Title: Horizon Chase Turbo
Developer: Aquiris Game Studio
Publisher: Aquiris Game Studio
Genre: Arcade Racer
Platform: Xbox One
Audience: Racing Fans
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £15.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review copy for this game.
What the developers say
Horizon Chase Turbo is a racing game inspired by the great hits of the 80’s and 90’s: Out Run, Lotus Turbo Challenge, Top Gear (SNES), Rush, among others. Each curve and each lap in Horizon Chase Turbo recreates classic arcade gameplay and offers you unbound speed limits of fun. Full throttle on and enjoy! Horizon Chase Turbo has Multiplayer Split Screen support across all game modes, to rescue the nostalgia of playing with your best friends sitting on a couch all night long. The hard time is to know who is your best friend because this one is also the one to be beaten.
Horizon Chase Turbo is a standalone homage to classic 16-bit racers that defined a generation of high-speed, frenetic arcade fun. The game ignites an instant blast of nostalgia with catchy contemporary chiptune music, split screen multiplayer and retro design with modern gameplay. Although there’s a deep and extensive single-player mode, Horizon Chase Turbo uses split-screen multiplayer modes to create a magical local multiplayer experience. Launch date features for Horizon Chase Turbo will include a world tour campaign, intense tournaments, endurance challenges and more than 31 vehicles across 109 tracks, spanning real-world locations, such as China, Japan, Hawaii and more.
Thrilling arcade racing game, inspired by Outrun, Top Gear, Lotus Turbo Challenge, and others.
Modern high-quality graphics and UI.
Amazing old-style split-screen multiplayer up to 4 players.
Music by Barry Leitch, Sound Designer in 90s racing classics such as Top Gear and Lotus Turbo Challenge, among others.
Tons of content: 12 Cups, 48 Cities, 109 tracks, 31 Unlockable Cars and 12 Upgrades.
Challenge your friends in an Online Competitive Ghost Mode.
Make History by adding your name among Friends’ and Global Leaderboards
Horizon Chase Turbo is a nice retro racer which doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel. It invokes memories of my time in the arcades of the ’80s and ’90s but without the cigarette smoke and the old woman sitting in a glass box doling out change. It’s clear that the game takes direct inspiration from the likes of Outrun and Super Hang-On with its no-frills, but plenty of thrills racing. So let’s have a look at what I think of this modern homage to these classic titles.
Looks and Sounds
I quite liked the approach the developers took with Horizon Chase Turbo. It has some modern bells and whistles, but it’s deeply rooted in delivering a hit of nostalgia.
To some, it will look quite basic with low poly models and tracks, but it’s effective. The cars are based on real-life counterparts like Ferarris, Corvettes, Dodges and more. Tracks have features that you’d maybe associate with each country so you can tell where you are but being honest, it’s hardly the most imaginative. Not to worry though, the focus is mainly on the racing.
Additional detail like motion blur give an enhanced feeling of speed, sparks fly when you bump other racers, and the backgrounds add some much-needed depth. The HUD is clean and uncluttered with essential details such as the lap counter and map sitting nicely in your peripheral vision.
The music has a nice retro feel to it, just like the rest of the package. However, with the default settings, it does drown out the rest of the sounds. Engine noises are basic as are the collisions, but for anyone brought up with these kinds of games, it’s pretty much what you’d expect.
Gameplay and Replayability
The game itself plays a lot like those classics I mentioned before with a few differences. Where these games were determined to empty your pocket of all those shiny 10 pence pieces with tight checkpoint times, Horizon has a slightly more chilled approach. You’re still expected to hurtle around the tracks as quickly as possible, but instead of the other traffic just being stumbling blocks you’re actively racing against the others. There’s little nuance in the way you’ll do this – hold the accelerator and go!
The game itself is a whistle-stop tour of the world. Starting in North America and covering the expanse of the globe you’ll hammer round a series of tracks in each location and take part in one-off races that will earn you upgrades for your cars. The better you do, the more points you, and the quicker you unlock the next location, so it’s great at not gating your progress. The races are circuits rather than branching point to point events like those old games, but there is a vast amount of content here.
Once you’ve done enough of the World Tour, you unlock Tournament mode which sees you doing a few specially selected races in each location. These get progressively more complex, so it’s essential to invest in those upgrades.
After that, you’ve got Playground mode which is a set of five events with some additional challenges like mirrored tracks, changing the weather and car restrictions.
Finally, you can unlock Endurance mode which is a series of endurance challenges.
You’ll also be competing for points, and you know what that means – more prizes. Cars are unlocked at a good pace, and each has a unique set of stats, but I didn’t notice a massive difference except in the speed.
It is certainly challenging at times, and you can’t guarantee the first place every time. It’s also incredibly quick and plays extremely smoothly. Quick reactions are needed to make sure you don’t hit other vehicles or worse, those trackside obstacles. Hitting a road sign, a tree or whatever puts a severe dent in your prospects of winning! A wee tap of the nitro button will get you back, but I found it helpful to keep the racing clean and use them to help you pass the race leaders because they don’t mess about.
Up to four players can compete in local split screen, but I didn’t get the chance to try it. Yeah, I have a flatmate, but he took one look at the game and decided he didn’t fancy getting involved.
Replayability comes in the form of improving lap times or going back to old races to get some of those first places you may have missed. On track collectables that earn you a perfect first place and unlock additional cars will also keep many coming back for more. There are also leaderboards so you can challenge your friends or take on the rest of the world.
Horizon is a fun little racer that doesn’t outstay its welcome. The simple driving and colourful presentation initially left me a little cold, but the more I played, the more I enjoyed it. I felt compelled to go for those first places and the quick loading times made it easy to pick up and play. I spent a long time considering all the parts of the game, and the amount of content on offer here and ultimately came away impressed. For those who haven’t been brought up with the arcades, this is a nice modern look at the simpler times and most people will find the right amount of enjoyment. Completionists will also love it because there’s a ton of content to get through. Go on and give it a look. However, don’t expect it to be the next Forza or Gran Turismo.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Horizon Chase Turbo at the Microsoft Store on the following link, https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/horizon-chase-turbo/bv3fzp8hc2t5?activetab=pivot%3Aoverviewtab