NS Review – Horizon Chase Turbo (Switch)


Lotus Turbo Challenge was one of my favourite games when I was a kid, everything about it was amazing, the fast paced gameplay, the incredible soundtrack, the awesome looking cars. Then for about 25 years there was nothing quite like it. Until now! With a physical edition out now and DLC coming at the end of August 2019, Horizon Chase Turbo is here to fill and exceed all your nostalgic arcade racing cravings.

The Switch exclusive paint scheme is awesome.

Personally coming from a mostly SIM racing background since the heyday of 90s arcade racers ended it felt just wrong to approach a corner starting at the inside and slowly drift outwards completely ignoring physics and apexes but I soon got used to it and really didn’t care too much as Horizon Chase Turbo plays like a childhood dream being better in every way to the classic games that inspired it. The gameplay is fast, smooth and actually just how I feel a classic styled arcade racer should play even with full nostalgia goggles on for the classics, probably remembering them as better than they actually are but this is still better.

Amazing the ladder can stay in place.

The difficulty is perfect so that every race feels like a challenge and an achievement to win but isn’t overly hard, really feeling down to your performance. 

There are four game modes in Horizon Chase Turbo. The main mode is World Tour, this consists of single race events where you earn points based finishing position and how many tokens that are scattered across each track you collect. Once you reach a certain amount of points you unlock various cars and different countries. Each country contains a permanent upgrade race that upgrades all your cars at once. There are 12 countries, each with 10 or so races making World Tour a lengthy mode in itself. The real highlight of World Tour though is being able to play it cooperative split screen multiplayer.

There’s massive replayability in attempting to get a super trophy on every track.

Tournament mode is your good ole 4 race championship. There’s 3 difficulties with higher difficulties containing more tournaments, it’s the perfect mode for some competitive split screen multiplayer or for those like myself who love the championship element where you don’t have to win every single race.

If you want something a bit different then there’s Playground which has regularly updated challenges, such as no HUD, mirror tracks, changed weather conditions, preset cars and upgrades. There’s 5 events of varying difficulty with the aim of climbing the online leaderboards.

No HUD and great meme.

The final mode that’ll unlock once you finish World Tour is Endurance. Take one car and race through a set number of random tracks continuing only if you finish in the top 5. There’s 3 difficulties for this, with varying number of tracks, the hardest difficulty has you racing through all 109 tracks.

Between the four game modes there really is something for everyone, making Horizon Chase Turbo the most complete arcade racing game I’ve ever played. The icing on the cake would be online multiplayer, it is the only missing feature from this outstanding game.

Interlagos being in the game is pretty cool.

Horizon Chase Turbo has completely customisable controls meaning I could play with one hand or hook my PS4 steering wheel for the ultimate arcade experience. I just wish motion controls were included as they work very well the inferior but still worth a purchase mobile version. 

Both the car selection and art style are a tasteful mix of old and new perfectly blending the look of 90s racers with modern low poly graphics. Quite frankly the cars look incredible. The backgrounds not so much, they are extremely low poly and create quite a mismatch compared to the detail of the cars, however you whiz past at such a speed that you rarely actually notice. What you do notice is how varied the backgrounds are track to track adding variety to the already varied track layouts. 

Of course it’s raining at the legendary Spa Francorchamps.

Even the soundtrack is a beautifully retro inspired joy to your ears. It couldn’t be more jammed full of synthy goodness, well worthy of being available to purchase on iTunes. The cars themselves sound mundane and samey, despite this there is a nice realistic turbo sound and you can hear the gear changes even though the cars are all automatics. While playing the music is so good you don’t really notice the lacking sound effects.

Nothing beats winning in a pink Beetle.

Horizon Chase Turbo is so good I can’t really imagine anyone improving on the early 90s 2D arcade racing formula, I would say the only thing left to happen is for Sega to hire Aquiris to make a sequel or spiritual successor to Outrun 2 but Aquiris are adding a lot throughout 2019 including new game modes, a new and improved Playground mode, DLC campaign and extra cars, giving a lot to look forward to in what already is my favourite ever early 90s style arcade racer.

When you’re almost out of fuel it pops up on the mini map.

Horizon Chase Turbo is available digitally on Nintendo Switch eShop for £17.99/€19.99/$19.99 and physically at all good retailers. Thank you to Aquiris for providing the review code.

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