Horizon Chase Turbo

Off the starting grid, there was a time where racing arcade saw there prime. Throughout the 80s and early 90s. Out Run, Rush and Road Rash were among the titles I enjoyed the most growing up. A game came to my attention over a year ago, by the name of Horizon Chase Turbo. I'd found it on the Nintendo Eshop via the Switch.

On the game's description, I spotted a couple of interesting details. For one, it was a modern take of the classic arcade racers I'd mentioned. Secondly, they had legendary composer, Barry Leitch, work the soundtrack. At that moment I realised the concept of re-imagining this racing style was being operated in good hands. After all, I could at least guarantee it would sound like it should, due to that composer worked on these classics back in the day.

The main campaign consists of twelve countries, each with different cities and comprising around three levels apiece, excluding side races. Reaching pole position allows you to progress and contributes to earning tokens that unlock upgrades, as well as other cars. Unlockable content in Horizon Chase Turbo as bountiful, with a vast array of vehicles to choose from.

There' s tournament mode, occasional challenges updated via online integration, local coop, and online multiplayer. I must add that a free content pack is available, one geared towards newcomers, an entirely separate campaign in fact. Another paid piece of DLC is also available for purchase. It is great to see that they've continued supporting the fan base.

Visually, this does scream nostalgia in the most pleasant sense of the term. Everything on display looks sharp, there's nonintrusive usage of 3D models and the details vary between charmingly simplistic to vividly imagined. Each location around the world has it's own touch, as you'd expect.

Vehicle models are basic by today's standard intentionally to provide a retro feel. All cars are designed well and you can identify the real-life inspiration behind them. There's of course models featured in the older games, a nod to the older generation of gaming.

These many set pieces are wonderfully fused with an exciting soundtrack. There are sprinklings of older classic song hinted among some tunes, yet they're certainly original. Some music speaks to the setting around you and others create a mood to dominate the competition. Nothing ever feels out of proportion, it all flows naturally.

Let's get to the real matter at hand, how does it play? I am a finicky racing enthusiast. If the speed isn't felt, that game is gone out the window. You have to sense how fast you're going, that thrill must reverberate through the screen. Horizon Chase Turbo captivates that extremely well. It runs like a dream, a buzz to play, and can get pretty competitive.

While going breakneck fast to the finish line, there are picks up collect. Tokens to help gain upgrades & unlockables, and fuel tanks that go towards boost. The controls are tight, the intuitive layout you'd expect to pick up and play for anyone. In a nutshell, it plays well and feels natural. You have a package here filled with many hours for your money.

The developer, Aquiris Game Studio, has created an arcade racer that is true to form. Brought back from the past, modernised and has proven to be a true testament to the genre. For those who have never played this style of a racer, I'd recommend doing a little research before diving in. It is genuinely fun to play and the appeal will effortlessly draw the attention to gamers that live and breathed the classics that came before it.

Daniel Barker