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 (280 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 6, 2014

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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 (43)

March 27

Horizon release version

Friday March 27, 2015

We have some small improvements based on community feedback. We hope you have a good weekend!

* Attack and Defend colony pacts will now expire after 20 turns (displayed beside the pact)
* Surrendering a colony or system will now set it surveyed for the new owner if not already done
* The number of turns remaining for refit orders are now displayed on the task force info panel and on the fleet management lists
* AI ship designs will now take advantage of increased available space due to miniaturization or modding

* A split task force with some ships in hyperspace will now regroup at the destination rather than wait
* An ambassador getting tired from diplomatic negotiations will no longer mention it if the player clicks end communication
* When an AI race exterminates a player colony population the turn message will now display correctly the perpetrator and the victim
* Fixed an issue where in some cases after a successful allied invasion the number of remaining soldiers would not show correctly

2 comments Read more

March 13

Horizon release version

Friday March 13, 2015

Changes / Fixes
* The Fleet management list will now display task forces undergoing a refit with the corresponding 'refit' order instead of 'awaiting order'
* Construction and Weapon tech fields will now clear focus automatically if all techs have reached the maximum level, as is with other tech fields
* Fixed an issue where re-loading a saved game repeatedly could in some rare case cause a memory fault on the next turn

* Russian language dialogue and text improvements

0 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
51 of 58 people (88%) found this review helpful
50.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
Horizon reminds me of the old game pax imperium only much more fleshed out and in a turn based style.

Its a great game that is a bit different from the normal space strats.

True it doesnt have an insane tech tree like galactic civilizations or is extremly indepth like europa universalis but it is a great game that is fun to play.

Anyway if you want a fun space strat then you should try this game out because in my opinion it was worth the money and im glad that the developer made it since there are so few fun space strategy games these days.
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26 of 27 people (96%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
Horizon is a bit like Master of Orion 2.5, but in a good way.
My recommendation: buy it when it is on sale, that'S what I did. Otherwise it is overpriced.

- Very Realistic Research System:
- Each Tech can be refined in 10 levels meaning that an "outdated" tech like nuclear engines can be much better
than a lategame tech like graviton engines depending on how much reseach you already put into each one.
- Techs appear more or less randomly depending on you focus.
- Nice "retro"-feel with a lot of little videos when you discover something or meet an alien race... similar to Master of Orion 2
- Good tutorial
- Decent space battles (graphics not so much)
- realistic Ship Design system:
- if you improve an installed tech it will be automatically refitted to existing ships / designs
- if you change a design (change a component) you need to retrofit manually

- Don't expect any eye candy, graphics are 5-10 years behind mostly
- Quite bad intro which almost made me uninstall the game right away...
- Chessboard galaxy map, meaning you sometimes need to navigate around enemy systems if you want to get behind them

7/10 Overall
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30 of 36 people (83%) found this review helpful
21.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2014
While Horizon does some things well, notably exploration and diplomacy, it still fails to find a strong enough footing to make it really stand out. Nonetheless, for those who enjoy the genre, I wouldn't discount it entirely and so it still receives a thumbs up recommendation.

The fast-pace and easy to use main interface are appealing, especially for 4x players who enjoy a shorter style of play than more complex games. The major disappointments for the title come in the form of a clunky and nearly unbearable tactical combat system and the game's colony management process (or lack thereof), in which colony specialization is limited and doesn't change the overall gameplay.

The most recent patch to the game added helpful features (including an automated governor system), but didn't address enough of those fundamental issues that hold the game back from being a worthy successor to its inspiration in the Master of Orion series.

Full Review at eXplorminate: http://www.explorminate.com/horizon-review/
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34 of 43 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
21.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014

Let's start with the pros:

  • That triumphant feeling of conquering an enemy
  • Alien races have good design

However, that's where the good ends. And now, for the cons.

  • With the governor system, city management is practically non-existant
  • With auto-resolve, combat is avoidable and pointless. Would've been better if it was done automatically like Civilization
  • Capturing planets does nothing to aid your empire once you reach a certain point in the game, aside from keeping it from your enemies
  • AI is dreadful. They will ask for an armistice and cancel it the next turn, repeatedly, over and over. Also, they repeat their moves in every other thing they do too
  • Once you hit a certain point in the game, you can start a colony and get it maxed out in 5 turns, because of how little the currency matters late game. You can easily defend a large system by spawning in motherships (more on that in a second) on every planet in the system in a single turn. This is something the AI is oblivious to, apparently
  • Other than a colonizer, there is no reason to get a single other ship than a mothership, as long as you have a shipyard
  • Tech system is confusing and serves no purpose. This includes designing your ship.
  • Games drag on. Games can go on for over 800 turns and have only 2-3 enemies defeated, with no end in sight.

Overall, this game fails in most everything people look for in a 4X game. I do NOT recommend it.


Gameplay Graphics Replayability
Terrible Passable (doesn't affect game) Very low (for that to happen, the game has to end in the first place)
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26 of 35 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
110.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
tl;dr: broken in many ways. "Playable" at best.
  • Worst thing for me was painful planet micromanagement starting from middle or end game (depending on overall number of stars/planets). Custom build templates are desperately needed here.
  • A lot of things are counterintuitive, e.g. building a farming facility can make a planet much worse in terms of output and not improve anything; impossibility to intercept a non-combat ship (in most cases they retreat without taking a scratch); 5 000 000 000 people with the same level of tools produce about 5 times more research points than 5 000.
  • Diplomacy is mostly random. You can get completely different results by save/loading: a friendly civilization may offer a tech or demand your system. And you never can be sure that your proposition will be accepted (save for gifts).
  • Research is nearly impossible to direct: new techs are given at random (if not acquired by random diplomaty) and improvements made in "classical" linear way are subtle.
Of course, you can still explore, expand, exploit and exterminate, but this game is hardly better than anything else.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
At first I was thrilled to get my hands on this game. I love 4x games, and expecially when they're in space. However, after an hour of gameplay, the thrill was quickly worn out. While it seems fun and immersive, the galaxy is only so big, and it seems like I've started countless games starting in one corner of the galaxy only to find myself surrounded by other AI players, even when there were only one or two. One game I started and found the nearest AI had already colonized 12 worlds, despite the game having just begun. The AI cheats a little, but not enough to make victory impossible. But since you can't adjust the size of the map, only the density(from crammed to not too spread out), it's hard to really stretch your legs and get a feel for the game. Plus, since you often start so close to the AI, it likes to think that any planet it sees belongs to it. And if you colonized that planet, even if it's right next to your home system(literally), the AI will either demand it, or simply declare war on you in a few turns. This can be even more frustrating due to the limit on how far you can go from your colonies. You may want to invade your enemy's planet, but it's just out of your supply range. Meanwhile, he's sending attacks like he has no supply range limit, leaving you on the defense.

So really, while it looks fun, and may start out fun, it's not that fun. It could be so much better, but it really is a bunch of stuff crammed into one little thing.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
55.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Wow, just wow. Finally the 4X space strategy game that is at least as good but probably much better than master of orion I and II. I can't believe it, especially with the mixed ratings that it got. I could write pages and pages of text about it to show how good it is, but nobody would read it so ill try to keep it short and simple. Here it goes:

- The game is a typical 4X strategy game where you build and colonize new planets to expand your empire. You build ships and conquer worlds! The strategy part can be pretty deep. Long range view of things is needed for you to succeed at the highest level of difficulty.
- The game looks like it started with the freeorion game package and expanded from there. The galaxy map looks good, the planetary interface is good too, but the ship combat and research interface are a bit underwhelming. They are functional, but not great.
- Each planet is independent and must be colonized. Systems can have as many as 10 planets or as few as none! You can also automate the planet building and management with governors who will develop it just like you want to. For example: Agricultural governor, Industrial governer, Research governor, etc.
- On each planet, you have 3 to 4 ship queue(depending if you have a shipyard built or not). So you can actually build 4 ships at the same time! Each queue is for each ship size which are 'small', 'medium transport/colony', 'cruiser' and 'mothership'.
- You have default designs and named ships but you can redesign them at your heart content! Space on the ship is your limiting factor (also how much it will cost to build, but hey if you're rich, why not put all the bells and whistle on it!)
- Starting Technologies with random tek tree every game. If you are very unlucky, too bad for you! Adaptation is the key here. Also, you can't see which tek leads to what so you never know when you are going to get a new tek. You get surprised often! (Like when i got terraforming by increasing my tek level in bioweapon! I was like Da ♥♥♥♥? Yeaaaah!)
- You can find all kind of nifty things by digging on planets with archeology sites. Especially new tek that you don't have in your tek list. Or greatly improving one or more of your teks.
- Tek research is slow. It takes awhile to build your colony and the needed research labs that will boost the speed of your research. This means you got to use your tek plenty before you get to something better.
- Ships can be refitted with better tek components or new ones for that matter. The cost of refitting depends on how much change has been done to the design.
- Diplomacy is actually pretty good and the ai is not insane. Each race seems to have a distinct personality too, but nothing too mind blowing. Still, it is pretty solid. If they like you, they are not suddenly going to war against you out of nowhere unless you did something bad! (You naughty you!). The interface is functional, but not very good graphically speaking. Still, it works fine so who cares!
- You have a limited number of war ships that you can have at the same time until you improve your logistic tek and build a ♥♥♥♥ ton of starbases. This means you have to weight carefully your needs before building a new ship. And scrapping ships is actually a good thing to do when your needs change. The limit of ships is a soft one before you start paying INSANE maintenance on each new ship, so if youre very rich, you can still bust the limit with little problems, but the maintenance cost gets very high very fast so i do not recommend doing this very often or for long.
- There is ground invasion. I haven't tried it yet but you can bomb and invade with troops. There are many tek you can improve to help you with ground combat: tanks, hovercraft, aircraft, bombers, personnel carriers, rifle slugs, neutrino guns and plenty more! You can become a god at invading planets or defending from invasion too!

Now the cons of this game:

- The graphic are so so. This is not a game with pretty graphic. They are not horrible, but they look like they have been done without any artist or a bad one or they just didn't have the time to pretty them. I'm very glad that they didn't waste their time on graphics honestly because then we would have a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ game like master of orion 3 with superb graphic and good looking interface (that wasn't functional nor intuitive nor very usable) and a bad game to play. They concentrated on making the game fun to play and plenty challenging too!
- The sound is appropriate and the music is good. You don't get tired of hearing the same music, it fits the space age theme of the game very well.
- Going with the graphics, the cutscene are note very good either, but hey you don't care!

I'm giving a 10/10 on this game for the overall awesomeness of it. You like long winded, slow building, deep strategy game? This game is your next lover!

See ya!

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8 of 8 people (100%) 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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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
171.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
Has the feel of Master of Orion series with much of the tedious manipulations eliminated. And of course the graphics are much better. If you're a MoO fan looking for a similar game, this is your baby.
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4 of 4 people (100%) 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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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
116.9 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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11 of 18 people (61%) found this review helpful
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
Time to edit and update review: after playing in 3 days this game i can only say that i like it very much.
I read all those negative reviews i think that they are to harshly. but lets start with negative stuffs -that is what are most people interested in.

1)they said that game lacks of tutorial - well thats actually true, but it is still easy learn able for average 4x space fan. There is also community that can help you. But still game need more explanation about some weapons /armor etc. After losing lot of ships in battle, i learned that you need to put nuclear weapons in stand of laser canons if you are going to bombard and attack planet defense :)

2)most people hate battle system - actually that is true. after some 10hours of game i play space battles in "auto mode". Just put right weapons on your ships and press "auto" and enjoy in battle. Conquering planet could be confusing, i dont know why my transport ship goes first with battle ships, in galactic civilization transport ships stay behind in fleet battle. So i just bombard planet, destroy the colony and settle my colony :).. There is an option when you conquer with invasion to - exterminate alien race, assimilate, and third option... nowhere is written what that means... i guess u need some time of learning the game to fully understand ship battle system and eventually manually play -

Edit: i played few hours and i couldnt counqer one heavliy defended planet. So i proceeded manually and manage to conquer. -well some detail tutorial could be fine.

But also in Galactic Civilization space battles are done automatically.

3)most of sounds and animations in game are just great expect of some races - i think Tactic race :D - so ♥♥♥♥ing annoying sound. no a big deal.
4)some things are "unreal" - like terraforming Pluto planet - its fine to terraform Mars because it lies in habitable zone, but it is impossible, even in any possibility to terraform Pluto- to looks like small Earth.. no way.. and terraforming some Volcanic planet to Earthlike planet. Noway. And terraforming although you have to pay, still it is going very fast... in few turns from Mars to Earth... In reality it would need centuries or at least few decades for "future high tech race". I ll put this on Horizon forum and ask developers to "fix this".

5)expansion oriented game - so far didn't see that you can skip expansion and try aggressive game play... so formula is simple - expand and expand. because investing in expansion gives more in return. Developers should make some patch to make expansion little more expensive or something.. but then they need to tweak A.I :) lot of work

But mostly those are tiny/small negative stuffs that i noticed - with current discount price - game is ♥♥♥♥ing great.

It has nice micro and macro management of your empire (i read that they fixed it in last few patches -for me its works nice) , very nice atmosphere , very real economy system, nice planet development, so far excellent AI -and you can automate your battles or planet management. Graphics if also fine for this kind of game, interesting tech system. Game looks like very solid simulation of realty for hardcore science fan (♥♥♥♥ i hate terraforming its so unreal :D )

Even if there is something negative about this game, it could be fixed /upgraded.
I think that i ll play this game very very long :)
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 9
i played horizon in the past and i had to get it again, its a 4x game that is worth the price, it may be a litle confusing at first but get some hours and everything will be clear, some people dont like the random way u discover tech, well i like it make every game diferent, and the combat sistem is also nice, at first i didnt like it very much because once again can get a litle confusing, but after u get the hang of it u will like it, at least i did :)
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
19.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Overall a really nice 4x strategy, I especially like how they do their research system.
-Combat can be rather annoying at time with the facing and energy control as you don't know how much energy it'll take to move a certain distance vs how much you need to save to shoot.
-Planet governing uses a lot of money, and seems useful only once you're already set, but it's really useful then.
-There are a few things not explained with tooltips that just annoy me, but don't really get in the way.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Very good game, but not a hardcore 4x space strategy!
I think the retail price a little bit overpriced.

- MOO style
- Detailed tutorials
- Research System (Very good)
- Good Ship Design (although not a GalCiv 2, but very useful)
- GUI (basically, the font size can be seen in HD on large screen, but unfortunately you can not set in the options).
- 2D graphics, design
- Classic 4x atmosphere with better graphics

- AI (a little silly and cheat)
- Economy is unbalanced
- 3D graphics outdated (Reminds me of the 3D studio R4)
- Drop-down info window (frustrating)

However overall I recommend it, but not the original retail price!
My score: 8/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
31.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 24
I like this game. It does not have the huge scope of a game like Galatic Civilizations, but I am entertained when I play. I think this is a good contribution to the space 4X genre by a tiny indie developer
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
69.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 11
Recommended at <=$10.00 USD, and not a penny more.

This is a simplified 4x game.

+ Good second-screen experience.
+ Easy to pick up and play.
+ Diplomacy engine is actually half-way decent (e.g., giving things to other races yields tangible benefits).
+ Manual combat can actually yield positive results (vs auto-combat) when opposing ship designs are ~ = tech level.
+ Races are balanced in non-story (Classic?) mode (same tech-tree/ starting conditions).
+ At < = Normal AI level, come-from-behind victories are possible.
+ Planetary conquest mechanics are above-average (IMO).
+ Good terraforming model/ mechanics (simpler/ easier than Endless Space, for example).

- AI makes some non-sensical moves. Example: requesting *your* surrender when you've whittled them down to their last planet. (WTF?!)
- Would be a good tablet experience if context-sensitive menu items and text were a bit larger.
- Music sux (muted it - use di.fm\trance or \chillout instead).
- Graphix suk (reminds me of 90's EGA/ VGA games, for some reason...)
- "Story mode" is weak (IMO - but, admittedly, at least it has one...).
- Tech Tree nagivation and management is poor (albeit comparatively realistic, as re: process).
- Ship design is a kludge. Too complicated where it doesn't need to be... And too simple where it should be more complex (IMO).
- ~80% of ship design doesn't matter when using auto-combat.
- Few victory scenarios. No science victory.
- Some weapons too similar to one another in practice.
- After a certain disparity in tech level... Manual combat matters not (superior tactics will not compensate). The extent of disparity is closer than I feel it should be.
- No fast-forward button on ground troop invasion screens (personal pet-peeve).
- Generally simplified, vs other 4x games (read: you'll get bored of it more quickly).

Worth it only if deeply-discounted. (I'd like to have some of whatever they were smoking when they decided on pricing for this game...)
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
61.8 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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
The developers have improved the game steadily taking out many micromanagement hassle and making a better UI, which means a lot in a 4x game that can last hundreds of turns. As of January 2015 Horizon is on equal footing with MoO2. The random progression of the research (not everybody likes it), the quests and the perks discovered while exploring new planets offer much replayability.
Seasoned space strategy players will probably be a little disappointed, but don't be fooled, this a complete 4x game experience.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
Horizon is a sandbox 4X space strategy game. For those who are new to the strategy genre, 4X means eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. The graphics remind me of a game that was published probably in early 2000s. The grandfather of this game has to be Masters of Orion. I say this mainly because I see a variety of similarities. But then again, the same could be said for many 4X space strategy games.

The game play is what you would expect a 4X game to be. Ships traversing the stars, colonizing and warring with other races. The research is different from typical 4X games. Traditionally additional levels of research were levels in name. For example: Laser II, Laser III etc. This is not the case in Horizon. Instead of merely unlocking an item in research, the player has to level it up which can be confusing because I felt like I was not certain what was a solid level to research before focusing on a new area.

Acquiring a new level 0 weapon felt less advantageous because it was level 0 compared to the level 8 laser the fleet was using. The player can focus 50% of the research to a certain category and then focus the research further in said category. For example: Click Weapons and then Lasers. There are also some areas of research I considered to be a little to micromanage oriented for the empire. Ground troop types are available to spice things up, but this means additional research.

While playing this game I discovered a few additional things that are not as common to this style of game. Digging on certain planets to reveal game elements. The player can also explore the system or just a singular planet. Colonization ships would deposit pods on the surface, and then became available to fly back to port in order for it to be refitted with pods once more. It was a nice change over colony ships being lost with every planet. The flaw is that there are command points for the empire. This means that the player is only allowed so many ships in service at one time.

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I would like to take a moment to thank Iceberg Interactive for approaching me and providing a free copy of Horizon for this review.

If you don't mind lower end graphics with a slightly different approach to 4X Space Strategy, then you may enjoy this. Also check out my review group for other titles!
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