Star Horizon Review

By , on March 25, 2014
Last modified 9 years, 11 months ago

Star Horizon
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • 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.


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