Do you like arcade style racing games, fast cars and all that is pure in this world? If you answered yes, Aquiris Game Studio has developed a game that will hit the apex of your heart and send you into a techno trance as you turbo boost around a hairpin turn in the dark while driving through South Africa. Horizon Chase Turbo is slated for a November 28th release date. This action packed racer is a spiritual successor to 16 bit style games such as Outrun and Top Gear and he game is conceived to ignite an instant blast of nostalgia with catchy contemporary music composed by the legendary Barry Leitch (who also created the soundtracks for the Top Gear, Lotus, and Rush series), while also offering split-screen multiplayer and mixing retro low-poly aesthetics with modern gameplay.
The game main features include:
Thrilling arcade racing game, inspired by Outrun, Top Gear, Lotus Turbo Challenge, and others.
Amazing old-style split-screen multiplayer up to 4 players.
Music by Barry Leitch, Sound Designer in 90s racing classics such as Top Gear and Lotus Turbo Challenge, among others.
12 Cups, 48 Cities, 109 tracks, 32 Unlockable Cars, and 12 Upgrades.
4 Game Modes: World Tour, Playground, Tournament, and Endurance.
Challenge your friends in the Ghost Mode and in the Leaderboards.
The Switch and Xbox One versions will be the firsts to receive a brand new game mode called “Playground” consisting of a set of live challenges that will be updated regularly so that players can keep competing in the online leaderboards and exclusive content for each platform to be announced soon. I did dip my toe a bit into playground mode. I feel, however, that this mode will truly show its value once I have completed the main “world tour,” which itself offers, based on my estimation, at least 20 hours of content. I myself am an experienced racing game connoisseur, so that’s a lot of depth you don’t necessarily expect to see in a arcade racing title.
I recently had the opportunity to play this game with my fellow Nerd Jock Bloggers, Adam & Dan, and we had a blast. The game runs very well in split screen mode and it was a treat to be able to play the “world tour” mode together, which is the main mode of the game. This is truly one of those games that you plan on playing for 30-45 minutes and the next time you check the clock, it’s been three hours. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that we did experience a bit of lag during three player split-screen mode. Keep in mind we were all playing together in the same room. It was difficult to say what caused this millisecond hiccup, but it was noticeable. It didn’t have a significant impact on gameplay, but was a small pimple on this supermodel of a game.
Presentation Grade: A
Horizon Chase Turbo at first glance from the main menu doesn’t seem to offer much. That is hardly the case. There are many tracks to unlock, and the various game modes menus offer lots of flash and information in a unique way. The menus are intuitive and it is easy to know what you need to do to unlock the next region in World Tour mode or unlock another unique car. The upgrade system is simple but satisfying when you achieve it by beating a challenge course in a region.
Graphics Grade: A+
The graphics of this game are both retro and new at the same time. They have somehow struck a perfect balance betwen 16 bit graphics and modern polygonal graphics without it feeling awkward. I never felt confused as to where I was spatially on a course and avoiding other cars wasn’t a problem either. This game is a beautiful tribute to the past. It is refreshing to see someone have a new take on retro throwback graphics.
Sound Design Grade: A-
The game developers did not skimp on sound design. The music sends you into a trance and fits the graphics style perfectly. I could listen to the soundtrack anytime and it would put me into a great mood, however I would advise against listening to the music while driving, unless you want to get a speeding ticket and pulled over for aggressive driving. The car sound effects feel good as well. The overall sound design isn’t life changing, but it certainly hit its mark.
Gameplay Grade: A+
This game is so much fun. I can’t stop smiling when I’m playing it. The courses each offer a different challenge and test your skills. The “world tour” mode is fantastic. You will find yourself struggling to decide to replay a course for a better time or keep grinding away to unlock another region, car or vehicle upgrade. This is a game that has perfected the “just one more time” style of gameplay. Heck, I’m writing this review so late because I couldn’t stop playing! This game feels like Outrun with a modern polish. If you love retro racing games, why are you still reading this?
Overall Grade: A
Horizon Chase Turbo sets expectations with its promise of being a spiritual successor to classic arcade racers and hits the target and exceeds expectations. I have had countless hours of fun with this and even achieved a few top spots on the leaderboards (I fully expect to be knocked off those spots once the game is widely available). I recently began playing Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Horizon Chase Turbo has actually pulled me away from my shiny hunting addiction. Now, if you don’t mind I’ve got a few more cars to unlock!
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by: Dennis Burkett