Horizon Shift – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Indie, Shoot'em up, Arcade
Developer: Flump Studios
Publisher: KISS ltd
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Horizon Shift – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: fun bonus rounds, great soundtrack
Bad: extremely hard (could be good as well)
User Score
9.5
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (4 votes cast)

Arcade games will always be popular among a large group of gamers, but since most arcades are disappearing, arcade games have to come to us, like Horizon Shift! Horizon Shift is an arcade shoot’em up that tries to give a modern twist to an age old genre. It will challenge your reflexes and test your patience with extremely hard combat!

horizon shift

Story

Horizon Shift doesn’t really have any story at all. The game simply starts you out right away and off you go! It’s not really needed that this game has a story because it’s supposed to be an “arcade” game, and who wants a story when they’re at the arcade anyway?

Graphics

The graphics in Horizon Shift are pretty cool, it kinda looks like the old space shooter game where every object was simply a white outline. Instead of crazy animated ships you’ll see red, blue and green wireframes coming towards you. It kind of makes the game look simple, but that’s fine once in a while and fits this title rather well. The background is also pretty cool but it’s not really that noticeable, making it hard to see at times while playing.

Another graphical feature are visual effects, these can range from CRT emulator to inverted color and pixelated graphics, you simply change a setting before starting a game mode and off you go!

When it comes to optimization, Horizon Shift is really light weight and most PC’s should have no problems running it. It runs at a smooth 60 fps and has rather short load times, so it’s easy to hop around levels and game modes without a long wait.

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Sound

Horizon Shift’s music is simply amazing, it has 6 amazing pulsing soundtracks which almost everyone will like. It fits perfectly with the high paced gameplay and with the arcade style that the game tries to maintain. Sound effects however are rather simple and there aren’t a whole lot of them, but that didn’t seem like an issue at all while playing.

Gameplay

As said in the intro, Horizon Shift is one of your typical arcade shoot’em ups. However, you won’t only be shooting up, but also shooting down. Your ship moves on a horizon (horizontal line) in the middle of the screen and enemies can come from all directions. You’ll have to turn your ship below and above the line in order to prevent enemies from hitting your horizon so you can survive and beat the waves.

So enemies will come from everywhere and you have to shoot them, but that’s not all, it gets way harder! When some enemies hit your horizon, they will punch a hole in it, which restricts you from moving over that part of the line. Other enemies will walk on your line and try to ram you, destroying your ship. However, you can jump as well! Horizon Shift has a double jump feature which allows you to jump over lines, over enemies or allows you to dodge bullets better. Together with the fast gameplay, this is what makes the game extremely hard after about 20 waves. When you thought that was all, you’re wrong. Sometimes, special enemies called “swarms” will come on the screen. If you don’t kill them, they will charge your line and when they hit it, your line simply disappears resulting in certain death.

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Horizon Shift also features some power-ups that drop from time to time. Some of them are rather basic but there’s a couple of cool ones as well. You can get power-ups like speed up, shields or shot upgrade, but there’s also the mirror. This upgrade projects an image of your ship on the opposite side of your horizon, allowing you to fire from 2 sides. But watch out, you’ll have to avoid enemy fire from 2 sides, making it tricky but sometimes worth it. Getting hit by enemy fire or by hitting an enemy results in instant death, unless you have a shield power-up. You also die when you fall off of your horizon, making you disappear from the screen.

Another risk-reward feature is the multiplier system. Whenever you kill an enemy your score multiplier will increase, obviously allowing you to rack up more points. However, when you get enough points without dying, you’ll get a bomb which wipes all enemies and bullets off the screen and also restores your horizon. There’s a downside to the bomb though, it will reset your multiplier, making it harder to get a lot of points!

After ever couple of waves the game also has a boss fight prepared for you. The first few are pretty simple, but as you get further into the waves, things can get out of hand quickly. They’re unique, challenging and very fun to beat. Also, after every boss fight you’ll get send to a bonus level, which is nothing more but brick breaker!

Horizon Shift also features quite a bit of game modes. There’s Classic mode, Arcade Arrange, Survival, Tournament mode, Shift-Out, Free Run and Boss. The last 3 have to be unlocked by playing and since I’m bad at the game, it was impossible to unlock them, but Free Run and Boss pretty much speak for themselves. Classic mode is the basic mode of the game. You start with 3 lives and try to get as far as you can, which checkpoints after every boss fight. Arcade Arrange starts you out with no lives, but you get a checkpoint after every level. Survival starts you from scratch with no lives at all, so die once and you’re done. Then there’s tournament mode which also gives you no lives, but you get a fully upgraded ship.

On top of all that, Horizon Shift has an online leaderboard, speed-up feature and of course full controller support.

Conclusion

Horizon Shift is a very challenging game that is a welcomed addition to the arcade shoot’em up bullet hell genre. The first few levels will ease you into the game but it can turn very chaotic very quickly. It features great music and fast paced gameplay. If you’re a fan of old-school arcade games, this is definitely one for you.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Horizon Shift - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Hyper Bounce Blast – Review
    July 10, 2016, 2:08 am

    […] of the graphical assets or inspirations have been taken from Flump Studios’ previous game: Horizon Shift. A lot of elements in the game look and feel extremely similar which isn’t necessarily a bad […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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