"Horizon is a turn-based space strategy game of galactic conquest. It is set in the not so distant future where humans have just begun exploring the edges of their solar system."

Sounds familiar so far? Well, Horizon gets quite different, fast. The makers of this game set out to create something different: a game created by gamers for gamers, and they appear to have some great ideas of how to accomplish that. Of course, the basics are still there. You build colonies, you build ships, you spy on your rivals, research technologies, etc. It's a TBS, after all, most of those elements are more-or-less required. But one of the keys to Horizon's fresh new ideas was to fully integrate it all into one seamless game. Unlike some other TBS's where you could be the king of the spy hill and accomplish absolutely nothing, or have every trade treaty in the game and still have enemies break them left and right to declare war for no reason, Horizon seeks to make every part of the game an important part of the same game -- rather than have a few (sometimes) interesting subgames with no real effect on the larger one.

Of course, Horizon still features many of the good ol' stand-by's that make for an easily recognizable empire-building TBS. Explore unknown frontiers, find and research artifacts of long gone races, colonize, build, research, and conquer. Ship-to-ship combat, although turn-based, will feature initiative and other features to keep it interesting.

So the basics are all there. But some fresh new ideas are also in as well. One such new idea is that they believe in a fully-interactive galaxy, where your ships can be sent anywhere you want. That's a rather neat feature -- now you don't have to wait for the enemy to come to you, you can intercept them in deep space if you wish. Apparently you can even patrol your borders, perhaps by setting repeating patrol routes, to try to catch things trying to sneak in quietly.

Another 'huge' idea is that the galaxy will be quite literally huge. But unlike MOO3 where the huge galaxy was a game that could last for months, the point of this game is not to take over the entire galaxy by military force. As the new kids on the block, you probably couldn't really do it. Think, for example, of the Humans in the pre-history for Babylon 5: powerful enough to win a few minor wars, but grossly outmatched by the Minbari. (According to the lead designer, B5 was one of their inspirations for the game.) That doesn't mean the game will be over in a few hours, however -- unless you manage to get Earth blown up. Yes that is a possibility, and if that happens you lose. Your homeworld is your greatest asset by far, and throughout the game will remain so. The designers feel a colony should remain a small bastion of your territory. Colonies and outposts will contribute, but your homeworld will always contribute far more.

If this all sounds interesting to you, then please join the ongoing discussions of this upcoming game on either our local forums or the Horizon official forums

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