Last Horizon

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Last Horizon on Steam

MSRP: $4.99

Platforms: Win, Mac, iOS, Android

Release: 11/18/15

I have officially found something I am even worse at than platforming games – figuring out relative gravity to safely land a tiny spaceship. I love exploring and I like resource management games, so I thought that Last Horizon would be a perfect fit for me – what I didn’t realize is how damn clumsy I’d be at actually playing it.

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The intro is a nice touch, but if this is actually a story game – and I don’t think it is – I’m never going to get far enough to experience any of it.  The UI is spare, and the concept seems simple enough. You are traveling through space in a tiny space ship, stopping at planets along the way to repair damage, and replenish your fuel and oxygen reserves, while looking for planets with life in order to collect resource to help you terraform a new planet.

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It’s not that the controls are bad, or the objectives unclear.  The few times I’ve managed to pull off a near-perfect landing, it’s been very satisfying. Navigating into the field of gravity, looking for a clear landing spot, then quickly turning the ship and using just enough to thrust to set her down easy feels great, but somewhere between my brain and my fingers, something happens almost every time, leading me to crash and burn.

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I managed to find a life planet only once – and I still haven’t manage to make it to my destination.  If I’m not blowing up my ship, I’m running out of oxygen in the middle of nowhere. When you do find a life planet, the game is pretty clear; taking the planet below half health risks killing it, meaning if you don’t push off in time (there doesn’t seem to be any other way to stop harvesting), you might as well drain it dry. Shortly after accidentally killing a planet, I drove my spaceship into a mountain, and there it was, game over again.

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I expect for anyone with any semblance of skill, Last Horizon probably won’t be a very long game. There are five scenarios with increasing challenge, and that’s pretty much it.  I got this game in a trade, so I didn’t spend a whole lot of time reading up on it beforehand, but I’m fairly certain that if you were to go into it expecting an arcade style experience, you likely wouldn’t be disappointed.  It’s a lovely little game, and although I cannot make it work, I get how it’s supposed to work, and it seems like a fairly reasonable value.

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