7 Horizons (Switch) Review
Nails the simplistic retro visual style
Only takes 1-2 hours to complete
Low challenge is great for younger players
The back half of the game is tedious as only certain characters can reach certain items, forcing replays
Lack of detail and polish – title screen is bare, the only animation is feet shuffling, no credits screen, character select screen doesn’t highlight pros/cons
Music can be grating and repetitive
What felt like a couple of years, RedDeer Games was teasing the release of 7 Horizons on their social channels, never really showcasing what type of game it was going to be, but it looked cool nevertheless. Then the social posts stopped, leaving me to assume that this project was going through some massive changes or was going to be canceled outright. To my surprise, this mysterious action platformer made a surprise release on the Switch eShop. Unfortunately, now that I had the chance to complete this previously hyped game, I can see why.
7 Horizons is basically classic Mega Man but with an overworld map right down to how the screen transitions. With only a jump and shoot button, gameplay remains just as simplistic as the visuals. Its gimmick comes from the character swapping though. While you start as a green Mega Man clone, you slowly save friendlies that become playable. The first unlocked character plays just like the original only he has a double jump but cannot shoot upward. The next character has bouncy bullets and can roll into a ball to fit into tight spaces like Samus. The final character has an ice beam that can be used to freeze enemies to make platforms. Strangely, there is another savable character but the game provides the excuse of “my battery is drained and cannot help” which actually means “we didn’t have enough time/money to implement another character into the gameplay.”
The main issue with this low-cost digital download is the overall lack of polish. The game’s tile on the Switch home screen looks like it was made in four seconds, the title screen is as bare bones as can be, and there isn’t even a credits roll or option to change the control scheme to use Y and B instead of B and A. Worst yet, the stage design, especially towards the second half of the game, gets tedious thanks to the character swapping mechanic. Some stages have a special platform that allows you to switch characters mid-level, but it is still just as tedious to backtrack to grab that one green coin. If there was the ability to swap characters on the fly, then the entire experience would have been much more streamlined and playable. The game doesn’t even mention the abilities of each character so the player just needs to remember who does what and how.
I finished the campaign in under 2 hours with a 75% completion rating and had no desire to go back and nab those pesky coins that unlock a few more stages. But even though it lacks polish, it isn’t all bad. The lower difficulty and simple gameplay makes this a solid option for younger players. Despite being approachable, most players will probably desire a bit more. The upgrade system feels tacked on, the bosses can be beaten with little challenge, and the stage design is cheap at best; sometimes falling down a hole leads to more level, sometimes instant death.
To me, I am a bit heartbroken because this final product doesn’t look like anything that was Tweeted years ago, leaving me to believe this title had a troubled development and the end result feels like this is true.
Not As Good As: CARL
Don’t Forget About: Metaloid Origin
Wait For It: a Legend of Dark Witch compilation
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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