Horn Hands-On Preview

Over three months ago, we had a chance to go hands-on with one of GDC’s best-kept secrets: An upcoming game from Phosphor Interactive known at the time only as “Project X”. Project X now has an official title, Horn, and we’re free to share our impressions from the demo back in March.

Phosphor Interactive’s last game on iOS was Dark Meadow, an action/adventure game with a creepy story and game mechanics that borrowed a bit from Infinity Blade. Horn has the same outstanding level of graphical quality as Dark Meadow, but with a new third-person perspective and control scheme we normally associate with current console games.

You play as a young blacksmith’s apprentice named Horn, who finds one day that his village has been destroyed and all the villagers and animals have been turned into monsters. As you defeat monsters and bosses, you’ll start to see the animals returning, like when we conquered a stone golem and a freed deer burst out of its shell.

There’s no virtual D-pad, but Horn can move through the environment with basic taps. You can also tap to fire off your crossbow, and in certain segments, you’ll be able to activate a Zelda-like hookshot that will let you grapple over chasms. In another nod to Nintendo’s 3D Zelda games, you’ll be able to circle around your opponents and swipe to attack while the camera remains locked on them.

Our demo of Horn was brief, and we’re not sure how much the game has changed since we first saw it three months ago. Plus, we still haven’t seen much of one of the game’s more interesting supporting characters: a wise-cracking severed head that Horn keeps attached to his belt. We’re also waiting for details about the game’s availability and price, so we’ll let you know more about this promising game when we can.