One racing game I loved was Outrun. My last visit to this classic must have been on the PSP in Outrun 2006 Coast 2 Coast. As Horizon Chase Turbo tears out of the screen, I can instantly see where this one is coming from. Excited? You could say that.
While some racers push the boundaries, others stick to well-trodden formulas and Horizon Chase Turbo chooses the latter. Upon first glance a smack of striking-good colourful graphics burst out, and when you get behind the wheel things get a whole heap better. A silky-smooth ride makes Horizon Chase a thrilling first experience.
Rolling like it’s the 80/90’s, your race car is centre screen while a scrolling twisty track tries to throw you off course. You’re racing against 19 other petrol heads who love to jostle and bump their way to the finishing line so it’s not a given that you’re going to win a race. Hit a car in front or smash into a trackside rock and you’re certainly not going to make the leaderboards which are a huge draw to each race. The game throws you a good life line in the way of turbos. Used at critical sectors of the track they’ll see you leave others for dust.
Control wise it’s all straight forward. What I like is the optional use of the gas pedal. Instead of tiring out the right trigger finger, the A button does the same job. As this racer is so suited for long blasts in handheld mode, this configuration works great. In fact I can’t tell you just how sweet Horizon Chase Turbo rolls in the palm of your hand. It’s a stunner.
World tour mode is your starting point which is set in a host of countries including Japan, Brazil, and India. The game does a great job in making each location feel totally new and visually exciting. Locations are split into rounds, and by winning races and gaining points you unlock further rounds and cars. As well as keeping your foot to the floor, negotiating tight turns and avoiding Sunday drivers, there are tokens and gas cans to pick up along the way. You will need to keep a beady eye out for these gas canisters as races will end early if you don’t ram into such pick-ups. Some tracks are longer than others so you’ll definitely need them. The thing is you may well miss them and, like me, miss them repeatedly, as Horizon Chase Turbo is super-fast. With changing weather conditions like rain, snow, volcanic ash and even severe sandstorms you can be excused.
No racer would be complete without upgrades. Bonus levels are where you head to net these important add ons. One upgrade will be fitted to all the cars that you’ve managed to unlock. These range from Differentials, Gearbox and Nitro, all which make a difference to the car’s handling and speed. Once fitted you’ll find yourself popping back to past tracks in a bid to clock faster lap times and climb the leaderboards.
Races themselves are truly entertaining and great fun. Action is fast, slick and frantic. When something like Horizon Chase Turbo rears its retro head gasket you can’t help but give in. It’s also a big game. With tokens to bag, a great selection of tracks, 26 cars to unlock, Playground mode, multiplayer split screen, and leaderboards, you have a solid racing experience.
Horizon Chase Turbo is a stylish and hugely addictive racer that excels in handheld mode. While it does mimic such race games of the past, Horizon Chase Turbo brings a new school flavour to Nintendo Switch. Unmissable.
Lizard Rating 9/10