Cross Horizon is very much the type of game I wish I could just pay for and play. The RPG from Marvelous has really good graphics, an intuitive touch-based combat system, solid multiplayer and plenty to do, but it works too hard to make you pay for its in-app purchases.
What is it?
Did you play Ark of the Ages for iOS? Cross Horizon is that game multiplied by everything that makes games good. Like harpies.
You’re placed in a free-to-play fantasy world of story driven quests that can be completed alone or with the help of other players you meet along the way. The open world is vast and fun to explore, the equipment options keep inventory management interesting, and the gameplay is well-suited to touchscreen devices. There’s a story about a Bandit King to keep things tied together, but the repetition of going on quests to get better to loot to take home to upgrade to prepare you for bigger quests for better loot is pretty much all you’ll need.
How does it work?
As with most games of this sort, a castle town serves as your hub of activity. Here, you pick up story elements, manage your inventory, upgrade your items, set up teams, and pick up quests.
It’s all menu-based, so you never really feel like you’re in a town, but that’s fine; the meat of the game is out in the surrounding hills, valleys, and caves.
On your quests, you’ll find plenty of monsters to fight. They’re represented in the open world by energy balls, of sorts, that you simply approach to fight. Once in combat, you get a first person point-of-view of the action, but without movement. Rather, you simply swipe to attack the beast. It will launch an attack at you, which you can block with your shield.
Although this seems incredibly easy at first, you’ll soon discover that without the right equipment and timing, you’re not going to last long.
Is it contagious?
Cross Horizon provides plenty of fun for adventure gamers, but there are two walls you’ll run into up ahead. The first may turn back RPG fans who enjoy a good story, as the plot of Cross Horizon isn’t very interesting at all. If the combat and questing for questings sake aren’t enough for you, or if you’re not able to hook up with your friends, your time with Cross Horizon will be quite short. Good thing it’s free, huh?
Speaking of free, the second wall can only be surmounted with money. Although it’s possible to get what you need in-game to unlock new areas and items, you’ll spend a ridiculous amount of time getting it. Be prepared to “level grind” like you wouldn’t believe, or be prepared to pay real money so you can get around at a logical pace. How much money? Well, according to iTunes, the #1 in-app purchase is currently 305 mana for $2.99. The #6 is 11,000 mana for $99.99.
I enjoyed the review time I spent with Cross Horizon, as most adventure fans would.
It likely won’t be free for you to keep enjoying it, but it shouldn’t game. Cross Horizon is better than free allows. Spend what you want for as long as you want, and when the price becomes too steep, you can always just hang up your boots and let someone else worry about the Bandit King. You did your part, and you’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.