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 (297 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 6, 2014

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Buy Iceberg Interactive - Cool as Ice Bundle

Includes 5 items: Gas Guzzlers Extreme, Horizon, Nuclear Dawn, StarDrive, Starpoint Gemini 2


Recommended By Curators

"A great space game that shows alot of promise for those wanting to jump down the rabbit hole. Take control and venture and become the famous captain!"
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Recent updates View all (45)

June 12

Horizon release version

Friday June 12, 2015

With this update the crew of ships and other vessels will now gain experience points from combat which can increase crew rank. The ranks can be seen on ship stats plus their XP toward the next level. There are 5 ranks (Novice 0-10 XP, Veteran 10-30 XP, Elite 30-100 XP, Heroic 100-500 XP and Legendary 500+ XP). Ranks provide bonuses in combat to ships toward targeting, defense, critical strikes and boarding combat.

Other changes
* Invade orders will no longer count or use troops from other task forces in the same system if they have different invasion targets.
* Non-combatant ships will now flee from their own systems if their side is losing the battle.
* On Invasion a colony's native race will now be shown correctly instead of the occupying race.
* Overtaking an outpost from another race without a population will now set the native race to the occupying race if they can live on the planet.
* Embargo pacts are now cleared automatically when relations turn non-hostile
* Colonization orders will now display an ETA if the target planet is in a different sector
* Expiring armistice pacts will now give a turn message
* Newly built ships will no longer count toward defending a planet (annulling a blockade check) until a full turn has passed.

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May 1

Horizon release version

Friday May 1st, 2015

Another batch of minor improvements based on community feedback/reports. Have a good weekend everyone!

* Taking over colonies via Invasion now sets them surveyed similar to colonizing planets
* Troop ships with the Invade order will no longer abort their order if unable to land troops on the first attempt (if the planet is protected) and will keep re-trying
* Retreating troop ships from a battle will now be considered for landing troops as long as the battle is won for their side

* Immaterial and Quasi-Immortal racial effects will now be checked based on the planet population race and not the occupier

* Allied ships will no longer continue firing on player captured (former enemy) ships during a battle, immediately recognizing who has taken control of the ship
* Fixed a minor bug which allowed the player hovering over a cloaked/invisible ship to be able to attack it even when it was undetected

* Added a combat log message when ships are destroyed
* Added non-combatant count on the combat prompt tooltip detailing each side's fleet composition

5 comments Read more


“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!

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 (NEW: Includes a mod that unlocks 3 additional ancient races now playable)
  • Extended Modding support with the ability to create your own races and even write your own scripted quests

System Requirements

    • 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
    • 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
47 of 49 people (96%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
Horizon is an imperfect product. It's better than many of the generic half-baked 4X games which are flooding the market as disposal-ware, but there are some very real drawbacks which limit the enjoyability of the game.

For newcomers to the 4X genre who are looking to sink their teeth into a strategy game with some structure and a relatively low learning curve and don't mind the dated graphics, I'm giving this game a thumbs-up.

For veterans of the genre, who are well-versed in games like Endless Space, GalCiv II and III, Distant Worlds or the Sword of the Stars franchise, I'm giving this a thumbs-down.

For starters there are some very unique strengths to this game which are stand-out from the rest.

Although almost every 4X game features the same exact tropes (types) of races, Horizon manages to give the in-game civilizations a sense of substance and personality which many other games lack. The in-game universe may not necessarily be as flushed as Endless Space, GalCiv or SotS, but the races present in the game are tweaked just enough from their stereotypes to make themselves unique---and the uniqueness of these races lend themselves to an almost genuine interactive quality. Species traits are certainly more than just window dressing, but the mechanics from one species to the next are mostly identical (unlike, say, GalCiv or ES, but much better than the generic games on the market).

The research and development process in the game is a refreshingly unique take on R&D systems. Unlike most games, where R&D focuses on one single tech at a time, Horizon has a system similar to the research points and tech levels structure found in Paradox's Hearts of Iron 3---with a measure of blind development to make things even more interesting. The way breakthroughs are often realized isn't through normal R&D channels, however, but by finding artifacts and other neat little details hidden throughout the stars. Exploration directly leads to new technological development, which makes the R&D system a lot more dynamic than most other 4X games out there.

Unfortunately, the R&D results don't feel particularly "real" in-game. For the vast majority of them, they are simply stat-modifiers. Advancements in construction technology will make colony-building construction faster, but it won't change the buildings which are available. Advancements in weapons and propulsion will add new weapons and subsystems which can be deployed, but ship-types are fixed from the start. Just as planetary development is strictly linear for each class of building, so too is ship design and deployment.

Ships are limited. Significantly. In contrast to some of the generic disposal-ware games on the market, 16 unique ship-models, limited to four variants in four size-classes may seem like a nice spectrum for deployment. When contrasted with the dynamic models presented in Endless Space, or the complete from-scratch construction system for GalCiv II and III, or the custom-function design approach used in Sword of the Stars, ship design feels incredibly flat. Ship design is very strictly limited to a handful of weapon placement positions and placeholders for whatever systems are available for use. All four hull sizes and variants are accessible to the player from the start, no additional R&D required.

It wouldn't be so bad, but the models for these ships look extremely dated once they engage in combat. The graphics look like they would be perfectly comfortable in the mid 2000s, but even against some of the generic disposal-ware 4X games, they look dated. Similarly, it's a very nice touch that Horizon has animated cut-scenes for first contact moments and other milestones, however, these cut-scenes too look like they are from the mid 2000s as well.

In summary, Horizon is a very mixed product. Some components feel incredibly well thought-out and they look great. Other components look rough, even dated, and seem to be poorly conceived and weak in implementation.

Ordinarily, I don't care about sales----usually, I'll argue that a game is either worth buying full price, or not worth buying at all---but this is not a product worth paying full-price for.

And the conclusion? If you want a straight-forward 4X game with some meat but not the level of complexity which the best-in-class games demand, then Horizon is a good solid choice, as long as you don't mind some of the graphics and other limitations. If you're a veteran of the genre, looking for the next breakout product, this probably isn't it. If Horizon has a sequal or a complete overhaul to ship design and deployment, and creates new cut-scenes from scratch, Horizon could start moving towards its' potential.

The potential is here, but it has yet to be realized.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
127.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 8
I like this game. As far as 4X games go, it has most of the desirable features available in other games of the same genre. The Technology Tree is expansive enough to keep you researching new techs forever it seems. The ability to customize your ships equals that of Space Empires V; however, you can't custom design ground forces. I thought the ability to custom design your own player race a great feature, but I wish there was a greater selection of possible portraits to select from. At the start of a game, you can custom design your galaxy, the number of stars, random events, etc.
Space combat is strangely satisfying. You get to move and target your ships unlike in Endless Space where you play combat cards. However, ground combat is sit back and watch, you get no input on how it unfolds. Just have the better techs for your troops and hope for the best. Diplomacy is also very well done, with numerous types of treaties available to use in dealing with the various racesyou will encounter. I definetly recommend this game :)
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
26.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
When this game launched it was in rough shape - it had promise, but it had a lot of issues. I'm happy to say that as of today, after many patches and gameplay improvements, Horizon is a good 4x space strategy game. A lot of things have been fixed and improved since I last played at launch - namely a working economy, much improved space combat & tactics, AI that so far is presenting a good challenge on harder difficulties. Fleet size is no longer restricted merely by maintenance fees (a non issue later in the game originally), but by a much needed Command Point system. This forces you to carefully think out your fleets as you can only build a limited number of ships now, depending on the size of your empire and relevant tecnology (logistics tech).

There is now a Governor system as well you can use to automate production on planets if you wish (a major headache saver once your empire grows large) which seems to do a solid job and can be adjusted to make a planet focused on commerce, research, industry, tourism etc.

I only wish the game had launched like this, it's now a solid strategy 4x game, well worth your time (assuming you don't mind the simple but functional visuals).
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
39.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
Horizon is a space turn based strategy game. If you like this genre you will definetly enjoy the game.
The story behind this is the usual, conquer your galaxy while other alien races will try the same. Additionally, you will have a few missions so you can make other races happy, these missions provides relation boosts and possibly alliance with the race offered the mission or just make them to return their home galaxy and so on.

you can create blueprings, equip ships with weapon types you prefer, improve and terraform your planet, research new technologies.

The game isnt the best from this genre neither the worst, but it has a charm and enjoyable.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
61.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
This is a great game! It's like MOO 2 on steroids :) I waited for a while before purchasing, taking in all the Feedback and decided to take the plunge and buy it. I wish I had bought it earlier, I have waited a long time for a good space-based strategy game, and this ticks about 99% of the boxes for me.
The only minor fault I have found is that the AI races are quite aggressive and unapproachable (Even the supposed Passive and Social ones) and war is always inevitable quite quickly after meeting them. If that could be tweeked a bit it would be the perfect game of this type for me.
Ship design is really effective and works well IMHO, as does planetary combat. I enjoy the research and construction aspect, especially on smaller planets where you have to decide 'Research or Industry? Food or Trade' etc. It sets the grey matter working.
All in all, I am enjoying this game and will spend many hours conquering many universes.
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