Published on December 12th, 2018 | by Gregory Moffett
Review: Horizon Chase Turbo (Switch)
- Developer:Aquiris Game Studios
- Publisher: Aquiris Game Studio
- Price: £17.99
- Players: 1-4
- Rating: 3+
Horizon Chase Turbo is, aptly, a turbocharged version of Horizon Chase for Nintendo Switch. With so few notable racing games on the system, can Horizon Chase Turbo help fill the void?
Originally released on iOS and Android, Horizon Chase wears its inspiration on its sleeve, providing a modern take on classic racing games such as, most notably, Top Gear on SNES.
Upon starting the game, players are introduced to the ‘World Tour’ mode of the game which sees individual races scattered across the globe which need to be unlocked with points obtained by doing well in each race.
The racing, much like with something like Top Gear Rally on N64 or, in a way, Sega Rally 2 on Dreamcast, sees you start each race at the back of a grid of 20 cars with the objective of climbing through the ranks to ultimately complete the course in first place and win that gold trophy along with those all-important points. In addition to finishing as high as possible, you are also given extra points for collecting tokens scattered around the track. Collect them all while also finishing in first place will earn you a Super Trophy.
Achieving this is not always a straightforward task. Speeding around the vibrant and colourful environments, though a variety of weather types, can provide a considerable challenge as you attempt to weave your way between your competitors while also doing your best to stay on the road as the tracks twist and turn at pace in front of your very eyes.
Thankfully, the controls are tight and feel great!
While it may initially be a little jarring watching the track and scenery build in front of your with a slight feeling of being ‘on rails’ as you’re partially guided around each corner, you will soon get to grips with how Horizon Chase Turbo flows and attack each and every corner, only removing your foot from the accelerator in the most precarious circumstances. And boy does this game flow!
Throughout the ‘World Tour’, you’ll often unlock races that give you the opportunity to unlock upgrades that apply to every vehicle you have unlocked in areas such as acceleration, speed, steering and nitro. As you progress, Horizon Chase Turbo becomes increasingly intense with the pace of the driving and the need to avoid contact with other vehicles at the risk of losing momentum, though a well-timed use of nitro can help you get back up to speed as quickly as possible. Crashing into obstacles at the edge of the track will also instigate an OutRun-style flip of your car and can easily cost you a few positions.
As if beating your opposition and conquering the track wasn’t enough to keep you occupied, there is also a fuel gauge in the corner of the screen to monitor. As you may have guessed, fuel depletes as you drive around but can be topped up by fuel cans positioned at specific areas of each course. Running out of fuel is, generally, easily avoidable but occasionally you’ll be wondering if you have just enough to make it to the end of the race or the next top-up.
For the most part, everything is extremely fluid with the environment whizzing past at a satisfying rate though there are a few rare instances where everything pauses for a fraction of a second before clicking back into full flow. It’s not an issue that should impact your enjoyment too much, if at all, but is certainly something that was noticeable every few races. In fact, the only other real issue of note was that customized controls, should you choose to change the placement of actions like acceleration, braking or nitro, seem to not be saved after you close the game. The default controls are more than suitable but, again, it may be an irritation to some.
As you play more of the game, you’ll unlock different modes which help to add some variety to the format. While ‘World Tour’ breaks everything down to individual races that encourage you to go back to improve your positions, times and scores, ‘Tournament’ mode takes a more traditional approach with a set number of races to compete in, across increasing difficulty levels, with the aim of finishing high enough in each race to earn enough points to be victorious by the end. ‘Playground’ offers different races for a limited time with your best records easily comparable to players globally or on your friend list while, lastly, ‘Endurance’ strings together a large number of randomly selected tracks from which you must position well enough to move onto the next track whilst also obtaining points to with the gold trophy at its climax. And trust me.. It is an endurance! You may be glad of the sleep function on the Switch before you’re done with that one but it may be worth persevering for what is unlocked.
Visually, Horizon Chase Turbo is a breath of fresh air! It may have been tempting to go all in on replicating the look of Top Gear on SNES to further fuel those retro vibes, Aquiris Game Studio thankfully took the option to produce a crisp, clean and colourful spectacle whose vibrancy is only matched by the eccentricity of the weather effects.
Additionally, the music, while not particularly memorable, fits the game very well and helps to reinforce the energy that Horizon Chase Turbo exudes. The HD Rumble also has an impressive impact at times, especially when you’re narrowly avoiding the signs that line the edge of the track at almost every corner as you hurtle by. You really do feel it!
Lastly of note is the fact that you can have up to four players jump in on one switch to play simultaneously together in split screen, a feature much too lacking in modern software releases. Sadly, there is no online play but the exhilarating speed and small margins for error make this a perfect racer to play with family and friends on the sofa.
Horizon Chase Turbo (Switch)
Summary: Overall, Horizon Chase Turbo is a significant upgrade on an already great mobile game that slots beautifully into the Switch library to provide the sort of experience that is largely lack on the platform. At £17.99, this is well worth considering for fans of classic racing titles and those craving a fast, fun and great-controlling racer.