Adventuring on Android with Horn, published by Zynga

September 3, 2012
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    It would be a shame if Phosphor Games’ latest release, Horn, was tarnished by its association with the increasingly unpopular publisher, Zynga. This third-person action adventure has an RPG veneer and it combines plenty of combat with exploration and puzzles.

    The eponymous Horn is a blacksmith’s apprentice and his village’s last hope for redemption. A curse has transformed the people and animals into strange, mechanical monsters and only a series of successful quests can save them.

    Production values are high, there’s some solid voiceover acting, and a compelling plot. The combat is engaging, with a mixture of melee and ranged battle, and the touchscreen controls work well. The puzzle element is fairly basic. The character design is really good, there’s an orchestral score, and the environments are inviting and fun to explore.

    This is console-style action, which marks a real departure for Zynga. The company is better known for its Facebook hit Farmville and a series of casual puzzle games. When Zynga acquired OMGPOP and Draw Something the game subsequently plummeted in the charts. By publishing Horn, Zynga is showing its willingness to diversify. This is a premium Android and iOS game running on Unreal Engine 3 and it costs $6.99.

    Of course, as a Zynga release, in-app purchases are inevitable, so you’ll find the option to splash out more for additional skins or gear. None of the content is cheap which seems a bit cheeky on top of the premium price, although you don’t need to splash out in order to complete the game, so you can afford to ignore it.

    What’s impossible to ignore is the large number of reports from Android players stating that the game is buggy and unstable. It seems that crashes and freezes are pretty frequent, especially on older devices. Hopefully the developer will address this quickly.

    Overall it looks like a great game. Fans of Zelda-style games will want to dive straight in. If you’ve tried it post a comment and give us your opinion.

    Check out Horn at Google Play.

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