Star Horizon Review
- Topsy turvy on rail action
- Despite the single mechanic, missions and visual variety keep it fresh
- Choices in the game make you feel like you are impacting the story
- Voice samples loop to the point of annoyance
- If you aren’t barrel rolling then you are going to die
A decent modern reimagining of an on-rails arcade shooter, Star Horizon is a fiery and fitting tribute the likes of Afterburner and Starfox.
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There is something oddly retro about Star Horizon. It harkens back to a past era of arcade gaming - a fast-paced on-the-rails action shooter revamped for 2014.
For whatever reason, it seems everyone in the universe wants to kill John, the hero of the tale, and his friendly AI, Ellie. Frozen in space after a battle between Rebels and the Federation, he is a man out of time, swept along by events he doesn't understand. You are able to make choices for John throughout the story which change the way events play out. Choosing to saving your friends instead of obeying a mission objective may make you feel good, but might also have unforesee n consequences down the line.
Everything about Star Horizon looks suitably striking. Its sprawling intergalactic backdrops perfectly set the scene for its unfolding space drama. The linear paths through levels mean that you never see any chinks in the game's presentation, with the designers focusing their attention on a deliberately narrow field of view.
You're essentially riding a swanky neon roller coaster, your ship dipping and spinning within the confines of its prescribed path. However, while it may not let you plot your own route through the cosmos, looping around the outside of a capital ship to take out its weapons and deliver the killshot is no less thrilling.
Your goal is to stay alive while eliminating the required number of enemy targets. You have three weapons on offer - lasers, swarm missiles, and a plasma torpedo. Still, though you may be armed, you'll often find that the only way to avoid destruction is to keep moving - ideally by swiping the screen to execute barrel rolls. This does feel a little unnatural given the course the game has you locked on, and creates slightly dizzying effect as are forced to pirouette bizarrely through space.
That said, Star Horizon is a an enjoyable ride that takes us back to classic arcade shooters like Starfox. It may not offer you the chance to explore the universe, but provided you accept its constrains, you'll the on-the-rail action is out of this world.
DescriptionPlease Note: Star Horizon requires an iPad2/iPhone 4s/iPod Touch 5 or above.
“Star Horizon stands on its own as a title that is well worth playing. The visual splendor alone would be more than enough to justify the purchase.”
“Star Horizon is a fiery and fitting tribute the likes of Afterburner and Starfox.”
“Star Horizon serves as a showpiece for the iOS platform(…) the controls feel fine-tuned to near perfection.”
“Star Horizon is a slick pulse-raising arcade shooter that evokes many of the best sci-fi space battles in recent cinematic and TV history”
“Best Mobile Game” nominee @Game Connection Paris 2013 / Selected Projects finals
Play as John, a private in the service of the Federation. Focus on amusing story and dynamic battles. Journey through the cosmos, upgrade your ship, make important story decisions and have fun fighting those epic bosses!
• Grab your phone and play instantly. Your screen is your controller (virtual sticks? Yuck!)
• Rescue your friends or obey the orders – follow the storyline and make choices
• Don't get shot - upgrade your ship with in-game currency (no IAP!) and weapons to finish your enemies in multiple astonishing ways
• Follow the relationship between the man and the machine spiced up with amusing conversations and absurd humor.
• Discover a wild variety of spaceships and fleet
• Use your skills to unlock achievements
• Support for game controllers
John doesn't fight to rack up kills or for honor and pride. At least not anymore. He just fights to survive and get the whole thing over with. His ship is controlled by Ellie, an Artificial Intelligence which is programmed to help pilots stay mentally strong throughout the war and which cannot kill human beings.
Federation is about to turn the tide of the war but then things start to go wrong. Ellie puts John into hibernation for 1000 years. Now he will have to discover what really happened and maybe, but just maybe, save the galaxy.