Horizons is a unique indie driving game produced in Spain, that is unlike anything currently available in the entertainment market. The game challenges players to drive numerous vehicles through a seemingly impossible universe filled with polished and colorful 3-D stratospheric worlds and a surreal and psychedelic ambiance. An explosive cocktail that has attracted the attention from players around the world and international high profile publishers.
A different kind of game, with personality
While the majority of racing games follow the same pattern of lap times, pursuits, and testing driving abilities in urban circuits, Quasar Labs' offering, Horizons, separates itself from the pack. In Horizons, whether the player drives very poorly or very well, the challenges that lie ahead cannot be overcome by sheer speed alone. On occasion, the player must throw caution to the wind and drive headfirst into voids to find new roads that bring the user closer to achieving their mission. Sometimes in order to reach the goal, the driver will be forced to destroy large sections of their own vehicle when launching a thousand miles using a psychedelic, heavy pink-disco bus or an uncontrollable, yellow sport coupe that accelerates at dizzying speeds.
Horizons’ concept originates from the surrealism art movement, using juxtapositions of incompatible elements and surprising concepts like "drive a pink bus in space,” “crash your own car to win,” or “realistic driving in a surreal world.”
In addition, the driving experience takes place on vivid roads with vibrant colors illuminating them, built in the middle of a fabulous stratosphere, bathed in a soundscape of bewitching electronica music.
Interactive art applied to gaming
What the developers have created in Horizons is closer to an interactive art initiative than a gaming industry submission. While some prestigious international publishers have shown interest in representing the game, the creator has chosen to release Horizons independently without any large studios' backing, in order to avoid some of the established rules in the gaming industry, particularly those that demand that a racing game be filled with “unnecessary decorations,” or including “instruction panels,” “countdown clocks,” “rankings,” and “a big promotional banner with plenty of fictional drawing."
The game's creator, Adan Levy, was forced to cancel the original publisher's “polishing” process after a lot of work trying to satisfy their expectations. Prior to the game launch, after receiving some instructed revisions that he considered against the “minimalist spirit” of the game, Levy realized that the heart of the project was in jeopardy. What started out as a presentation by a developer, of an already finished and defined game, to potential distribution allies, turned into something more akin to a film maker trying to avoid the whims from a dogmatic producer. Levy pulled the plug on the mainstream treatment and returned the game to its original form. In Levy's words, “Horizons is a minimalist game, no instruction panels needed, no need for banners with plenty of pictures to falsely attract the user's attention, and no need for unnecessary elements or ornamentation. No complicated or ultra-precise control systems or gyroscopes needed, because this game in pure, playability aside, is not always a predictable world. There are only a road, an infinite sky box, a realistic car, and a red arrow as your eternal goal, as your horizon.”