Horizon's Gate: Anyone played?

I saw some people mention this elsewhere, but wanted to know if anyone here has put playtime into it. World exploration + TBS is a happy place for me, but I’m not sure whether to pick this up or just get the Battle Brother DLC.

Also interested in impressions! BB DLC is delayed so this is looking more tempting.

Austin Walker talked a bunch about the game on Waypoint Radio last Friday. Sounds very cool, but sure comes across as one of those “port it to Switch!” games.

I shouldn’t have listened to that because I immediately bought it. Played a couple of hours. Austin was right this does remind me of Into the Breach combat wise - eg it’s on a grid and you can pull enemies towards you with a rope so someone else can hit it. But it also reminds me of Divinity because there are tons of spells and effects you can mix together like zapping enemies in water with electricity. But it comes up with lots of its own little weird takes - like sailors can ‘swashbuckle’ for two steps which temporarily gives them higher stats.

The overworld stuff is fairly simple by comparison (you always make a profit from trade - simply the further you go the more you make). But it’s enough to draw you along to the next fight. Glad I got this.

Just read this RPS article that liked it, was wondering if anyone else had impressions of it here?

I played it for a couple of hours, bounced off of it, and refunded it. Admittedly, I’m bothered that I must have missed something and should have tried it again. I really love the idea of the whole game: open world exploration with a pirate fleet and a tactics battle style. Early on, though, I found the tactics system pretty lacking and as I’ve purchased a lot of tactics games in recent times, I just couldn’t feel compelled to give it more time.

Thanks for the input, think I’ll sit tight on this one and wait for a sale. At say 10 bucks I’ll risk taking a look see.

I streamed it a little while back, had a great time. It’s VERY good.

Alrighty then, definitely staying on the steam wish list to buy.

Got a steam sale on the horizon, and by the time it rolls around maybe I’ll be off my total obsession with Old World.

Great game. It’s minimalistic in most places. Occasionally that minimalism makes it bump against design edges but generally it is for the benefit of the game.
Classes and skills are improved over Alvora (the previous game from the developer). There are a few more classes each with half the number of skills. This is really good because 50-70% of skills in Alvora were unusable or carbon copies of each other anyway.

The difference and main hook is the open world. The exploration works well. Open world trading and questing is super bare-bones but also works and is fun as far as it goes.
Like Alvora it is more tactical combat and RPG management with the story being flavourful background.

A lot of assets are reused from Alvora/Voidspire. There has been put a good amount of effort into making the different ports unique both visually and thematically. The predesigned combat encounters are also pretty good. Procedurally generated “groves” and monster dens on the other hand are poor.

Horizon’s Gate does not currently support cloud saves, if that is important to you.
Lastly the game is regionally fairly priced, which is a big plus in my book.

How do you find the combat? Is it challenging or thoughtful? I find lots of these smaller indie games tend not to have the best curve for difficulty. It’s either too hard/easy in the beginning and vice versa at the end.

This popped up on my Steam queue and it’s certainly wishlisted for a sale now. It looks fun.

A recent Gamers with Jobs podcast discussed the game (pretty positive, if I recall correctly). Around the 24 minute mark.

EDIT: In listening back now, the guy is raving about the game. Real tempted.

On normal difficulty I’d say Horizon’s is a bit easier than the previous game Alvora. You won’t have to ever grind to progress.
There are a bunch of quite challenging optional battles in handmade dungeons and dojos. A lot of the open world stuff is on the easier side though.

A big part of the game is finding class combinations that are effective (and fun) between the three dozen classes.
Combat itself has a lot of moving parts. Positioning is important for a lot of skills both offensively and defensively. It doesn’t have height levels but with the different applications of various skills I’d say it’s comparable in complexity to FF Tactics in the good fights.

I finally was able to pick this up on the current sale and started playing. I’m enjoying it but I’m trying to figure some stuff out.

Does anyone that’s played the game know what goes in the 3 empty boxes below the Warrior/Sailor primary/secondary classes in the upper left of the screenshot below? I’ve tried dragging and dropping abilities there but that’s not it. Google has revealed nothing.

You already are in the right tab. Those three slots are for passives.
Once you learn a passive of a class that character can equip it even if you don’t have that class active any more (unlike active skills).

I really like this and feel this is a sadly overlooked game (in good part because of the graphics I assume). Just for that here is my recommendation I also posted in the indie thread:

Horizon’s Gate

tactical RPG, exploration open world
intentionally and successfully minimalistic


Horizon’s Gate is the third turn-based tactical RPG from the developer. Like the previous games it is intentionally minimalistic in many ways but also features noteworthy twists and additions.
In Horizon’s Gate’s case that includes an open “Age of Sail” world which you explore, trade, earn faction favour and fight in. In addition to party based combat you also manage, upgrade and fight ship and fleet battles in a similar RPG fashion.

Graphically it might look so simple as to be repulsive. I must admit that the series had a “yuck, RPG-maker stuff?!” reaction from me at first (It’s not actually RPGmaker though :P). That look not only is sufficient but actually serves the scope and intent of the game however. Horizon’s Gate’s very intentional minimalism covers all aspects starting with the RPG mechanics leading into the combat, the exploration, the story and many other things.
In almost all cases it to the benefit of the game. For instance, compared to it’s predecessor in the series the Final Fantasy Tactics inspired job system got notably reduced by almost half the number of skills. Which greatly improved the end result as now there are much fewer basically identical or outright useless skills. This gives the different jobs more distinct a personality and impact.

The combat features tile and shape based skills with lots of effects and interactions. The gear system is as successfully simple yet effective as much the rest of the game. Enemies are distinct both within player-available job system and with special monster classes/abilities.

The game features well done hand crafted locations. Ports have distinct flavour and the hand crafted story and optional dungeons have clear and purposeful design that makes them a joy to explore and complete. A number of randomly populated “points of interest” are belying their name and are much less interesting, basically only being a room with random enemies.

I personally really like the exploration part. You uncover the world map for minor financial gain. Some parts of the map are also pretty empty. But I still find it really satisfying and there are enough ports, hidden dungeons and random fights to keep it interesting with combat as well.

The developer is very actively patching the game, including noteworthy balance reworks, technical upgrades and mechanical additions.
For instance supply ports. Some of the less populated parts of the map still needed options for the player to resupply. Initially those were supply ports, just a building where you could buy basic supplies. In a patch this got upgraded and you can now settle those ports yourself, choosing to build the various functional buildings and decide on flavour like colours and music.

I tried to sell several people on my Steam friends list on this game, with extremely limited success. On the whole this is a well intentioned, well designed and well executed experience after you overcome the initial repulsion. I highly recommend it.



Thanks! That explains it. I haven’t learned any passives yet so I didn’t try that.

This game is wonderful. I do also wonder why it hasn’t become much more popular. I’ve had it in my wish list waiting and waiting for a good sale and finally figured it wasn’t going to get better than 30% off and pulled the trigger. Maybe that’s the answer. The graphics don’t make it look like a $20 game and for that reason a lot of folks might not pull the trigger on it like they would at $10. It’s a shame.

I just cleared out a mine at my second port of call for 550 gold and this game just seems to have the RPG and great tactical combat elements that I love. Glad I got it.

I played this earlier in the year and sunk a good 45 hours into it, very much at my own pace! A friend highly recommended it and while that SNES-era JRPG visual style doesn’t do much for me, it certainly didn’t cheapen the experience in my eyes.

So this is arguably one of the most open games I’ve enjoyed and like you said, the various systems of the game play into the exploration and combat really nicely (like with cartography and researching). I loved exploring, trading and questing and getting new gear and abilities to try out. The combat was great too particularly with all the elemental interactions.

The big problem for me was managing and tracking my party, their classes, XP and skill points, passives, actives, weapon affinities, gear slots, respective inventories and even the ships and who was on each one. It became paralysing each time characters levelled up or I wanted to adjust my party because trying to see and harness skill and party synergies involved a lot of menu work. The inventory management wasn’t too bad and I appreciated the efforts to streamline all that but all the class stuff really started to drag the momentum down for me. Tenderfoot Tactics felt a lot more manageable in that regard, but it didn’t have the more involving overworld and exploration. I usually rotate party members in tactical games to keep their level/power up and to explore different synergies but my friend thinks that just overburdened me. I dunno. Phoenix Point didn’t drag me down in that regard and that could get pretty heavy.

But I had a great time with Horizon’s Gate despite all that. It’s a game I could see myself coming back to but I think I’d have to simplify my approach. Thankfully it’s so open I could simply go in a different direction at the beginning…

Oh and there are some really cool and considerately designed mods to add areas, ports, dungeons, quests, NPCs, gear etc. One big advantage of the lo-fi visual style! I recommend looking at Prominence’s work.

I read yesterday that your crew that you don’t take on your shore party still get XP so that they also level up and you don’t have to keep rotating them. I’m hoping that’s true.

I was playing last night and looked up and saw it was a quarter to two. I was kind of shocked as I had no idea that much time had gone by. I haven’t done that in a really long time. I guess I should have played another hour. Though it did take me until a quarter to three to get my brain to calm down and finally fall asleep.