REVIEW: Horizon Chase Turbo

A high octane, fast paced arcade racer with colourful visuals, a pumping soundtrack, and hours of content to enjoy.

Released: Steam
Type: Singleplayer
Genre: Racing, Arcade, Retro
Developer: AQUIRIS
Publisher: AQUIRIS
Release date: 15 May, 2018

Intro

Horizon Chase Turbo is a racing game inspired by the great hits of the 80’s and 90’s like Outrun and Lotus Turbo Challenge.

If you remember sitting in those uncomfortable plastic seats in the arcades and barely getting past lap 3 then you’ll know what to expect.

A faithful representation of those manic, screech around the corners, and grit your teeth kind of gameplay where you’ll need fast reflexes and a bit of luck to succeed.

🕹️Gameplay🕹️

There are four modes to play around with. Campaigns, Tournament, Endurance and Playground.

Campaign

Campaign contains World Tour, Senna Forever, Rookie Series and Summer Vibes.

World Tour

World Tour sends you around the globe racing in different countries and cities. There are twelve venues in all to race around.

The Brazilian leg of the World Tour.

In World Tour each stage has three venues and within each venue is three legs. Therefore, you need to complete nine races before you move on to the next stage. You move on by accumulating enough points to unlock the next stage.

Each stage has three tracks to race. You get an overview of the course along with your best time, best score and online leaderboard.

You always start every race at the back of the field. There are twenty cars of varying ability. Once you progress a bit through the game and start earning points you will be rewarded with new cars. Completing tasks and finishing sections unlocks new cars also. When you accumulate five or six cars you start to notice the difference in ability between the cars. Each car has a top speed, handling, nitro, fuel and acceleration score. These stats can be useful in planning which car is of best use in certain races. There isn’t too much strategy involved but you will find yourself in times of trouble trying different cars to finish a particularly stubborn track.

Pick the best car you have suited to the track. If it is a track with lots of bends perhaps pick a car with better handling.

In certain stages around the globe there are upgrade races. If you finish first in these races, then you have the option of choosing between three different upgrades. Once you choose the upgrade it is applied to all your existing cars.

You start each race with three nitro boosts. These provide a short burst of speed, perfect for passing cars on a long straight. On certain tracks you will find nitro boosts laid out on the track for you to pick up and add to your total.

Why are all the nitros in awkward places?

Along with nitro boosts, you can also pick up fuel cans and coins. You start each race with a full tank of fuel. As you race around your fuel level drops. In longer races you can run out of fuel before the end of the race and therefore you will need to pick up fuel cans which are scattered around the track. They are usually in awkward spots to collect, so it is always advisable to make a mental note of where they are before you need them. It doesn’t take long between the fuel alarm sounding and your car running out of fuel. This can be quite frustrating at times. It becomes a frantic panic looking for fuel cells before your car slows down and eventually comes to a grinding halt.

Collecting coins is important if you want to receive a super cup. To earn a super cup, you need to finish first, and collect all the coins on the track. Again, the coins can be in the most difficult of places, not on the natural racing line and quite often on sharp bends or hidden behind hills. It can be quite challenging to get all the coins and finish in first position. The coins are always in the same place however, so a few tries and a good memory usually means you will eventually achieve your super cup.

Of course, you don’t have to collect the coins. Finishing in the top three will be enough to unlock the next leg of the nine legs. After the race you are rewarded with points. Finishing in the top three earns you points, with a higher position earning more points. You also get extra points for collecting the fifteen coins on track. On top of that you get extra points for finishing the race with fuel cells. All these points are accumulated and as you reach a certain points level a new stage of the tour is unlocked. If you navigate around the globe you can see the stages and how many points are required to unlock them.

Racing against your ghost can be a good barometer as to how you are doing in another attempt.

Senna Forever

Senna Forever is a paid DLC you can purchase which briefly chronicles the career of the late and great Ayrton Senna. I will be including a separate review for this DLC.

Rookie Series

This is a dumbed down version of the World Tour and makes it a lot easier to achieve your goals. A good way of picking up any stubborn achievements.

Summer Vibes

Summer Vibes is another paid DLC harking back to the days of Outrun with a Summer theme and that iconic convertible from the game. Race through twelve sunny roads picked from the main campaign.

Tournament

Tournament throws you into a sudden death race of four stages. There is no restarting or saving during these races and after each race you are awarded points for your finishing place. There are three difficulty levels to try, and within each difficulty level is a set number of races you must complete. If you finish first in every race then you can unlock the next level.

Endurance

Endurance mode asks you to choose one car with no upgrades and then race a series of events in either small, medium or large distances. You need to finish in the top five to progress on to the next track.

There is also a local multiplayer option where you can race with three other friends in a split screen.

🚗Racing🚗

The handling of the car is excellent. Each car has a different feel. Cars with a greater handling score do seem to have more grip on the track, and cars with a greater speed score do genuinely feel and sound quicker.

The rival cars have a small amount of intelligence. They will move into your path to block you if they detect you trying to pass them and quite often they will try and ram you off the track if you are side by side.

Some tracks are quite hilly and surprise you with tight corners at the top. Thanks!

The tracks are very varied, and all have their own personalities depending on what part of the world they are in. Bold, colourful backgrounds give it a retro feel, but the definition and variety of the cars and landscapes elevate it to modern standards. The track design is excellent, with hills, tight corners and off-road elements all adding to the excitement of the racing. The track widens and narrows in places aiding or hindering overtaking opportunities and tight corners are hidden behind hills ready to surprise you.

Weather conditions look amazing in a retro way. Expect blistering snow, torrential rain and lightning. The conditions don’t seem to have an obvious affect on handling but I’m told that they do. Races take part at all times of the day and night.

Cornering is the greatest challenge. Some tracks you can complete without a crash on the first try, but other tracks can prove more difficult. They might need a few tries to win, after you remember where the tight corners are located. Sliding around the sharpest corners is satisfying although nearly impossible to overtake on them. You’ll find yourself bumping into cars on bends even when you are trying your hardest not to. A collision with a car will either project you backwards and cost you speed, or to the side if you bump a car when level. If you misjudge a corner and hit the side barriers your car will flip and roll but then you’ll continue racing. It’s done in such a way that the action is never interrupted.

I love the retro feel of the game. The visuals are so bold and colorful.

The pace of the racing is fast, and when you race on a track with lots of hills and corners it feels like a roller coaster ride.

The game is very addictive. It’s not too difficult to attain a podium finish but its certainly more challenging trying to gain first place or grabbing the super cup. As you progress through the tour, races become more difficult, and you will need more powerful cars to compete with the best.

🎵Sound🎵

Excellent pulsating sound track throughout never gets boring and adds to the excitement of the racing. There are a few different tracks to listen to and enjoy. The sound effects are good also. Each car has a different engine noise that you can just about hear above the music, and there are different noises for collecting objects. The car noises are satisfying as you screech around corners and you are rewarded with a nice tune when you finish on the podium.

📺Graphics📺

Each country has recognizable features. Guess the country?

A cartoon style background intensifies the feeling of nostalgia but is pretty and detailed. Each part of the world contains the iconic landscapes and landmarks the country or city is famous for. It’s certainly a bold and bright place to race, although this can become irritating over long periods of time. The cars are well drawn, and the tracks are clear and precise even at high speeds.

🍳Verdict🍳

A frantic, fast paced arcade racer with hours and hours of content to enjoy. Beautifully retro and challenging. If you enjoy arcade racers, then I urge you to try this one out. You won’t regret it.

Written by
Janner
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