Magenta Horizon – PC Review

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Today we’ll be looking at Magenta Horizon, a Metroidvania from one-man developer Hellfire Railway Interactive and published by YouTuber turned indie game micro-publisher 2 Left Thumbs.

Magenta Horizon is available now for PC via Steam and will cost £8.29/$10.99.

Don’t Fear The Reaper

Magenta Horizon is a Hollow Knight-esque Metroidvania, where you play as Gretel, a Reaper looking to make her way back to the Nest Sanctuary after her exile. Along the way you’ll rescue lost souls, find new upgrades and of course, fight hordes of monsters, demons and bosses. It’s a fast-paced action game that’ll keep you on your… thumbs? Yeah, we’ll go with that.

The floor is a purple industrial look platform. The background also is purple industrial with cages. In the centre, Gretel who is a reaper with a bird mask, has attached a monstrous giraffe like enemy. To the right is a bear-esque demon with with horns who is glowing green. In the top left are the bars such as health, power, ammo for Gretel. In the top right is the keys that have been acquired as well as how many demon horns you've collected, which act as the games currency.


After choosing the difficulty, you start the game with the coffin of Gretel being stumbled upon by an old Scottish fella called Archibald. After Archibald understandably runs away upon your awakening, your journey begins. You must first chase down Archibald. It is here you will be introduced to the gameplay. I really appreciated how tutorials were handled as the game uses interactable objects. This meant that upon replaying, I’m not forced to go through the tutorial all over again.

Gretel stand in the centre of the screen on what appears to be living rock. The platform is coloured pink. In the background there are pink and grey rocks that don't appear living. Gretel is stood in front of a question mark which acts as on of the games tutorials. The box overlaying the game reads: - Press Space/ A Button(default) to Jump. - Hold Jump Button to Jump higher. - You can jump once again in midair. There is a little demonstration that, in game, shows Gretel double jumpin g
I am the jump master

While going through the introductory level, you’ll be introduced to the game’s core mechanics. These largely revolve around combat, platforming (which I’m terrible at) and collecting keys to get through demon gates and progress further. As well as the Scythe, Gretel will have access to other weaponry for combat. Not only is there a ranged attack, but there are bombs to mix things up. I’ll be honest though, I found I mostly used the healing bombs, which provided a nice health boost when you attacked enemies hit by the bomb. It also meant I could just tank most hits.

All-in-all, the combat is really satisfying. You don’t try to avoid hits per se, it’s more about trading hits and being the last man standing. There is enough variety that it doesn’t just become a “spam attack” bore-fest. It also presents a good challenge, especially at higher difficulties and you can quickly find yourself overwhelmed by enemies.


The platforming, now that’s a whole nother kettle of fish. Because I suck at it. Seriously, even in this quick clip underneath, which is some of the easiest of the game’s platforming offerings, I got caught out a couple of times. But that’s good. If you’re going to have platforming it should be a challenge. It will most definitely keep you on your toes. You will have to make use of all of Gretel’s move set, dash’s double jumps and hook dash to navigate levels. None of it was impossible, but it certainly put my middle-aged reflexes to the test.

A short GIF showing Gretel making her way to the left side of the screen avoiding traps along the way. The area is a purple industrial looking area.
Watch out for falling objects

But it’s not just about evading traps and beating on enemies. That is to say, would it be a video game without a few collectables strewn in? No, of course not. Thankfully, Magenta Horizons collectables aren’t nearly as egregious as *ahem* some games. It is mainly power up and keys you’ll be collecting. Power-ups are pretty self-explanatory, and the keys will be required to pass through these living demon gate things that still make me a bit uncomfortable with their rows of teeth and pupil-less eyes. No thanks.

Gretel is stood on the middle step of a three step platform. On the top there are three demon gates with eyes and far too many teeth. The first is coloured blue, the second red and the third green. The area is a purple industrialised looking area.
All those teeth and you expect me to go through there?

Graphics & Audio

The game looks stunning. Like a gothic oil painting of the underworld, but a bit brighter than you might expect. It looks fantastic. The levels are well-designed, the scenery is beautiful and some of the truly monstrous enemies are almost nightmare-inducing (I’m looking at you demon dolphin). Undeniably, everything about this game has been lovingly put together.

Gretel stand in the middle of a platform that looks like it made from living organs. In the background there are tree-type things. They have swirls on the trunks and the leaves resemble some kind of yellow sac that is oozing. In the distant backrgound there are mountainous rocks with what appears to be giant earthworms wrapped around them.
Lemme just take in the view for a second

In terms of audio, everything from the moody piano on the menu screen to the metal-esque boss fight music, everything sets the tone perfectly. The sound effects were all well designed, I might have just liked a little more, I dunno, crunch to the attacks, just to help them feel a bit weightier I guess. Despite there not being much in the way of voice acting, what little there is does its job and does it well.


Magenta Horizon isn’t a particularly long game. It should only take you a few hours to make your way through the available levels. But with the collectables and the ranking system upon completing levels, there is plenty to come back to.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, Magenta Horizon is a beautifully put-together little game with satisfying combat, challenging platforming and very little to complain about. Seeing “SSS Rank” pop-up after absolutely laying into a boss makes you a little giddy. In truth, I wouldn’t mind if it was a bit of a longer experience, but considering this was a game built by one person, it’s still a triumph.

Magenta Horizon reaps a Thumb Culture Platinum Award for itself.


Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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