Horizon is a turn-based space strategy game of galactic exploration and conquest in which you are in control of humanity’s destiny. You will explore deep space, find new frontiers and discover alien artifacts hidden on long-abandoned planets.
User reviews: Mixed (212 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 6, 2014

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June 27

Horizon Minor Update / Fixes - v1.0.1.103

We have issued a minor update and some important fixes to last week's major update. Slow research progress has been fixed which should make the game flow at a much more reasonable pace once again.

Friday June 27, 2014 - Minor Update / Fixes
v1.0.1.103

New additions and improvements
* Added an outcome prediction bar to the combat prompt, race relations are also shown
* Added a ‘Destroy Colony’ option to the combat prompt for colonies, removed from orders list
* Invasion troop levels are now displayed on the after-battle Invade prompt

* Added Orbitals and Missions icons on the Galaxy Map (and to the Legend filters).
* Reduced by a factor of 2.5 the amount of soldiers that barracks can produce each turn
* Universal translator check will now work the same for player and AI races. As long as one side has it both sides can understand each other and make deals

* Space requirements for Survey Instruments and Supply Bays have been reduced. The former can now be fitted on small sized ships
* Hit Points for small sized ships were doubled (actually changed with the major update but not noted)

* Game difficulty settings “easy” and “very easy” now further reduce starting race levels in scenario mode

Fixes
* Fixed an uncommon crash bug related to the combat prompt system
* Fixed a combat prompt scenario where it would include the same colony twice
* Research buildings will once again receive the base amount of research. This was removed by error during the major update

2 comments Read more

June 19

Horizon receives a new major add-on/update v1.0.1.100

Thursday June 19, 2014

We are very happy to announce that our 2nd post-launch update is now available. We hope you will enjoy the new features! – Horizon Team

The update introduces a new combat management system, allowing players to better manage each and every battle. Battle engagements are now individually presented on the galaxy map for players to make quick and informed decisions to engage, retreat or auto-resolve. An after battle report summary is also displayed with the results. The system also enhances the participation of allies which can join the battle on either side.

Combat Management System / Instanced Combat
* A new instancing mode, allows the player to control every combat synchronously one at a time. If the player is involved in a battle - a prompt is shown with choices to engage/flee/auto-resolve or do nothing
* Engage sector can now be set to multiple sectors, it is necessary for attacking non-hostiles and quest/missions related monsters/ships. In all other cases the prompt will appear automatically at the end of movement if sector has not been engaged at the start of Turn.
* Allied ships can participate in instanced combat on either side
* When the battle begins ships in combat are already in close range of each other to allow for quicker engagements with less ship movements to manage
* The Galaxy map pinpoints every battle location before combat. While an after report summary is displayed after combat has ended. Orders such as Invade are now available immediately before combat ends to facilitate things.
* AI Ships have gained a new instinct mode that is used to assess when to retreat from battles. A new ship retreat and a group mass-retreat button has been added for the player’s benefit as well
* Retreating ships are given a move order to their nearest base/colony if the battle is lost
* The number of combat rounds has been increased to 50 and ships are automatically resupplied after combat

Boarding Combat
* AI boarding now uses the new instinct system making boarding more common when ships are vulnerable
* We have added to and improved boarding combat messages to provide better progress info
* Ship scans will now reveal on-board marines (their own, as well as from allies and hostiles)

Other Combat Related
* Stealth, cloaked and weapon de-buff effect icons are now shown with tooltip info in tactical view
* Ship status panel info will now persist during attacks if player or an ally is involved during tactical combat showing their status during attacks
* Life-forms (such as monster) attacks now have appropriate names. Their attack types have also been improved and are much more powerful
* A Fast-resolve mode has been added for invasions, clicking on the screen during the combat phase will speed things up for quick results
* Relations are now shown for non-player ships and task forces when scanned or on the galaxy task force panel to identify more easily friend from foe
* Cloaked ship thrusters will now correctly fade along with the ship
* Fixed an issue where combat animation speed would not match the speed button setting due to accumulated frames buffering
* Fighters will no longer launch from carriers during attacks vs. planets

Ship Design and Technology
* Ship design limits for weapon refills and emplacements have been increased to allow for more configuration options
* Auto-repair bots technology has been buffed up - repairing ships to full after combat and to a lesser extent during combat
* Advanced refit will now set the colonizer role for ships that gain colonizer pods, fixing an issue where they could not execute colonize orders

Diplomacy related
* Race Report on Diplomacy now clears extinct races from each race's ally/enemy lists
* The “reckless expansion” controversy threshold is now dependent on the game difficulty setting
* Reduced the Diplomacy AI advisor’s chance to offer systems to other races
* An armistice treaty will now work better with other checks like blockades etc. being suspended while the treaty remains active
* Cancel armistice will now work correctly by immediately cancelling the treaty effect
* Galactic council (classic mode) will now convene with a minimum of 3 races. The first council vote will also happen immediately once the player has discovered all races and at least 100 turns has been played

and more..

To view the full list of changes please visit the Official Horizon Forums.

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Reviews

“One to keep an eye on, definitely.”
70 – Strategy Informer

“Best of all, the way Horizon handles technological progress is one of the most elegant I've seen in a grand strategy game.”
65 – IGN

“With the excellent foundation that has already been developed and the dedication that L3O is showing to their fans, it promises to be a true 4X classic in its own right.”
90 – Aesthetic Magazine Toronto

About This Game

Horizon is a turn-based space strategy game of galactic exploration and conquest in which you are in control of humanity’s destiny.

You will explore deep space, find new frontiers and discover alien artifacts hidden on long-abandoned planets. You will also learn more about the galaxy as you come into contact with ten other species, each with their own unique culture, history and schemes.

A fully interactive galaxy allows you to navigate open space between stars and planets. Patrol your borders and, when the need arises, defend your territory by engaging in ship-to-ship tactical combat. Develop new colonies and then watch them become galactic centers for trade, industry and science - and of course military bases, outposts and shipyards to build your battle ships. Push your empire to its limits and go beyond the known horizon!
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Key Features


  • Advanced turn-based tactical combat which many 4X fans have been requesting for years
  • Full Tactical ship control includes managing movement, weapons and more. Board other ships, attack from planetary and orbital defenses
  • A Distinct open world system, where ships can explore without artificial limits and where combat can span many turns before concluding
  • Interact with alien races of different levels, including ancient civilizations featuring their own unique storyline, schemes, ships and technology
  • An immersive galaxy storyline with open-ended missions that add another layer of gameplay over classic 4x mode which is also available
  • Engage in meaningful diplomacy choices that will impact the game outcome, includes coordinated actions with your allies against your enemies
  • Discover more than 80 technologies each with 10 levels of upgrades. Conduct planetary surveys and dig for artifacts
  • Design and customize your ships’ weapons and systems based on available technology
  • A detailed economy and colony management system with different types and levels of colonies based on your build choices
  • Play in different galaxy configurations from a few dozen stars to over a hundred star systems containing more than a thousand planets
  • Fully Customize your race or play as one of eight original races

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP SP3
    • Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.0 GHz
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB Video Card w/Pixel Shader 3.0 Support
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:5 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c-compatible
    Recommended:
    • OS:Windows 7
    • Processor:Intel Core i3/i5/i7 or AMD equivalent
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1 GB ATI 4800 series or better, 1 GB NVIDIA 9800 or better
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:5 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c-compatible
Helpful customer reviews
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
359.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
Very good game, easy controls, good graphics, nice that you can change all the set up rules, you'll need to in the beginning, Only shortcomings, needs a wider range of options for colony development. One of the best Space sims I've played..
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
54.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
What i didn't like :
Classic mode did end at some point, when older races decided to leave...
Tech tree not big enough
Space battle : could be upgrade in pleanty of ways.

Now don't get me wrong, its a great 4X game.
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38 of 50 people (76%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
I am a big fan of space empire games and was hoping for this to finally break the spell of bad luck I have been having trying to find a game I can really enjoy to play (I think I am about 7-8 games and £100 down now with no real winner) Sadly this was not the case as I have not enjoyed this game, so much so that this is the first review I have been compelled to write.

As a point of reference my favourite space empire games so far are Star Wars Supremacy and Imperium Galactica 2.

I find the gameplay here impossibly difficult, there is only one basic strategy of expansion as quickly as possible which proves impossibe against AI oponents who seem to have an endless stream of better equipt and easily replaceable ships and space stations to which there is no defence. Combat usually comes down to numbers/technology and on a game that is not massively graphically interesting this means battles are dull and also very long as they are also turn based. Even when I manage to win a battle I find the opponants have so many more ships that any progress is nerfed pretty quickly.

The tech tree is fine as you can discover new technologies (although this happenes randomly thorugh a breakthrough system), but it is difficult to see any positive results of better technology and it takes an age to research or build anything. The technologies mostly just improve something you already had rather than giving you a new item/building.

The turn button will become your best friend in this game. Building a medium ship, say a cruiser, even at a reasonable point in the game with a few planets will take at least 20-30 turns and each turn equaltes to a year. This is a long time for anything to be build and means that unless you have at least 5-10 decent planets building a fleet takes so long to build if an enemy declares war on you suddenly you don't stand a chance.

Graphic are suitable to the task but there is a lack of any real customisation on your ships other than put laser here and cannon here, you also can't really chose what core systems (engines etc) you use as the games just choses whichever you have reasearched furthest (this makes it impossible to create armadas of large, cheap ships). Planets also don't have any 3D models but just a picture of the building which is very behind the times and I expect a game in 2014 to be visually much better than games I played 10 years ago, this is not.

Fleets are limited to 10 ships (for some unknown reason) but you can send more than one fleet into a combat zone. I don't see the point of the artificial limit on fleet sizes then as again this just means a lot of clicking to move all your fleets into one area.

There is also not a lot to build on your planets, most planets are limited to 9 building overall, when you consider there are 5 different types this does not leave much scope for development.

Like most games diplomacy seems to rely on the AI demanding things on a whim for no real reason and refusing any request no matter how reasonable or bennificial to them it may be. Also there is no espionage/spying aspect to the game.

I want to like this game and can forgive some its less developed aspects if I had been rewarded with good, or even adaquate, gameplay. It is good good have a simple game, and in its defence this is a simpl,e game to understand and play, which is easy to get into unlike some 4x4 games which are very complicated.

On a more positive note this game uses a credit system and most items/ships costs billions of credits. Its nice to see a more realistic game where a planet's output is not 120 credits and its costs 400 credits to build a unit, I do like a more realistic financial scale! Although saying that and back to the negative there is no way to really change you financial settings to improve morale/make more money other than a simple click button for each planet, not a great fine tuning financial system.

Sadly though the lack of any real strategy/tactics along with the ridiculous pace at which the AI progresses in its technology and ship building means that I would steer clear of this game presently, if it was reduced to £5 it may be worth a purchase but at £11 I still feel cheated.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
101.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
It took me two weeks and 94 hours to finish this game and it was absolutely captivating.

The learning curve was steep at first and leveled out nicely as the hours went by. The reward for sticking with it and learning the intricate ship design, alien personalities, complicated quest lines and how to play and dominate was excellent. At the end of the game I felt like I had accomplished a grand conclusion to a great adventure.

This first time I played through the normal "campaign" mode. I plan to now experiment in the free form game as different aliens.

Wonderful game. Fun combat, rewarding gameplay, not for the faint of heart. Classic 4x.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
251.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
Horizon might not be 100% perfect, but it is extremely satisfying in the long run. Sure, it might have been this broken piece of crap at some point, but at least the game is very, very fun!
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18 of 31 people (58%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 3
MOO2- my first 4x game ever on my old 486DX machine. This game is a great homage to those old games. Love it. Been playing it since the earliest Alpha. Strongly recommended for the old school 4x fans. 9/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
30.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
I like that you do not have the same game play twice. always diffrent.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
32.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
A Decent game, not on Master of Orion 2 level, but has replayability and the ability to tinker. Some parts are not intuitive and you have to learn as you play, however some parts are pretty nice.

The only bad part truly in my view is the counter-intuitive GUI.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
For a 4x game this isnt to bad. Not high on graphics but in a 4x game thats usually not a big deal.
But game mechanics is.
Without doing the tutorial ( which i will later on for the achievements part ) this game is easy to pick up and play. very straight forward. reminds me of MOO3 but without the more annoying bugs. ( and you can upgrade your ships!!!!!! ) it does have bugs but not many. and those i can more or less live with.
Dev gets into the tech support trying to help so thats a big plus.

As far as 4x games go, this is one you want in your library.
i give it 7 out of 10

my only reason for giving it lesser than a full 10/10 wa the AI. to make the game harder it basically gives them more tech and planets. in later stages that makes a difference. especially when they got 8 colonizer class and 2 cruiser class and you're bringing 2 colonizer class and 8 scouts. and then sitting there cursing because they like 2 times farther than you are in tech.

Would be better if the AI was better instead of just giving them extras to make the game more difficult. ( very Civilization series type of difficulty levels )
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
Only bad thing I can say about this game is even the largest Galaxys can get filled up pretty quick 9/10 from me
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
32.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 17
I don't know what all the negative feedback is about. Being in the early stages of this game, I think it is pretty darn good. I look forward to seeing how it develops.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
Great addition to the 4x genre. Very pleased with purchase. Wish the textures for the ships & weapon SFX were a bit clearer/sharper + a bit of tweaking to the way ship combat works (more like M002 please!). A really great game and with 66% off a stonking deal!
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7 of 13 people (54%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
has potential to exceed MMO. should add government policy modifiers to make economy more interesting and game itself more unique
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
68.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 10
Its a good game. If you like the Master of Orion games then this on is for you as it is an obvious spiritual sucessor. An almost too big to handle universe of stars it is nevertheless a great game. I highly suggest it.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
59.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Being a long-time fan of 4X space games, I approach each new title with hopeful trepidation. For every deeply satisfying game like Master of Orion 2 or Galactic Civilizations 2, there's a frustrating failure like MoO3 or Sword of the Stars II and a host of in between offerings such as Lost Empire, Endless Space, Star Drive and Armada 2526. Horizon turns out to be an all-of-the-above game. It's early game exploration and expansion is top notch with lots of meaningful choices as to colony development, resource management, research decisions and risk-benefit assessments. Unfortunately, things go south almost as soon as the neighbors show up. Transactions with your AI opponents are frustratingly limited and their responses often seem so hard-wired as to totally ignore your choices. Their lack of any discernibly responsive intelligence becomes even more apparent if you modify all your opponents into what should be a pleasantly “passive” attitude only to have them declare war on you shortly after first contact and absent any aggression on your part. Speaking of modifications, don't bother trying to modify the AI race names or the names of their home worlds. Much like the AI responses, the original names are hardwired in most of the screen displays so you end up with a confusing mix of your creations and the “throw the scrabble tiles up in the air and see where they land” originals. Disappointment with the AI will sink to despair once you reach the exterminate portion of the game. It's turn-based which is fine by me but it's also visually unappealing, saddled with awkward positioning mechanics and quickly becomes an unrewarding chore best left to auto resolution. The vessel customization is serviceable but absent excitement when your personally sculpted death dealing armada goes into action becomes more of a book keeping chore. The graphics in the game are dated but well done and the music isn't memorable in any positive or negative way. Running the main themes from MoO2 while playing Horizon makes for a nice effect. The tutorial is adequate if you have a good background with the 4X space genre but does leave a newcomer with a lot of figuring out left to do. In summary, what you get with Horizon is in essence a 51-49 gaming experience with enough good stuff to draw you in and enough disappointment to let you know this isn't your 4X gamer heart's desire.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
69.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 23
Great game that is challenging and easy to learn.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
113.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 2
If you want a 4x space game like MOO2 then this game fits the bill. It isn't the best game out there but it certainly isn't the worse, I would recommend the game.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
Looking for a little MOO2 fix? Well this will take care of those jonses.]
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
First let's start with the biggest flaw in the game: horrifyingly bad documentation. The game has a built in tutorial and a very pretty manual that tell you maybe half of what you'll want to know. Ingame tooltips are buggy and uninformative.

Second, mechanics. The game's controls are clunky and unhelpful. Moving the map deselects your unit and the game loves popup windows right in the middle of where you want to be looking. Trying to use the map is more like boxing with your computer rather than playing a game. Combat is even worse, learn to love the AI.

But the meat of the problem is in game design. The 4X genre is defined by exploring, expanding, exploiting, and conquering. This game fails at all four.

Exploring is hobbled by supply limits -- the game enforces a maximum radius your ships can travel from any given outpost. So in order to explore, you need to expand.

Expansion requires colony ships to found outposts. This isn't too bad, settler units are always expensive. The problem arises in how that cost is expressed. Building a ship requires a flat amount of currency as well as turns elapsed as dictated by a planet's industrial production. This double cost is ruining in the early part of the game, but it doesn't end there!

Exploitation means upgrading an outpost to a colony, which is another huge expense and a delay of about five turns after you established the outpost. Your new colony will then need more expenses to establish agriculture and trade facilities just so it won't be a drain on your economy.

Conquering is ironically compromised by how small the map is. You will start ridiculously close to your enemies, and have I mentioned how ruinous expansion is to your economy? Trying to maintain a navy in this mess is a good way to give yourself an ulcer. And you can forget outsmarting or out manuvering the AI, because the supply limit forces you into border fights.
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4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Horizon has great potential, but it just seems, I don't know, boring. I bought this in alpha, and it has come a long way, but it is still not a finished game. Another game published by Iceberg Interactive recently that is, in my opinion, sub par. I will not be buying anything else with their name on it.
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