A downloadable game

I’m Paul Helman and this is  Horace - a platform adventure game about a small robot on a big adventure.  After 5 years of working tirelessly on my passion project, I have released a demo and would really appreciate feedback from anyone who is willing to try out my game!


Horace is a story-driven platform game. Not story in the sense of ‘our princess is in another castle’, but an emotional storyline like you’d find in a Final Fantasy game. Cinematic cutscenes, but with little pixel guys. The ‘Digital Estate Planning’ episode of Community Season 3 inspired me to think I could make that work to make you smile.

The game stars a naive robot learning about the meaning of his life, but later trying to save the world as the story takes an apocalyptic turn. That's not in the demo, you’ll just need to trust me. 

The robot is light on his feet and responsive, in accordance with the rules laid out by the peerless Super Mario World. The first ability upgrade you encounter in the game changes the way you have to think about traversal, testing your brain as much as your twitch skills. This, and the storytelling, set Horace apart.


The first half of this demo is the first hour (or so) of the game I plan to release. The storytelling is heavier here than later in the game, because there’s a few threads to set in motion. You’ll also get a look at the house from later in the game where it gets more branched and Metroidvania-y. (We really need a better name for that).


It feels like we're about at Alpha now, and perhaps naively I'm thinking Spring 2019?

If you like the look of Horace, please rate the game and tell someone about it - word of mouth is SOOOO important.  To shout at ME directly, I'm on Twitter (sporadically) @horacedev

Updated 18 days ago
StatusIn development
Release date Aug 31, 2018
AuthorPaul Helman
Made withUnity
Tags2D, Comedy, Metroidvania, Narrative, Pixel Art, Puzzle-Platformer, Story Rich
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
InputsKeyboard, Xbox controller, Gamepad (any)

Install instructions

Unless I've made a huge mistake, it should all just unfurl like magic from the installer file. 


Horace_Demo_Final.exe 905 MB

Development log


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Hi, just thought I'd leave this here. :)

First impressions: WOOOAHHHH!!!! 


Thanks for your video Blis! It's great to see how much you are connecting with the story and can't wait to see your other videos for Horace.

Horace is adorable! I'm a little worried about the fate of his 'family' but of course I want to see the full release. Lovely graphics and music and good controls. Keep up the good dev work! :)


Thanks for the video! Interesting to see people playing in a way I never intended. In the room with with the moving paintings it's MUCH easier if instead of trying to jump across the room you try to fall down the room. 

When playtesting, I did actually go through the paintings room jumping. It wasn't easy so yeah.. I'll take your advice when I play again. :) 


That was incredibly good. Some of the things I really enjoyed include the way you personified the robot, the cutscenes in between, and the character development of Heather. You've also got me really curious as to what happened to the robot in that long interim in the middle, but I guess that will have to stay a mystery for now. And with the amount of gameplay you put in, it puts a lot of other demos I've seen to shame. I'm looking forward to reviewing this game (I'll put it on my list and keep you posted!)

A few suggestions for things you might want to incorporate:

*More difficulty modes?  Some of the later levels took me a few (hundred) times to pass. I had to take a break in the middle, actually. Maybe there could be an "easy" difficulty with more checkpoints? Similarly, you could add a "hardcore" mode to complete the ENTIRE game without any deaths. Too challenging for me personally, but some people enjoy that sort of thing! Maybe skip the tutorial-type levels and make it unlockable after completing the normal one first.

*For the chain-climbing part, I may have missed it but I don't think we were ever told how to do so explicitly? It did take a while to figure out that I was to use the up arrow key to climb up but I did get it.

*Voice acting? Are you planning on recording an actual voice for the robot/other characters? What would seem really cool is if you could start off as the automated computer-type recording and gradually transition to a full human voice as our robot friend "grows up." I don't know if that's feasible, just an idea.

I also commend you for sticking to a project for five years - that can't be easy. Has it been an off-and-on thing, or have you worked on any other projects? In the event you have other games I'm sure those would be fun to play as well. The only sad thing about this is that somehow no one has commented yet...but I hope more people discover it soon! So in conclusion, the answer to your question is no, you're most definitely are not wasting your time with this endeavor. Given how long you've worked on it so far, I will be eagerly awaiting seeing the finished game!

(1 edit)

Hi there, thanks so much for being the first commenter!

The rooms after the 'fast forward' are part of the end game. I wondered if the difficulty was going to be too much when juxtaposed against the tutorial/intro, but I didn't want to show the other game locations *just* yet. The final game will have a concept of 'shields' to give you a bit more leeway with failure on the tougher rooms. 

Chain climbing - you're right. The tutorial for that part was a casualty of cutting two parts of the game together.

This has been my sole project for the five years. A *ton* of time goes into the story cinematics. It's already taken at least two years longer than I thought, but might as well try and do it properly. 

Thanks again! Comments like this really give me a boost :D