Horace is one of the most pleasant gaming surprises in years. I'm clearly a key part of its target demographic, having lived through the 1980s and early 90s that so heavily influenced it, but my enjoyment and engagement went past such an identification. I was completely absorbed throughout, and fully intend to return to collect the remaining pieces of junk. It may not be as immediately impressive as the latest AAA blockbuster, but Horace is essential for fans of retro games or hard platformers and a real contender for Indie Game of the Year.
Horace is a charming homage to an era of gaming and culture that’s rapidly fading into the sunset, yet it never rests of the nostalgia factor to keep the player engaged.
Technical difficulties aside, Horace is an endearing, nostalgic, platforming masterpiece. Even after having to start fresh at one point, I could not wait to jump right back in and play more. Which is pretty telling considering that, at its heart, this is a game about a robot cleaning up garbage. Once properly patched up to correct the minor technical issues, this game would whole-heartedly be a 10 out of 10 for this writer.
While Horace himself might not be the most emotionally intelligent protagonist, the same cannot be said for his namesake game.
Horace is a tricky one to recommend. It's certainly a good game. It's got challenge, it's got style, and it's got heart. The story takes you through a rollercoaster of a robot's life and while there's no narrative decisions to be made, becoming invested isn't hard at all. However, the mad difficulty spikes will put casual platformers off. But if they stick with it, there's a corker of a game here.
Horace is a very, very good game. A humour filled but emotionally charged plot delivered via beautiful and well-paced cut scenes, some of the most gorgeous pixel released this year, a smorgasbord of pop culture references and mini-games and a hand crafted feel to the platforming, as if everything has been placed with care and attention, combine into one of the most surprising games of 2019.