty)

He continues: “If the little people, if the real people–”

Wait, what?

Why is Trump nodding sagely at this?

The little people?

Image: It's a plane with the name Trump on it (Wikimedia Commons)

THE LITTLE PEOPLE?

Image: It's the word Trump on the side of a skyscraper I can't cope with this (Pixel)

THE ONLY LITTLE PERSON CLOSE TO TRUMP IS RIDING A MASSIVE STUFFED LION

Image: I don't even know what to tell you. It's Trump and his wife and a child riding a stuffed lion. 

IN A PENTHOUSE

A PENTHOUSE WHICH LOOKS LIKE LIBERACE WAS LET LOOSE WITH THE GILT ON DAY FIVE OF A PARTICULARLY BAD BENDER

Image: So much gold. Just gold, everywhere.

HIS WIFE HAS SO MANY BAGS SHE HAS TO EMPLOY A BAG MAN TO CARRY THEM

Image: I did not even know there were so many styles of Louis Vuitton, and my dentists has a lot of old copies of Vogue.

Anyway. Back to Farage, who is telling the little people that they can win "against the forces of global corporatism".

 

Image: Aaaaarggghhhh (Wikipedia Screenshot)

Ugh. Okay. What next? Oh god, he's telling them they can have a Brexit moment.

“... you can beat Washington...”

“... if enough decent people...”

“...are prepared to stand up against the establishment”

Image: A screenshot from Donald Trump's Wikipedia page.

I think I need a lie down.

Watch the full clip here:

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland