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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.
Release Date: Feb 6, 2014
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Horizon Minor Update / Fixes - v1.0.1.103

June 27

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

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

June 19

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 the 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
18 of 25 people (72%) found this review helpful
28.9 hrs on record
The strategic element is decent, but the tactical combat requires major overhauls. Also, there need to be better controls for turning ships.
Quest system is excellent, offers an option other than massive gifting to buuild good relationships with another empire. However, for some reasons there is no direct swap of technologies option. You can gifth techs as can the other, but not at the same time.
Tactical combat consists mostly of dragging your ships across an insanely large map.
The weakest element of the game is the inability for the AI to auto-resolve a battle decently. So you find yourself dragging a fleet of 50 ships to take out 5 of the enemy because the AI can't do it properly without massive casualties on your side. Since you can't trust the AI to play out battles for you, every fight drags on and drains a huge amount of time.
Having a 'group ships' option within combat would simplify things.
Another major problem is the limited number of designs. Only 4 designs are stored per size, which makes no sense from a storyline perspective. Ship customization options are decent, but the limited number of designs limit what you can do.
Bottom line:
Not as good as Space Empires 5 on the tactical combat side and nowhere near Galactic Civilizations.
Posted: March 28
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13 of 18 people (72%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
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.
Posted: June 27
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12 of 20 people (60%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
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
Posted: May 3
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
101.8 hrs on record
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.
Posted: August 20
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
239.6 hrs on record
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!
Posted: August 26
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348 of 378 people (92%) found this review helpful
20.7 hrs on record
From the screenshots and video, I was excited to see another entry into the 4x genre, however, after playing for 20+ hours I have come to the conclusion that this game is not really ready for "non-beta" release. There are just so many things that are not ready, not implemented, not documented or explained, that it is simply not an enjoyable experience.

This review was written with the current "release" version of the game as of February 9th, 2014.

So, the list :

--Build Queue--

Non existant. You mean you want to build 3 of mother ship 1, 2 of mother ship 2, and 4 of mother ship 4? Not gonna happen unless you manually go back to each planet where ships are building and do that manually.

Not only is there NO build queue, you are locked into 4 ships of each "class". 4 scouts, 4 transports (including colonizer), 4 cruisers and 4 motherships. What does that mean? That means you can only have 4 ship designs of each type and if you want to make a new one you have to over-write another one.

Those two aspects of basic functionality being missing or kludgy really reminds of games from 1980.


--Combat--

This is probably the most tedious space combat of any of this genre I have played in a long while. I started playing games on the commodore VIC20/Commodore 64, and I've played quite a few of these over the years. It is just very convoluted and tedious.

Want to turn your ship so your weapons face a target? Good luck! Click on the screen and it may rotate 1/8th of a rotation...PER TURN.... Which may or may not be the direction you wanted.

Targetting in combat is flaky. If an enemy ship occupies the same square as one of yours or very close to it? You can't target that enemy, at all, by anything. Zooming in or out does not help and all you can do is move that ship which now means you have pointed one or more of your weapons away from combat.

--Quests---

Its hard to call these things quests. You get a random message, about something that happened that you may or may not be anywhere near ( it tells you your "fleet" flew by XYZ even though you had no ships anywhere near there, ever.), then when you try to step through it, the next "step" may or may not exist, work, or even be understandable.

"No Mr.Pirate, i want the REAL hammer!, Fine, come get it! meet me at XYZ". Go to XYZ, nothing. Survey entire system. nothing. Survey each planet. Nothing. Station fleet at XYZ for 3 real time hours, nothing.

--Technologies--

Terraforming - This is probably the most confusing tech in the game. The "manual" has exactly one occurrence of the word terraform in it, and it is a sentence that basically says "Yup, it exists". What does it do? nothing. Researched to level 10 and those limited habitat planets arent improved. Sure you can now colonize "toxic" planets, but it is not at all clear if terraforming made that possible, or other techs.

There is no information, the description in game says nothing useful, there is no method to initiate it no discernable effect from it, and the manual is utterly silent with respect to it.

Weapons and other systems are normalized to the point of simply being clones of each other with a different name. Yes, there are minor "effect" differences, but again, like most systems/things in the game, you have no idea if it is really happening, working, or even implemented.


--Ship design--

Aside from only having a maximum of 4 ship designs for each type before you have to over-write a previous one, there is no method to modify one design to the next as in a refit. In fact, the only "refit" in the game that exsists is that you have to fly a colonizer ship to a planet with a starbase before it can colonize again. lets say you have a cruiser with laser cannons on it and you want to instead have that existing ship re-fit with a newer design that uses plasma cannons. Nope, Can't do it.

This is a base feature of almost every game in this genre.

There is absolutely no customization. Ships have 8 "hardpoints" for weapons, 2 on each side, 2 front, and 2 at rear. There are no ship layouts as in its appearance, no anything except, put weapon here or not, make it light, regular or heavy.

--Strange stuff, bugs, etc--

After playing for 10 hours, the Varaians (the ancient energy race and progenitors of EVERYTHING) are the strongest, largest, and most powerful empire in the galaxy and all of a sudden, without being attacked by ANYONE, they are simply "defeated". Poof. They evaporate. No one was attacking them (I am in all of their systems with an alliance with them). They just simply decide to stop existing.

They had so much military power that the very few times anyone aside from me (with an alliance with them) wandered in, just a couple of their ships utterly wiped out whatever flew by and then bam. Gone.

This was the third occurrence of this happening to a race, they just decide they don't want to be in the game any longer and poof.

There are more issues, oddities, and things (most notable documentation) missing, but this is long enough already with enough specific examples.

This game is simply not ready for prime time yet. I applaud a new indie developer for trying to break into the market, truly, i realize its a tough thing to do, but even with that said, it can't change the reality of what this game is and is not.

I didnt go into it expecting a multi-million dollar budget production, but I certainly did go into it expecting something with far more playability.
Posted: February 9
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