Developer: Tobasco Interactive
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Imagine being abandoned in space. Aside from an AI companion that runs the spaceship, John is set adrift, alone, wondering what happened while he was in cryo-sleep. The fleet he was once a part of is in shambles. His brothers in arms are nowhere to be found and presumed deceased. He must do whatever it takes to survive. And thus the stage is set for Tabasco Interactive’s newest on-rails shooter, Star Horizon.

IMG_0358Space shooters are just one of the genres that have managed to find a new life, thanks in no small part to the intuitive nature of the touch interface. In Star Horizon, finger slides, swipes, and drags will be all that the player needs to set the opposition ablaze. Aside from the cliché “barrel roll,” assigned to an aggressive swipe towards either the left or right, the game is a dream to control and totally does justice to the smooth flowing action that players would expect.

It may control well, but that doesn’t mean that everything is a float in park. If there is one thing to be taken away from this review, it is for the love of everything good and holy, NEVER STOP DODGING. It doesn’t take long for the throes of death to launch a sneak attack on the player, and in this title it could be around any blind turn. Nothing says on-rails shooters like turning the corner into an ambush. Be prepared, because the only rare occurrence will be lulls in the action.

IMG_0352Visually, conflict in the vacuum of space pops on any iOS screen. Though there are the occasional framerate chugs on the admittedly dated iPad 2, the old workhorse proved to be more than up to the task of bringing the action to life. The only significant issue of note, other than voice actors that gnaw on the scenery like starving billy goats, is that the dogfighting begins to feel a bit stale after a few missions. Anything from new enemy attack patterns to alternate ship designs might have helped stave of the malaise, but the game seems more than content to inundate the player with wave after wave of random pirate drones. Some would call this getting more bang for their buck, but this might be a case where less is infinitely more.

As far as space shooters go on iOS, 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. Mix in the dull yearning for a proper Star Fox sequel that Nintendo has been withholding for so long, and this a download that should be made before reading the last period of this sentence.


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