What’s that unstoppable, heart-racing feeling that we get when doing something exhilarating? Oh, yeah – ADRENALINE! It hits you fast and leaves you short of breath, just like the breakneck speeds of Horizon Chase Turbo! But is this a short-lived feeling, or will this Top Gear-inspired arcade racer keep revving your engine? Hop into this review and buckle up!
Developer: Aquiris Game Studio
Hours Played: 10 hours // Review Copy Provided // Price: $19.99 USD
There’s just something so primal and satisfying about going fast. Whether it’s jet-skis, motorcycles, roller coasters, bullet trains, or cars – humans truly have a need for speed. Of course there are risks involved with always looking to . . . push the limits. So for those who aren’t willing to risk their life or break the law, Horizon Chase Turbo is the next best thing.
Inspired by the classic, high-octane SNES game Top Gear, Horizon Chase Turbo follows in its asphalt tracks. It ups the ante in every area, successfully bringing the arcade-style racer to the modern era. This indie racing game contains a beautiful blend of realism and just straight-up ridiculousness to create an extremely fun and gratifying experience. I have to admit, it’s one of those games that I didn’t realize I needed until I actually played it.
As the player, your goal is to race in lap-based circuits modeled (loosely) after real destinations. From Los Angeles to Tokyo, you’ll hug corners and weave through your opponents to make it to the finish. Strategically utilize turbo boosts, rub bumpers, and trash-talk your opponents as you pass them. Unlock a huge variety of vehicles, fully upgrade your collection, and collect all coins on tracks (while finishing first) to unlock Super Trophies proving you truly are the ultimate driver.
All the Right Moves
The gameplay is simple and refreshing; it’s an easy game to pick up and play. Horizon Chase Turbo contains an online integration that allows you to compare times with those around the world. You’re able to compete against those times, or best your own track ‘ghost’ to test and refine your skills. There are multiple modes of play, including local co-op, endurance, and an ever-changing set of challenges called “Playground” mode. All modes of play are set to energetic tracks composed by the esteemed Mr. Barry Leitch, who is the composer for the original Top Gear.
To be quite honest, it’s hard to say anything negative about Horizon Chase Turbo. It’s good fun on the go, great for short burst play, with plenty of content for longer sessions. You can play by yourself or with friends (local co-op only), online or offline. The graphics are crisp, bright, and vibrant. The music is foot-tapping, head-bobbing nostalgia with modern remixes keeping it fresh. Though it started as a mobile title, it has been completely re-worked for consoles and I love the effort that’s been put in. You can tell the developers cared enough to not only port a game, but to create an addictive, new experience.
I have no reason to not recommend this game. Whether you are a fan of racing games or not, there is enjoyment is to be found here. Horizon Chase Turbo is definitely worth its ticket to ride. However, if I must nitpick, let’s get into the minutiae that could take this game a notch or two higher. Here is what I’ve noticed:
- Probably my biggest complaint – custom controls do not save once you exit the game. It is amazing that you can map your own buttons, but give me an option to keep them that way! It is annoying to start the game and have to go into the options every time before playing, especially considering it makes you choose a specific profile to map them to. I’ve forgotten a few times and found myself panicking at the beginning of the first race because nothing carries over from the last time I played.
- When playing offline, the game will automatically pause for the Switch to pull up a search. Of course it’s looking for an online connection to sync up with. Occasionally this process will happen twice before starting the first race.
I can see how this is helpful; believe me, I do. But it is wasting my precious drive time! It looks for a connection, which I already know will be unsuccessful. Then the Switch has the audacity to tell me it is unsuccessful, and will bring me back to the game. Give me an option to opt out so I don’t have to wait for it to search every time.
- Lack of vehicle customization. This is in reference to the aesthetic/ cosmetic options – yes you can choose from a small set of different color combinations, no issues there. However – if I want to put an ignorantly large spoiler on my vehicle, let me do this. If I want to ride black on black with neon underglow like I’m in the Fast and the Furious, let me channel my inner Dominic Toretto. Shout out to Vin Diesel.
- Lack of any reference to gravity – this is my smallest complaint. I appreciate the on-rails handling and artistically detailed environments. A smile comes on my face when I can blast nitrous through turns and still pass on the inside; it’s necessary. BUT the one thing that is missing is some kind of spark or lifting from the ground when coming over hills. A minor detail that would add that next step to the amount of realism this game chooses to convey.
Overall, Horizon Chase Turbo made me feel things. I want you to feel them too. For example, you must experience the adrenaline from traveling at ludicrous speeds well above 200 miles per hour. Embrace the sweaty palms of trying to get that next Super Trophy or unlocking a new upgrade. Power through the frustration of trying to make it on the Playground leaderboard – it’s not easy. In summation, this vivacious arcade racer will entertain you, challenge you, and keep you coming back for more.
Hey speed racer – thanks for riding shotgun in this review! We here at Nindie Nexus appreciate Nintendo indie games, and giving you the diagnostics on them. If you liked this review, please share it! We are active on Twitter, Discord, Reddit, Facebook, and YouTube. If you want to chip in to fill up the tank, consider donating to the Patreon or keeping up caffeinated with Ko-fi. Until next time!
Hey! Mikey here. Level 28 gamer. Professional by day and nerd by night. Lover of craft beverages and the iron temple. I’m a supporter of and advocate for Nindie Nexus. I dabble in a little bit of all things creative. My preferred game genres include RPG’s (of all variety), Action/ Adventure, Puzzle/ Platformers, and anything unique . . . Just miss me with those FPS and point and clicks though!
Feel free to contact for business inquiries at Mikey@NindieNexus.net!