I’ve never been a racing game enthusiast really. At least not proper racing games. I did enjoy Gran Turismo 3, but almost every game since then has been a bit of a miss for me to be honest. My ideal racing games are ones that you never see made anymore – true arcade racers. That’s why I was extremely happy to find Horizon Chase Turbo – a real throwback to the old arcade racers of the Super Nintendo.
It’s strange. Nowadays I’m used to games being quite complicated and I have to remember all sorts of wacky key combinations to do things, but that’s not the case in Horizon Chase Turbo. You’ve got a accelerate button, a brake button and a nitro button. Also the steering but as the game handles most of that for you, it’s more of just a “what lane do you want to be in” button. For me, this is perfect. I like the mindlessness of it, but there’s still enough challenge from the cars to give you something to think about. You’re against nineteen other cars, and as with all good arcade games, bumps in your car cause massive setbacks which can be the only thing that separates you from victory and failure. There are a good number of obstacles to avoid and tokens to collect as well, so you have to really be on your toes to avoid crashing at high speeds and ruining your chances.
Visually and aurally, Horizon Chase Turbo excels. It genuinely feels like I’m back in a game arcade playing this game with my foot on a pedal, clutching a steering wheel and speeding around. They’ve made the game look so incredible with bright, colourful cars and courses that are truly a delight to drive around. You’ll never tire of seeing recognisable landmarks in the visual style on show as it is all so very pretty. I really enjoyed the soundtrack too – it really brought back the arcade and Super Nintendo vibes with some great electronica tunes to go with the racing and it really amps you up for it. You’ll almost wish the races last forever with the beats that get pumped out!
There is a pretty hefty amount of content in Horizon Chase Turbo too. Over a hundred tracks, almost fifty different cities to race in and plenty of different cups and upgrades to win and unlock. Even if you’re just looking at this for a casual race game, you’ll be able to sink hours upon hours of time before you actually fully complete it all and unlock everything in the game. It really hits the mark with longevity and giving the people that would play this game, plenty of content and no need to stay glued to it to unlock everything.
The only frustrating thing I’ve found is hitting other cars. It does set you back, potentially a little too much to be considered “fair”. You’ll get thrown back a significant amount if you touch another car and they get an enormous boost that can often be insurmountable if you’re up against car in first place. I also found the hitboxes to be a bit larger than I would expect. When I was trying to weave between cars I’d often find myself getting bashed about a lot causing me to slow down and even occasionally crash. It’s a bit of a pain when you think you’re just about to win the race and suddenly the car in front veers near your car and you graze it ever so slightly and you’re a hundred metres back all of a sudden.
Overall though, Horizon Chase Turbo is probably my favourite racing game since I played Trackmania Nations back in the day. It’s easy to dip in and out, great fun to play and an enormous amount of races to complete, which is perfect for the casual gamer as it’s a game that will last for a very long time.