Earlier today, Jared and I sat down with Horn [Free]. It's a 3D action adventure game that plays a lot like Infinity Blade. It's important to note, though, that Horn rocks a handful of smart iterative additions that give it some oomph. For instance, it's not on rails. Also, its combat embraces all three dimensions, allowing you to evade around bad dudes and attack weak spots located all over their gigantic, bulbous bodies.

Horn is quite the surprise. Its combat in particular has some welcome features that make it feel kinda like its own game. Of course, the spots of dungeon / puzzle design and the vibrant, light-hearted world are nice touches, too.

We're guessing more than a few of you are going to dig this, so give it a look if you haven't seen Horn in motion yet. It's pretty cool.

  • http://twitter.com/colettebennett colettebennett

    WANTTTTTT.

  • JesusBro

    not interested

    • darkcrayon

      Interested.  For balance and all.

  • skeblik

    It has an open world?

    • NPeart

      I was going to ask the same question...and still am.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ethancathcart ethan cathcart

    Just bought it <3

  • nandreetta

    I thought Phosphor said you won't even be able to tell Zynga was the publisher. I can't put that bulldog on my home screen.

    • Maniacfive

      True that! I hate all the borders you get on app icons. That is not a good icon.

      • TakKuroda

        i was going to buy it but then i saw the dog.... nvm

    • Lomyr

      Yeah, it's a low priority detail but I really hope they get rid of it, those little logos ruin the aesthetic of the icon.

  • blackharon

    Do you two ever remember the price of games? I can't remember a TA Plays segment where you did.

    • lr1919

      Chill

      • blackharon

        Wasn't angry at all. It was an off the cuff comment. The price is on the title, in the article and many other places. I don't need them to even mention the price in the video!

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        I don't like mentioning the price of games because no one sticks to their guns on the App Store. TA articles update automatically, that's not so easy with a video. ;)

  • SuperMario7

    Is IAP necessary? I found Infinity Blade 2 really reliant on IAP, as the whole game revolved around collecting cash for weapons, and the only way to get the best weapons would be either to grind repeatedly for hours on end, fighting the same enemies over and over or spend on IAP.  If Horn is similar then I'm not interested, a lot of iOS games these days are utterly boring because of the emphasis on grinding for items, things like a decent story, varied gameplay etc seem non-existant in new releases.

    • Doctor U

      I didn't find IAP needed in Infinity blade two. I enjoy the game and I hate to say the grind. I'll probably like this one too.

    • lr1919

      I never needed to buy IAP.

    • http://twitter.com/Rage_boi Vince

      Ditto. Story is a missing component in most games.I face palmed quite hard when people on the forums praised Aralon and Dead Trigger for their plots. If you factor in touch controls and portability...even 2nd rate and shallow games can get pretty fun though.

      About IB2, I never needed IAP to finish it..and finish it I did in a couple of hours after I purchased it =/

  • http://twitter.com/Ponycake Christopher Wiley

    "You stick it in the IAP hole."

    Jackpot.

  • zdanee

    I wish it would not have the Zynga logo. Now I can't buy it with a clean conscience.

  • Robert-Jan Eijk

    Whats wrong with Zynga? Does it fully support the Ipad Retina display?  Thanks! :)

    • zdanee

      Zynga is like the official scumbag of game-companies even thou the race is hard they make a business model of douchebagery.

      • Robert-Jan Eijk

        In what way do you mean?

      • http://twitter.com/Rage_boi Vince

        Zygna's business model = legalized pyramid scheme

      • Robert-Jan Eijk

        Thanks. And someone knows about the Ipad retina? Without it it will be a nogo for me..

      • Benjamin Palmer

        The first line of description for the game says: "Optimized for iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and new iPad – includes high-definition graphics and advanced features" So, it doesn't call out Retina, but it says high-def which is the same thing, and it doesn't support the original iPad or iPod touch.

      • Robert-Jan Eijk

        This is not entirely true. 720p (which is the resolution of the Ipad 1 and 2) is also called HD. This is why 1080p is mostly called full HD to withdraw any confusion. Remember nowadays you sometimes still see Televisions for very low prices calling for HD. When you read further you see that this is actually 720p. Game Designers love to call their games HD even if its not 1080p.
        720p is FAR from 1080p and certainly from the retina Ipad resolution which is even 1M pixels higher ;)

      • http://twitter.com/Rage_boi Vince

        @Benjamin The only console game that runs at 1080p (that I know of) is FF13 on the PS3. BF 3 and most other games run at 720p or less..

      • Nyan

        I believe EA is the bigger scumbag. Just my opinion though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134582760 Nicole Hunter

      Zynga is the scum of the earth with their iap and their insider trading.  Additionally their CEO is a douche who even calls the people who but iap idiots openly to an room of potential customers.  (That jerk graduated from my school and came back and gave a speech in which he pretty much bashed the consumer of his product.)  Either way, Zynga is the equal to the soullessness found in EA and if you don't think EA is soulless then... I don't really know where to go from there.

      • HelperMonkey

        Insider trading? They run a brokerage on the side, or what?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134582760 Nicole Hunter

        They are a public company with shareholders.  And after the loss of 40% of that stock's value, there is a insider trading investigation going on.  Insider trading meaning if I was the Treasurer and my son had stock and I was about to miss earnings by a truckload, then I told him SELL NAO!  then that would be insider trading because he had info no one else knew when he was trading.  You don't need to run a brokerage to be involved in insider trading or else that whole thing with Martha Stuart wouldn't really make any sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josiah.wilson.716 Josiah Wilson

    THIS IS THE END OF CONSOLE GAMING!

    -_-

  • l_23mer

    Not for iPod touch stick it in you arse hole

  • GSJ1977

    The game is pretty and all but not that appealing to me, even though I'm a graphics whore. The enemies look daft and seem to react VERY slowly to what the player does - is there a difficulty setting that makes them less dopey? The level design seems to be a long corridor, in which case I'd rather have the scripted walking of IB than be given "control" of my character. And those "narrow" ledges... worst example of padding that I've seen for a while.

  • mekman96

    Doesn't anybody like dynamic lighting? A shadow? A shade? I know the iPad 2 can do better than nothing. The models and textures are nice but they are screaming to be highlighted by some real lighting effects, otherwise it's just a muddy looking game. Still it's nice to have some more variety on the platform, so keep 'em coming.

  • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

    I have to say that Zynga makes me pause, too. But look at it this way, Zynga is trying a different and apparently GOOD approach to publishing with this title specifically. Helping this particular Zynga game become a success could literally begin to change the company and its focus. Helps me justify it anyway. :)

    • ducksFANjason

      Good point. If ganers ignore this game based solely off of the fact that it's Zynga published, it's not going to send the message to Zynga that we disagree with their business model in OTHER games. It's just going to reinforce to them that selling freemium casual games is far more profitable.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/Retronaut42 Retronaut42

      That makes a lot of sense, but I'm just still not sure if it can justify supporting Zynga after all their previous ripoffs. I'm gonna have to think about it some more.

    • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

      The publishing thing: Zynga Partners is what has me intrigued. You can read about it in a previous Touch Arcade article from earlier this week.

  • Nadante

    After buying Dead Trigger and other games at full price only to see it free or $0.99 two weeks later, I'll wait before purchasing.

  • http://buzzabit.com/aaron/ Aaron Sullivan

    @mekman96: The more important question is what part would you like to throw out of the graphics equation to get dynamic lighting and shadow? Draw distance? Frame rate? Complexity of geometry? It's always a trade off. :)

    • mekman96

      I'd totally toss out the complex geometry, light and shadow makes shapes look real.

  • TheShahnameh

    Zynga logo = not interested.

    Still waiting for dictionary integration for "Made Up Words With Friends" so the game can actually stop letting bogus two-letter "words" like "KA" and "ZA" pass...

    • Benjamin Palmer

      Both 'Za' and 'Ka' are in the official scrabble dictionary... and are words. Sorry if you don't like them =) 

    • http://twitter.com/Rage_boi Vince

      Kind of like skipping out on a Bioware game because of the EA logo. Your lost ...really. Don't bother mentioning how this will affect sales too since most people don't care(you should know that people who visit forums are in the minority) and it will sell. 

      • TheShahnameh

        Yes Einstein I'm aware, "Za" is slang for pizza and "Ka" is an ancient Egyptian entity. So why are only SOME slang and SOME foreign words permissible but others not (especially one we use A LOT more other than the old Egyptian word for "spiritual entity"? That's a serious issue and a total design flaw). I That's what I "don't like", and I just used the first two examples that came to mind. Thanks still, pal. "=)" right back.

        Somebody played "Feasing" once in a game with me. Go try and find that in any English dictionary on the planet. Lotsa luck!

        What does Bioware or EA have anything to do with anything? I like their products, thanks for asking first! What, human beings can't discriminate between companies based on their own personal tastes (we have that right, ya know)? Do you happen to like any and all brands of cars or restaurants or whatever else? Thanks for my daily dose of warped logic! It's not my "lost" (?) because I never stood anything to gain to begin with! And I never said all that about affecting sales, you invented that one on your own. Their financial statement hints at hemorhagging money anyway, so operating at a loss soon seems inevitable. Good!

        And several other posters on here have said they were put off upon hearing it was a Zynga product. Perhaps you guys should read into certain patterns that form!

      • Benjamin Palmer

        No luck needed, found it in 3 seconds. 'Fease' is 'to faze' and has valid suffixes of -ed, -es and -ing. And also in the official scrabble dictionary. Here, look yourself:

        http://www.hasbro.com/scrabble/en_US/search.cfm 

        Words with Friends is scrabble and uses its dictionary (or something very close). Half the point of the game is the obscure words that are and are not valid. This is a bit of a tangent though, but yea, sorry your friends are beating you at Words with Friends.

      • http://twitter.com/Rage_boi Vince

        /face palm 
        1.Do you even know that Zygna isn't the developer of this game? FYI I like the games from Phosphor Games and therefore I am getting Horn.
        2.I said don't bother mentioning "..." in anticipation of the usual reflex response.
        3.Why bring up the posters here? I specifically mentioned that people who visit forums are in the minority...this is a known fact.  

        meh.

      • Faeryan

        So very true. Mass Effect 3 might just be the best game I've ever played, even though I'm more into fantasy than scifi and sword wielding to gun fights.

        Thing is that there is so much piracy and related stuff that smaller companies just can't cope and the bigger ones eat them, turning them into a part of a soulless machine.
        That's what happened to Origin, that's what's soon happening to Horn's developers (sorry, forgot the name) and will happen to many others.

        We as buyers and pirates (not pointing fingers at anyone) have caused this to happen and by not buying Zynga's or EA's stuff will first make them destroy every little bit of Origin and the like still living inside them and then be devoured by a yet bigger company EAnga that we learn to hate even more than EA and Zynga together.

  • taragon99

    Zynga ..... pass

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DEARPEDCPTWN3J7RVVT3WKO7L4 Justin Rawcliffe

    There are company's in this world trading that rip the skins off animals while they are still alive to create clothing for massive profits....You lot constantly crying about zynga and a 5 pound iphone game are starting to look like stereo-typical blinkered dumb ios gamers.

    • epikninja

      +100

    • GSJ1977

      Uh... this is a site about iOS games. I think complaints about iOS game price do belong here, whether or not the issue is so important in the grand scheme of things. Besides, have you seen the prices they charge for clothes made from "humanely" killed animals? What a ripoff!!!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/Retronaut42 Retronaut42

    Published by Zynga? Apologies to the developers, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to skip this one.

    • Realityiscruel

      In a perfect world phosphor would be able to publish their own games and not have to worry about time and money. The reality is that games are very expensive to make and when money comes along to help you make a game you so much want to do, you take it. Almost regardless of where it comes from, or your company no longer exsists. As the wife of someone at phosphor, your comment makes me sad. My husband and his company worked so hard to make a game in three months that should have taken one year. Our kids barely saw their dad for three months, my husband barely slept, he and phosphor lived and breathed this game...sad that some of you just don't care. What privileged lives you must lead.

  • HelperMonkey

    Zynga killed my father. Bastards.

  • mguniverse

    That's the worst icon art I've ever seen, and I've seen some pretty bad icons!

    • https://twitter.com/#!/Retronaut42 Retronaut42

      It has a nice font, but the background leaves something to be desired.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/Retronaut42 Retronaut42

    I'm sorry. It's not about Phosphor games, they have my respect, and if they released their game under any other publisher, I'd feel differently. I just can't justify supporting Zynga in any way shape or form.

    I understand it's tough out there, I congratulate everyone at phosphor for completing this game.

    If it becomes a hit, and they can some day self-publish a new game, I will gladly support them.

    I am far from the majority in my stance, so I think the game can be successful without me, and I sincerely hope it is.

    I'm sorry if my opinion makes you sad, but it's just how I feel about Zynga.

    • http://twitter.com/Rage_boi Vince

      Here is a cookie for your very diplomatic response. 

  • Repelstale

    I don't care if Zynga was involved financially. This game is a landmark in IOS gaming. There will be a "before" and "after" era. For those of us, like me, who get sick of seeing the app store get flooded by meaningless trash, and always have to bide their time before another truly engrossing gem comes by (like "Sword & Sworcery" or "King of Dragon Pass"), this is a moment of true joy.
    Phosphor, you have my utmost respect. Start download ... now

    • Repelstale

      I just have to correct my earlier statement of joy. After having finished about 2/3 of this game I'm thoroughly dissapointed.It's simple, it's repetitive, there's no real exploration, there were some awful save issues (which they have admittedly fixed) and the in game currency is very unbalanced (overabundance of pygite for unnecessary gear, but hardly any cores for necessary life potions).

      No, playing Horn is like dating a beautiful but insanely stupid blonde: it looks great and full of opportunities, but before you know it the thrills have worn out, boredom sets in and you start to think to yourself you should have spent your time on someone else.

  • lr1919

    Who cares if it's zynga published? If it's a great game, then you're missing out by not playing it...

    These comments about icon art are pretty stupid as well. How many of you stare at your icons for entertainment?

    • Repelstale

      LOL, exactly.

      "Ow, it such a great game, but the little bulldog on the icon really ruined it for me"

    • GSJ1977

      I masturbate over the good ones.

  • epikninja

    Zynga basically only advertised this game..

    Anyway, this game is pretty good. There is some lag spikes on my 4s, but there are few so it's not a problem. I hate tap-where-to-move games though. The invisible walls really limit you(but then again, it is an ios game). Through my 30 minute experience, the game is a bit one-way.

    Still a great game, and I highly recommend it.

    • http://ifury.net fury

      It gets better past the 30 minute mark. I started running into parts where I had to walk around a bit, backtrack, explore a bit before I picked up on what it was I had to do. This is exactly what I've been looking for in an iOS game ever since Epic Citadel demonstrated the true power of the platform. Good/great graphics, great gameplay.

      Terrain popping. Lack of dynamic lighting. Minor graphical glitches. Yeah, I notice and totally don't mind. Cause you know what? Graphics can be fixed after the fact, but it's hard to fix bad gameplay after it's out there. Even if they don't update the game whatsoever, though, I feel as though the gameplay makes up for it.

  • Kevin Roberts

    The thing I really hate about Infinity Blade is that it's on rails. When I heard this game was going have battles like Infinity Blade and not be on rails, I was pretty interested in it. It would have been an immediate purchase, but too bad it doesn't support any of my devices. Even Infinity Blade 2 runs fine on my first gen iPad and supports iPod touches.

  • Quickmix

    WOW........ Great Game. Bought it Today!

  • PluralPunk

    It's from Zynga. It would have to be more than a good game for me to buy this.

  • Nate

    Does not run on 1st generation iPad.
    Does not run on any iPod Touch.
    Does not run on iPhone 3GS.

    Given what everyone is saying about how unimpressive the graphics on this are, why did they need to exclude the "lower level" devices?

    • GSJ1977

      Probably memory (RAM).

    • ILSc0p3z7I

      Barely runs on iPhone/iPod 4

  • http://www.gamegent.com/ Game Gent

    It seems petty and foolish to pass up a quality game developed by Phosphor, just because it has the Zynga stamp on it.

    It's a great game and worth supporting Phosphor.

  • FreezeFrozen

    Bought it yesterday. It is bad to see that some games are released without beeing finished. I mean the work is not complete here, the galeplay is not so good especially when moving the character.+ a lot of little,bugs here and there.... Also, the story scenes poor quality shows clearly that this work was closed in a rush, and may be without enough means.

  • xDyNaMiiCx

    This game looks so bad on iPhone 4. Omg unplayable. Recommend this games for 4s iPad 2 and up. Save your money.

    • ILSc0p3z7I

      I know it is retarded I am so choked! They must do an update to optimize it or something because it's unplayable