Published on December 12th, 2015 | by Patrick Garde0
Last Horizon Review
Last Horizon is an action/survival game for iOS and Android developed by Pixeljam Games, published by Noodlecake Studios (on Google Play), and partnered/sponsored by Dojo, that goes for a simplistic approach in most of its design as they focus on story, aesthetic, and controls.
When it comes to the narrative, just like everything else related to the iPhone game, it’s relatively simple to get your head around it all. The gist of the story in the game is that you’re the last remnant on a dilapidated and desolated Earth. Since the human race needs a planet to survive on, you go in search of the stars in your little spaceship, finding whatever resources you can on other planets to make your new world a thriving, hospitable one.
In Last Horizon, you’ll first set off on your species-saving mission from the barren-remains of Earth, and from there you’ll jet off into the stars. To do so, you will need to make use of your two controls that you have access to: left and right steering, and your thrusters. Those thrusters you’re going to need, considering that gravity plays a part on each planet you come to, and whether each new planet you come across is an increase or decrease in gravity is down to the iPad game, not you.
Gravity on separate planets may be something dragging you down, but you can actually use the gravity to your advantage when you’re out in the stars. The reason behind this is the fact that if you fly past a planet close enough, you can make use of the gravitational pull, similar to that of slingshot to fling you a little further out into the vastness of space. It may not allow you to cover great amounts of distance; it doesn’t hurt to make use of it to save a bit of extra fuel for the long trip to the new world.
Due to the straightforward nature of the controls, you can generally expect some simple gameplay to go with that. In Last Horizon, you have to do little more than follow the compass, which is easier said than done when you don’t have access to the typical forces, bar momentum.
Now, your task may be simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. On your way to the new world, you are 100% bound to run out of resources at some point, so you’re going to need to get them from somewhere; that somewhere is going to be on other planets. You see, you have three aspects of your spaceship you will need to keep an eye on, that being: fuel, oxygen, and damage taken to your ship. Every time you use your thruster you will expunge some fuel. Every few seconds you’re not on a planet you’re going to lose some oxygen, and whenever you bump into something or fail to land safely on a planet you’ll take damage. If you run out of any of these three, it will spell bad news for you. If your ship takes enough damage it will blow up, and if you run out of oxygen you’ll die, and if you run out of fuel, you’ll instead make use of your oxygen for thrusters, which could lead to you running out of that as well, and dying!
With every take off and every landing, you will need to keep in mind how many planets you might want to skip, or land on, and how awkward or good of a landing it is. No matter how good your run is going, if you fail to land safely, then your ship is going to take one hell of a beating!
Well, you could be thinking that your landing is the only thing you need to worry about and heading head first into a planet, but that’s not what you need to concern yourself with all the time, along with your resource levels. Instead though, you’re going to have to keep an eye out for a number of different environmental issues that you could come across. For instance, you’ll find clusters of asteroids all over the place, nearby stars (like the Sun), and even black holes, all notions in the Android game you most definitely want to avoid.
Last Horizon does have you following an objective, all of which is linked to a story, but at the end of the day, with every landing you make successfully, you will increase your total score for that run, regardless of whether you make it to the new world or not.
On your voyage, occasionally you will come across a planet that you can harvest for the new world. These planets you can either harvest or leave it to recover, or you can suck away every inch of the planets life force and let it die. From what I’ve seen, though, letting it live doesn’t do anything, other than warrant you less points at the end of the day for your score.
Although the iPhone game may have a number of net positives, it does have its own negative as well. Last Horizon at times can get really quite frustrating. The difficulty of trying to land safely on a planet is only made so easy. A lot of the time, you’ll try and position yourself to land your ship, but since you’re not close enough to the planet, the gravitational pull won’t grab onto you, so there’s no way to adjust your ship, at least not without making use of your thrusters. The minute you use those thrusters, you could push yourself just a little bit too far away from the planet, and it’s going to drive you up the wall.
It has to be said, having a flawless run, only to be botched by one awkward landing can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you’ve gotten a good chunk of the run already done, only to have to start all over again.
Aesthetically, the iPad game looks nice. Most of the planets you come in contact with have vibrant colours, and don’t tend to look similar to any of their counterparts. However, at times you will find yourself just travelling through an open darkness, following nothing more than the guiding hand of the compass, just hoping that it’s leading you to the right direction.
Overall, Last Horizon ($2.99) is an enjoyable little game, with nice graphics, fun gameplay, simple controls, but at times can be a little frustrating. Gameplay can be summarised by saying that it’s similar to the classic: Asteroids, but this one is more focused towards exploration and getting to the end, than shooting everything in sight. Although, just because it can be a bit touch and go at times, it doesn’t stop the fact that the Android game offers a good time, regardless of how long you put into it.
Summary: Last Horizon is fun game for iPhone, iPad, and Android, and well worth your time, no matter how little or long you spend on it, but do expect to find yourself getting a tad frustrated when you crash into the side of a planet.