Game: Horizon Chase Turbo
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer & Publisher: Aquiris Game Studio
Age Rating: E10+ (ESRB)| 3+ (PEGI)
Price: $19.99 | £17.99 | €19.99
Release Date: 28th November 2018 (Switch)
Review code kindly provided by Aquiris
I’ve always enjoyed arcade style car racers. Enduro for the Atari 2600 was a family favourite in the 80s, and some years later, we upgraded to the Commodore Amiga and games such as Lotus Esprit Turbo Challange and Jaguar XJ220. I’ve never been a fan of racing titles that go deep into car configurations and complicated stats. I just want to race and have fun! So I was super excited to discover via Switch news notifications about Horizon Chase Turbo. I was even more excited when our friends at Aquiris games gave LadiesGamers a review code. So how is it?
Players are thrown into the action as soon as the game boots up. The goal is simple, drive fast, overtake and weave past cars, don’t crash and win races. By meeting set objectives, players unlock new tracks, cars, upgrades, and modes. The game is fast, fluid, simple to play, and fun! Its controls are easy to grasp and fully customizable via the game options menu.
A race itself consists of 20 racers, bends, and obstacles such as signposts and trees. The more bumps and collisions you have, the least likely you are of winning and improving your overall track record. Scattered throughout each course are petrol canisters and tokens. To successfully finish each race, players must keep their fuel levels topped up by collecting petrol canisters. I was interested to read in an AMA that developers considered adding Outrun style checkpoints into the game, but I prefer the petrol canister idea because it adds a nice tactical element to the game. As you’re speeding around each track, you’re always keeping an eye out for collectable items which can be picked up on the next lap.
Another important tactical element has to do with the nitro mechanic. Depending on which car you use, nitro’s boost the acceleration of your vehicle for a brief time. The key is to use each nitro wisely or otherwise players will often fall short of winning. Some tracks also contain additional boost power-ups which prove helpful especially on longer race courses. As you progress, races become even more competitive, but earlier racers become much easier thanks to applied upgrades.
Your final race position, as well as the amount of collectables collected during each race, boosts your overall number of coins which are used to unlock new levels and content.
Content and Modes Galore!
I’m stunned by the amount of content offered in Horizon Chase Turbo. There are three unlockable tournament modes, each containing a series of races from numerous countries. If you’re a fan of competitive ghost racing, then you can compete against either your set times or of others from around the world. As well as all that, it boasts 109 tracks, 31 unlockable cars, up to 4player split-screen multiplayer, playground mode, and an endurance mode which takes tournament mode and extends it up to a maximum of 109 random races.
Racing Tip: Try not to hit the back of the car you’re seeking to overtake or otherwise the car in front will propel forward.
The developers have done a great job of creating a modern retro look. The game looks crisp, bright, and more colourful than classic arcade racers such as Outrun. The retro aesthetic, however, displays itself in everything from car designs, landscape details, changes in weather, and the manner in which the game scrolls. Regarding music, a staunch video game critic (my second eldest daughter) commented on how good the game sounded overall. There’s more than enough visual appeal for the modern gamer, as well as ample detail to take older gamers such as myself on a real nostalgia trip.
Slight Technical Issues
Now and then, the game has crashed, and after reading the AMA, it appears to be an issue that others have experienced too. The same AMA, however, assures players that the development team are working on a patch to rectify the problem.
Racing Tip: You may find it helpful to break slighty before taking a bend.
I love Horizon Chase Turbo. It’s great to be able to play a modern racer that replicates the fun of classic arcade racers of old, and I highly recommend it to everyone that enjoy retro arcade racers. I also advise anyone with an interest in racing games to give it a try.
This is one game I’ll be playing for months to come.