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:
Recent:
Mixed (10 reviews) - 60% of the 10 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mixed (364 reviews) - 57% of the 364 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 6, 2014

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Packages that include this game

Buy Iceberg Interactive - Cool as Ice Bundle

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

 

Recent updates View all (51)

December 26, 2015

Horizon release version 1.0.2.145

December 26, 2015
v1.0.2.145

This year-end small update has some balance changes and a few fixes thanks to your feedback. We also want to wish you happy holidays! It's been great interacting with you for the past year and we hope to continue in 2016!

Changes:
- Fighters effectiveness in combat has been improved. They now begin with two attacks per round and gain a third one at higher levels.
- Starbases and planets will now get their turn to attack before most other units (their combat initiative was lowered).
- Conquered systems under assimilation or subjugation will no longer count toward 'reckless expansion' for the purposes of others demanding that you stop expanding.
- Effectiveness of the cloaking device has been improved. Cloaked ships will no longer lose "invisibility" when getting hit so long as they don't fire back or the cloaking device isn't damaged.

Fixes:
- The Kor'tahz missions final step will no longer cause a downgrade in relations if you are already allied with them.
- The survey system order will now allow you to cancel and set it back again on unexplored systems with only gas giants.
- Invasions with more than 2 billion troops will now calculate the correct strength for soldiers.

3 comments Read more

December 5, 2015

Horizon release version 1.0.2.144

December 05, 2015
v1.0.2.144

A small update with the following changes:

* Launched missiles that no longer have a target will now expire immediately instead of waiting to run out of fuel before disappearing.

* After a won battle, ships with ground troops that retreated (on the winning side) will now be considered for the purpose of showing the Invasion Prompt option. Previously if none of the remaining ships had ground troops the prompt would not display.

0 comments Read more

Reviews

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

“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

    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 10 / 8.x / 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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (10 reviews)
Overall:
Mixed (364 reviews)
Recently Posted
clevmut
( 282.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 22
Not as complicated as a lot of space games, but very enjoyable for a quick break from the long multi player type games. Great game for the price.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kennyleebeeks
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 3
Nothing like I hoped or imagined.
Couldn't complete the 1st combat without using the Auto-complete function as there was no explanation of everything involved until after it was over.
Then it turned out to be too complex to be any fun for me.
Waste of my money.
Fortunately, it was on sale & only cost $7.49 today!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sandermatt
( 20.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 3
Positive:
Innovative (more realistic) way of handling research.
Ship design is rather good.
So far the game seems rather balanced.
There are some questlines to explore.

Neutral
Combat works, but it is not that special.

Negative:
Strange Diplomacy. People ask you to surrender after loosing every battle. People wage war with you and offer you to pay tribute while still waging war.
Graphics are not too good (altough this is not that important to me)
Biggest drawback: I have now played this game for 9 hours and I play on highest difficulty, still it feels rather easy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nehznehz
( 21.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 1
For the current discounted price (7euro), this game is easely worth the money. For the normal price I'd be a bit more hesitant to recommend it, though not to the point that I'd leave a thumb down.

This is a fairly standard 4x game. The economy is less complex than the avarage, but I don't consider that a bad thing.
The research management is well done in this game. It introduces chance with the discovery of new tech, preventing you from looking at the end of a tech tree and ignoring all the tech before that when deciding which path to follow. Don't worry, you decide the priority on which tech should be refined, which is something I really enjoyed.

What I really disliked in this game is the controll scheme during tactical combat. It's inconsistent with that of the galaxy map or with any other game for that matter.

Now for the reason that made me hesitate to really recommend this game: I feel like there could be more do differentiate builts between the planets. What's there is mostly a differences of quality, not function. This leads to me making 1 or 2 production planets and put everything else on research first and money second. There are some unique bonusses that can appear on planets, but only one of those actually made me consider changing the build (by increasing the tourism more than the trade).
Other than that, the game can use some more polish, though it doesn't do bad there compared to most sci-fi 4x games. I haven't encountered any bugs in any case.

To conclude: not a great game, but not bad either.

This game reminds me a bit of armada 2526 and that's definetly not a bad thing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sarbu
( 28.1 hrs on record )
Posted: March 31
this game isnt very good.

pros:
has neat ideas, i havent seen before, like tech tree. i guess?

didnt see any bugs.

cons:

whole game seems like a water version of a real game.

tech tree is great in terms of that every race has unquie techs, but mostly all bland, everything has a tech lvl 10 and then thats it. example all the weapons are pretty much the same, engines too, missles are a little different not enough to be that great though. there arent even techs to get new buildings.... and you cant really do much in the research field in terms of tweaking its really weird. and researching a tech doesnt lead to other techs or at least none that i saw or that made a diffence.

space combat is done terrible, you might as well always quick fight, at least its pretty accurate, and invasions are click when to start and click done after it figures out who won, very simple, and would be nice if it just quicked isntead fo watching 2 numbers count down towards zero...

diplomancy is average at best. but ai makes weird demands and they need to surrender when they are losing bad.

colony management is a joke, nothing really to build. money system is not there either.

ai will build colonies every where and have really weird mood swings

cant play with command points on or you can make like a max of 15 ships, its very hard to fight two weak enemies or even one in this game if you only have 15 ships. you are forced to build a starbase on every planet and star bases are very very weak. i maxed out every tech and guys with half my tech wouldnt have a problem against my starbase. and can only build one star base per planet, so with out ships you cant defend any of your planets.

can only make 4 ship designs of each size, and small size basicaly is a scout ship only so not sure why you need 4 designs of it.

basically every part of the game except the next turn button is in need of rework.

this game seems like the first game you would give someone who has never played a space game before. and i cant understand how anyone would like this game or give it a good review. seriously its bare bones and it seems like it was made in the 1980's. i would be ashamed of this game if i made it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Customer Service
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 28
I only played for a short while, but the game is very menu heavy. It's not instinctive and the promo video is not particularly like the gameplay.

I know it's not a AAA game, but I guess I'm just used to simpler, pretty games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jazajay
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: March 28
Cons:
The graphics are really dated, the sound track is really dated, the tutorial is annoying, as in it makes you explore this probe, and as you go to board it, the advisor comes on and tells you Oops I forget to tell you you need to have this part installed, so you have to fly back to Earth to then add it, and the UI takes a lot of getting use to - not intuitive at all.

Positive:
The battle game play seems a lot better than Galactic Empires, and Endless space.

Overall, I wouldn't purchase this game again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0n$l@uĝhŦ-·>מŸŤĥё
( 23.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 19
First, second, third try:
What am I supposed to do?

Fourth try:
Found where to enable tutorial, following a super long tutorial, accidentely closing it, getting ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off.

Fifth try:
Chose Kuntari, developing peacefully, biggest race declares war. Other races constantly demand systems, money, technologies. If you refuse, the become hostile. Got ripped off by the biggest race.

Sixth try:
Chose Kuntari again (they're pretty cute), developing peacefully, building colonies and fleet. Run out of money again and again. Created an alliance, biggest race declares a war, my entire fleet was destroyed by just one enemy colony, starting over.

Seventh try:
Disabled command points (or whatever those are called) not to have fleet limit. Guess whom I chose, building colonies all over the space not caring about the fleet. Everything goes fine. 1st place in expansion chart. Beginning developing fleet. Make an alliance with 3 races, so far so good. Random event occurs - choosing galaxy leader between neutral race and an ally. Voted for ally, everyone else votes for another race. I was prompted if I agree to recognise this race as a leader. Click "yes". A short movie is shown how everybody unified under my command (no ♥♥♥♥ing clue why), now we can... Just can. Do things. Open deplomacy screen - 8 races declared a war to me. Was fighting pretty good, started loosing one colony after another. Rage quit life.

I have absolutely no experience in strategies like that, just saying.

Horizon intensifies.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Arety:TheLoneWanderer
( 198.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 13
Have no big reasons to like this game and it can be relly anoying but for some reason i have spent almost 200 hours in this game. : /

Its good you should buy it if you like strategy games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
alaron22
( 10.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 12
lovely
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BlueAquatics
( 119.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 20
It's honestly an entertaining game. turn based games like this are best :P, aswell as the fact you can customise and choose any race you want.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shadow_Dracul
( 11.7 hrs on record )
Posted: January 10
even on easy this game is very hard as you effectively have to manage everything and even then you are not guaranteed to get any new tech as you get it by chance and as well as that it takes hours just to get anywhere in the game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Thundar
( 8.2 hrs on record )
Posted: December 18, 2015
Do you like 4X civ games and like science fiction. If you said yes to both then this should be worth a look.

Don't expect to win on your first play through. Normal mode is very aggressive. The casual gamer will have to turn the difficulty down to learn the finer points of the game. Hardcore gamers should not have a problem with it.

The game offers a wide and varied customization of your colonies and ships. Tactically you will want to fight most battles manually one missle or laser blast at a time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
vincentlocas
( 10.5 hrs on record )
Posted: December 12, 2015
Not really original, but if you like space strategy games, you might enjoy it.

I would advise to wait for a discount, for the price is too high for what the game has to offer in my opinion.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
unrealmedia
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: December 5, 2015
It needsd a lot of polishing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Xerties
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: November 25, 2015
Horizon is a very in-depth game.
In the Sci-fi ship building planet dominiting type game i am not a fan of turn based i would much rather be in RTS.

With my preference aside this game is very well made i couldn't wait to wage war on the first peaceful race that was nearby.

Great job developers on releasing a solid game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bullwinkle
( 14.5 hrs on record )
Posted: November 24, 2015
Take a good long look at the first screenshot in the Steam Store (after the video). You're looking at a picture drawn with 1999 software, and you will be staring at this fugly "galaxy" the whole time you play this game. Galaxies should be breathtaking and beautiful, not meh, and certainly not fugly. How is it even possible to make a galaxy look ugly? More importantly: how is it possible for a dev team to look at a fugly drawing of a galaxy and then decide to use it as the main background shot for your whole game?! Answer: that is the best that was available back in the late 90s and early 2000s, when they were creating this game. Don't be fooled by the video. Look at the screen shots.

Gameplay is meh, not terrible. You must learn the interface by trial and error because the help files suck. All of the mechanics are a bit clunky and not intuitive, not polished. Example: this is an empire-building game, so you have lots of planets. When planet X13Z or some other forgettable name gets attacked you must respond, but you don't get to remind yourself "OK, which one is that again" before you decide how to respond to the attack. You can't look at the map and see which system it is. You either remember the name or you don't. Now choose your tactical response from the list of choices while we keep the map hidden. X13's fate is in your hands, but you can't remember is that the planet you're building $20 billion worth of infrastructure or the one you haven't started working on yet. Please choose now: Flee or Engage. At least there is AutoSave if you pick the wrong choice. Oh wait. There's not. You just lost an hour and a half of gameplay because you forgot to hit save. That's just the way things were back in 2003.

It actually plays like an OK game if you embrace it like a family member who you simply have to get along with, but that hardly matters. This is a 2003 game trying to pass itself off as something new. No one buys a $30 Grand Strategy Space game these days expecting to stare at a 2D checkerboard and move cardboard cutouts of spaceships around while staring at a fugly drawing of a galaxy painted onto that 2D checkerboard. I was hoping for a game that would make me feel like I'm in outer space. Horizon fell short by a 2D parsec rendered in 680 X 1020 on a freaking CHECKERBOARD PLAYING FIELD.

tldr: 5/10. Clunky but playable 4x space game with some depth and challenge. Never crashed. Occasionally entertaining. Storyline alternates between engaging and lame. Profoundly weak graphics. Don't pay more than $10 for this, even if you're a fan of the 4x space genre. Minimum requirements include Windows XP, and that should tell you when this game was actually made. Decent choice if your computer was built when Britney Spears was shockingly new, otherwise get a game that was made after Windows 7.

[EDIT] I've played about 40 hours now, and it does get a little better. A lot of early stuff in the game is confusing and will point you in the wrong directions at first, but if you can get past that, there is a decent game here. If you get it on deep discount, you could do worse. Deep, complex, outdated gameplay.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
rubyismycat
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: November 24, 2015
this is just an insultingly bad attempt to copy a twenty year old game called Masters of Orion which was fantastic this game is a botched copy definately dont buy it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Acerbic_Zero
( 5.6 hrs on record )
Posted: November 23, 2015
I seem to buy just about any semi-exciting looking 4X game, however this one was clearly a mistake. The entire experience can be summed up with the word "Meh".
Helpful? Yes No Funny
davefrisch
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: November 22, 2015
Boring, repetitive, tries to be a very vanilla version of MOO2. wish I could get a refund from this garbage institution.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
282.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 22
Not as complicated as a lot of space games, but very enjoyable for a quick break from the long multi player type games. Great game for the price.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
Recommended
23.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 19
First, second, third try:
What am I supposed to do?

Fourth try:
Found where to enable tutorial, following a super long tutorial, accidentely closing it, getting ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off.

Fifth try:
Chose Kuntari, developing peacefully, biggest race declares war. Other races constantly demand systems, money, technologies. If you refuse, the become hostile. Got ripped off by the biggest race.

Sixth try:
Chose Kuntari again (they're pretty cute), developing peacefully, building colonies and fleet. Run out of money again and again. Created an alliance, biggest race declares a war, my entire fleet was destroyed by just one enemy colony, starting over.

Seventh try:
Disabled command points (or whatever those are called) not to have fleet limit. Guess whom I chose, building colonies all over the space not caring about the fleet. Everything goes fine. 1st place in expansion chart. Beginning developing fleet. Make an alliance with 3 races, so far so good. Random event occurs - choosing galaxy leader between neutral race and an ally. Voted for ally, everyone else votes for another race. I was prompted if I agree to recognise this race as a leader. Click "yes". A short movie is shown how everybody unified under my command (no ♥♥♥♥ing clue why), now we can... Just can. Do things. Open deplomacy screen - 8 races declared a war to me. Was fighting pretty good, started loosing one colony after another. Rage quit life.

I have absolutely no experience in strategies like that, just saying.

Horizon intensifies.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 1
For the current discounted price (7euro), this game is easely worth the money. For the normal price I'd be a bit more hesitant to recommend it, though not to the point that I'd leave a thumb down.

This is a fairly standard 4x game. The economy is less complex than the avarage, but I don't consider that a bad thing.
The research management is well done in this game. It introduces chance with the discovery of new tech, preventing you from looking at the end of a tech tree and ignoring all the tech before that when deciding which path to follow. Don't worry, you decide the priority on which tech should be refined, which is something I really enjoyed.

What I really disliked in this game is the controll scheme during tactical combat. It's inconsistent with that of the galaxy map or with any other game for that matter.

Now for the reason that made me hesitate to really recommend this game: I feel like there could be more do differentiate builts between the planets. What's there is mostly a differences of quality, not function. This leads to me making 1 or 2 production planets and put everything else on research first and money second. There are some unique bonusses that can appear on planets, but only one of those actually made me consider changing the build (by increasing the tourism more than the trade).
Other than that, the game can use some more polish, though it doesn't do bad there compared to most sci-fi 4x games. I haven't encountered any bugs in any case.

To conclude: not a great game, but not bad either.

This game reminds me a bit of armada 2526 and that's definetly not a bad thing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
94 of 122 people (77%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
70.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2015
I've been struggling with how to review this game for some time. It hits all the proper 4x elements, it's stable, has a diverse selection of races... but it's just not all that fun. I have yet to ever play a game all the way through. The developer has been great (I've seen frequent meaningful updates), it does everything it's supposed to do, but in the end it makes me long for Star Trek: Birth of the Federation. The two games are very similar but Horizon is just missing that extra something that makes it special. BOTF benefited from the existing Star Trek universe, but it also really captured the feel of the races by using custom UI for each one and having a nice balance of unique traits. If you can find that game, it's great. If the developers have not played it I recommend they do. The universe in Horizon is just too stale as is. Maybe that's it.

Anyway, great game that is well worth supporting, but I can't recommend when there are other better games out there.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
26 of 33 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
27.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2015
The game is great. Not that great as it could be. Still the tech trees, starship construction , economy system is quite simplified and makes you focus on the main thing like quests and world dominance. There are several drawback, mostly for diplomacy system and point defence in battles. There are glitches with planet bombardment and conquering worlds... but for me this game is a major setforth even compared to GalCiv3.

You get a well optimised game (big boo to GalCiv 3) with understandable techtree, simplified and intuitive economy model (again the rock to GalCiv), great tech management (in fact, this is the first time I prefered the system from MOO 3) than from GalCiv (GalCiv 2 had a decent system, but I can't say the same for GalCiv3 - many drawbacks noticed). You can create almost any race you want (that is now very restricted in GalCiv3). But the thing I fell in love with is tactical fights, quests system and ships modeling. This is just great, and only one game beets it for me - Sword of the stars 1
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2015
Do you like 4X civ games and like science fiction. If you said yes to both then this should be worth a look.

Don't expect to win on your first play through. Normal mode is very aggressive. The casual gamer will have to turn the difficulty down to learn the finer points of the game. Hardcore gamers should not have a problem with it.

The game offers a wide and varied customization of your colonies and ships. Tactically you will want to fight most battles manually one missle or laser blast at a time.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2015
Not really original, but if you like space strategy games, you might enjoy it.

I would advise to wait for a discount, for the price is too high for what the game has to offer in my opinion.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
Recommended
119.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
It's honestly an entertaining game. turn based games like this are best :P, aswell as the fact you can customise and choose any race you want.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
413 of 454 people (91%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 9, 2014
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.
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145 of 166 people (87%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
21.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
FINAL REVIEW:

Let's start with the pros:

PROS:[/b]
  • That triumphant feeling of conquering an enemy
  • Alien races have good design

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

CONS:[/b]
  • 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.

SUMMARY:[/b]

[/table]
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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140 of 169 people (83%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 27, 2014
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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218 of 281 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
248.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 4, 2014
Horizon is a nice mid-core 4X space game.
Is it worth the price? For me, definitely.
For you, quite possibly.

Why?
In short, because under the simple interface there's a quite deep and engaging gameplay.
Not MOO2-level deep, but, please, it's almost twenty years old, let's try to move on! (Who am I kidding?..)

So, the basics here are done right. I'd even say the basics are healthy.
Because after you play all races and find all the quests, research and dig everything, in other words, after you experience all the content there is, something still draws you to the game, compels to try to exploit its mechanics in some new way.

It is fun playing with game after you played the game and that actually means something.

I assume you read other reviews, watched videos, etc, so you understand what the game has to offer.
Now, here's a list of things that can be a no-buy for you.
Please, keep in mind, it's all for beta version that is unfinished by definition.

- tactical combat is MOO2 style while battlefields are much larger (actually, the whole galaxy can be seamlessly traversed in combat mode). Old controls do not cope well with the new scale.
- research is lackluster with little sense of achievement
- no multiplayer at this point, no hotseat as well

If that doesn't turn you off, well, you're in for hours of "just one more turn".
We all know that one more turn is never enough.
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62 of 68 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
101.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 20, 2014
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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72 of 85 people (85%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
95.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 14, 2015
This game is the small cousin of "Endless Space" and "Galatic Civilization II" and big brother of "weird world: return to infinite space".

For the first game from this diligient Indie Studio it's not bad but it's still got tons of room for improvemnt.

They have released a lot update to fix many of the issue they had when first launch but there are just a lot things that cannot be fixxed from patch.

1. Vidoe/Graphics are quite well done. Some of the alien planet video is just simply wonderfully beautiful. And i can tell the animator of this game really enjoyed their work and made jokes in some of the videos.

2. Music is a little subpar. But for indie game it can still be tolerated. Please improve this if you can for next game.

3. Gaming interface is quite linear and it doesn't feel 3D at all. It's a universe so it should look like one.
If you turn off the grid the universe interface just look like a mess but if you leave the grid on it doens't look good at all.

4. Tech is weird for this game too which you don't really get a tech tree. You reach base on % of you send in 6 types and you can focus on 1 specific tech one it become available. IT's just too much of a random chance. You need a Major Breakthough for a tech to show up and you need another Breakthough to start finnal getting advantage of it.

5. Race balance is really bad. This game is a colonization sim so if you can live in poison/metal planet from start you gain huge expansion advantage. Since tech research is based on random breakthough. If you play a race that's not native to bad enviromental planet you will have to cross your finger and hoping terreform research pop for you.

There is a guide here on steam that shows you exactly how you break the game using these none-balanced ability and with that guide. The game become super easy but without it. if you play regular human on those high difficulty you will have a lot of trouble.

The Achievements in this game is actually really simple and straight forward. But it does take you to play many games to grind them.
2 of those main story mission that will give you a normal ending.

7.5/10 and i do recommend this game for 4X lover. I raised the score from 6.5 to 7.5 because it's indie studio's first game but please improve and make better games.
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203 of 285 people (71%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 6, 2014
This is a seriously weak 4x game, along the same lines as galactic civ, and definitely a far cry from MOO 2. The interface is seriously clunky, not even having basics like side scrolling. The tech tree is pretty weak, its largely just the same set of technologies that you just add refinement to, so you never get anything interesting, just level 2 lasers, level 3 lasers, etc. The graphics are also pretty mediocre, though most people aren't playing 4X games because they are visually stunning. If you haven't played galactic civ, that is far better, and endless space wasn't too shabby. This is probably the last indie title I'm going to buy, these games are like early 90's throw backs. I don't know why its so hard to make a solid 4X game, just give MOO 2 a facelift and it would be an instant classic. Definitely just wasted $30 on this POS.
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123 of 164 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
48.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2013
Horizon is a very good space 4X game similar to Master of Orion. Unlike Endless Space, there are no star lanes. Ships have unlimited range and the game is more open. There are up to 10 enemy species, and they act differently. Wars are common, almost from the start.

There are two types of games. Normal mode is the campaign, were everyone else starts with a lot and there are missions to perform as the humans. Classic mode has everyone at tech level 1 and with only one world. I've played classic twice now and had fun.

Horizon is a little challenging, especially at the start of a new game. Oh, in classic mode you can elect yourself as Leader of the Galaxy.

This game is still in beat, but has a great development team. I've already exchanged email with the lead programmer. Anyway, I love it!
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80 of 99 people (81%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 8, 2014
Waste of time. I can't really think of anything I like in this game. The techs are boring because they are balanced to the point of repitition. For example, all the engine techs give you the same speed bonus per level. They only have slight variations in power/size but it means you really just stick to researching 1 engine the whole game. You don't seem to ever discover a tech that is truly "better" which makes it uninteresting. Seems even more so for guns. For example I start with laser cannons and then suddenly once I reached a certain level of laser cannon I discovered plasma bolt cannon. OK now I can kick some ♥♥♥ right? It has the same exact qualities as the laser cannon! Same size, cost, damage and the same perks, though maybe the perks come at slightly shuffled research levels than laser. Boring!!!

The game does have a tactical battle feature but it's pretty tedious. You can't automatically have ships flee, the rotation mechanics are busted (doesnt seem to rotate ship direction I want to). Then there is the annoying tendency of the tactical battle view to watch neutral ships wander around space near your colonies.

Something is really weird with the game economy. I was truggling with money at the beginning and then suddenly I was drowining in money. I look at the stats graph which shows graphs comparing all the races and everyone got this sudden sharp cliff up at one point, what is that all about?

Oh and allies don't seem to mean anything. I ally with races, and then I get declared war on by others, and my allies never show as enemies to the races I am at war with. Just me.

I feel like I wasted my time with this title. Back to Endless Space for me.
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48 of 51 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 1, 2015
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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55 of 63 people (87%) found this review helpful
Recommended
51.9 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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44 of 50 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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.

Pros:
- 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

Cons:
- 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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