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Horizon Chase TURBO (Switch) Review

PhantomZ2 gets behind the wheel to check out Horizon Chase TURBO for Nintendo Switch. Great thanks to Aquiris Game Studio for sending us a review code!

Horizon Chase originally is a mobile racing game released on November 18, 2015, made to capture the feeling of those arcade racers from back in the day. Due to my personal lack of retention in mobile games, I normally wouldn’t play it. However, thanks to Aquiris Game Studio for pouring their hard work into bringing this title to the Nintendo Switch and for sending us a review code, it’s time to see if Horizon Chase TURBO will stride into first place or fall flat for last.

Gameplay:
Horizon Chase TURBO doesn’t feature a story, but I’m not one to expect much from a racing game – just for it to be fun. Unlike various and more popular racing games such as Mario Kart and Sonic Riders, Horizon Chase TURBO features a multitude of stages – in fact, there are over 70 stages to play through! Although through a first glance perspective one could say that tracks will play the same and be the same only with different visual flairs, Horizon quickly delivers the message that speed isn’t everything. Let’s get into the controls.

Controls are remappable, but the standard layout is perfectly fine. Of course, holding onto the A button keeps your forward momentum. Players will steadily accelerate overtime according to their vehicle’s statistics, but they can gain a quick nitro boost when pressing the L button. However, watching for turns and obstacles won’t be easily accessible through a drift button. As you can see, these tracks are quite narrow and compact with other racers. Instead, you’ll have to manage how you approach these turns not just by moving in the opposite direction on the left control stick but with occasionally having to hit the brakes with ZL. And for a little fun, you can press down on the control stick to honk your horn.

Within the game are four modes, each also with Co-Op for up to 4 players. The first mode you’ll have access to from the start is World Tour mode, where the player will be tasked with multiple races to complete in 12 areas of the world. Your main goal, of course, is to get in 1st place, but placing up to 5th will also do fine. Anything worst will lead to disqualification, but that just means you’ll have to do the race over. Along with getting first, it will also be best to watch your fuel tank and for tokens within the stage. There are a set amount of tokens within each stage that you’ll want to collect for two reasons: the first being a free speed boost and the second being that it grants you more overall tokens at the end of the race. The leftover fuel you have at the end of a race is also converted to points. Racking up these up allow you to further unlock modes and other vehicles. In addition, each location also features an upgraded race – allowing you to choose one aspect of your car that will upgrade among all of your vehicles. These upgrades can carry through to some other modes as well.

With that, the next mode is Tournament Mode which is exactly as it sounds. You’ll race in tournaments at one location and each tournament level has a set of cups that will increase in difficulty.

Next is the Endurance mode, which is kind of like tournament mode – however it tests your skills of how many races can you do in a row until you eventually do all of them. Basically, race til ya drop.

And finally, a new mode that has come to the Nintendo Switch version is Playground mode. Think of it as a daily challenge mode, where you’ll be put into races with several conditions such as limitless Nitro, no HUD, or weather conditions. Currently, the challenges are weather based and future challenges should definitely see different racing circumstances, so as long as Playground mode is constantly supported. Although I think this is the most interesting mode, it gets aggressively hard towards the fifth challenge of the set.

Sadly, there isn’t online multiplayer. However, with my experience of Mario Kart online, I guess I’m kind of happy about that. Instead, you can race against other online players’ time by choosing to have their ghost race alongside you.

Presentation:
When I first saw the game, the art style really didn’t click with me. It screamed out “mobile game” as it reminded me of Subway Surfers. However, after a few minutes with the game and looking through the menus – I warmed up to it quickly. I love the simplistic 3D models of the environment, the cubic dust, and water that trails away from my tires, and especially World Tour’s globe from a distance. The water just looks so good.

In terms of music, I wish I could praise it more. The music isn’t bad, its good. However, when focusing so much on the race I barely realize I’m actually listening to it.

Final Verdict:
Horizon Chase TURBO is a small, but pretty challenging arcade inspired racing game. Although I have a multitude of games on my Switch, this finally fills in the void of not having a racing game. That also means, strongly, that I think you should add this title to your Switch library as it released TODAY! Horizon Chase TURBO earns 5 out of 5 stars.