Monday, December 12, 2016

Nice Package! (Hatena Satena, GameBoy Advance)

This obscure, Japan-only puzzler from 2001 was one of eight titles I included in my recent post full of #HudsonMonth game recommendations.

Why do I think people should play it? For starters, its gameplay is similar to that of the ever-popular Picross.

Also, the visuals and audio offered up by Hatena Satena are light years beyond what you'll see and hear in your typical Picross title. Need proof? Check out this "let's play" video of the game.

Another reason I think folks should play--or at least buy a copy of--Hatena Satena is that its packaging is stunning.

I'm especially impressed with its box cover, which can be seen in the photo above. My personal favorite element of it: the logo, which is so heavily stylized that it's nearly impossible to decipher.

I also like the cover's depictions of Hatena Satena's adorable, Super Milk Chan-esque cast of characters, of course--the part-alien, part-octopus protagonist, in particular.

Speaking of whom, his or her smiling face also can be found on the game's cartridge label.

The snapshot above offers a glimpse of Hatena Satena's instruction manual. Unfortunately, the majority of this booklet is filled with text and screenshots--much like the manual that was produced for a similarly overlooked (and sadly Japan-only) GameBoy Advance puzzler called Guru Logi Champ.

The back of Guru Logi Champ's box is a bit of a bummer, I've got to say. Why its artists and designers couldn't have continued the front cover's brilliance on the reverse is beyond me. I guess someone at Hudson decided the space had to be covered with explanatory text instead.

Have any of you played Hatena Satena? If so, please share your thoughts on it in the comments section of this post. Also feel free to share your impressions of Guru Logi Champ, if you've played that GBA puzzler.

See also: previous 'Nice Package!' posts about Guru Logi Champ and Hitsuji no Kimochi

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