Horizon Chase Turbo (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Neil Flynn 28.01.2019 4

Review for Horizon Chase Turbo  on Nintendo Switch

There is a small smattering of racing titles to choose from on the Nintendo Switch, and many often resort to Mario Kart and not much else for their wheel spinning thrills. This needs to change, especially with the release of Horizon Chase Turbo which invokes memories of the 16bit era with a similar style of racing comparable to SEGA's classic Outrun, and Kemco's Top Gear. Can a modern take on a retro style racer burn rubber the same way it used to back in the '90s?

From the very get go Horizon Chase Turbo demonstrates an artistic flair that is fitting for such a retro-inspired title, with speedy bendy tracks, a large assortment of cars, and an electro-synth-styled soundtrack from Barry Leitch, who was the sound designer for many great racers of the genre, such as the aforementioned Outrun and Top Gear.

There are four main modes to choose from: World Tour, Tournament, Playground and Endurance. World Tour is where the bulk of playing time will be, as this where it's possible to unlocks tracks, cars and upgrades. There are 12 real world destinations in World Tour ranging from Brazil to South Africa, and within each country there are nine tracks divided up into three sub-locations. Each destination is distinctive enough with differing terrain, weather, landscapes and backgrounds, and this is just as well because there is a total of 109 tracks at hand. Tracks are thick and fast, with cornering bends and long blistering straights that can see rapid speed, but this can all go wrong if not executed well, such as crashing into other cars, or colliding with obstacles such as sign posts and rocks. While there is no damage meter or any long-term effect on the car as a result of a crash, it can often be the difference of finishing a race in first place or not.

Screenshot for Horizon Chase Turbo  on Nintendo Switch

On the plus side there is no penalty or issue with restarting a race or trying again, and often or not some races need a couple of play-throughs just to become accustomed to the track. Each race starts the player in twentieth place, meaning most races go down to the wire, as there are normally only three laps to get into first place. The initial thrill of running a perfect race to take the win on the last corner is satisfying but when it happens all to often the allure of doing so can rub off pretty quickly. Nitrous Oxide boosts can be used at any time of a race, initially starting each race with three, and the opportunity of picking up additional Nitro canisters scattered across the track.

Executing Nitro's at the right time can be a make-or-break decision, as doing so at the wrong point of a track could see a rather speedy collision with a sign or another racer, so these are best saved for the long straights. Another element to be considerate of is Fuel, as each car has a different fuel performance and throughout the race it will deplete. Some races are very fuel intensive, thus picking up fuel canisters can be absolutely vital, otherwise the race will come to end. This added requirement of fuel retention helps add another element of depth to each race.

Screenshot for Horizon Chase Turbo  on Nintendo Switch

World Tour rewards wins by providing gold that consequently unlocks future tracks. Note that, while finishing first in a race awards a gold trophy, it is the Super Trophy that players should be striving for. Super Trophies are gained by finishing first, but also managing to collect all the coins that are scattered across the track. Sometimes these coins are dotted in the imaginary racing line, so are very easily picked up, while others are often placed in obscure places forcing a different line to be taken.

With over 30 cars, numerous upgrades and approximately 6 colour options there are plenty of choices to create and customise a car of choice. There are no licenced cars in Horizon Chase Turbo, so there won't be a chance of a real Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Mercedes appearing on the race track, but many designs are inspired by these famous brands, although they can look a little plain without any extra details or decals on the car. Each car handles differently and has five key attributes to distinguish one from another.

Screenshot for Horizon Chase Turbo  on Nintendo Switch

The attributes of each car are: Top Speed, Acceleration, Handling, Fuel and Nitro. In the opening stages attributes such as Handling and Fuel matter less, but as the difficulty ramps and progressing to more difficult tracks, they can be just as vital as the top speed of a car. Upgrades are often won through a race, and then a range of options are presented which will apply upgrades to all unlocked vehicles. During World Tour it may feel silly to go back to the cars unlocked at the start of game, as they were clearly inferior to the newly unlocked vehicles - something like that often impairs the choice of car, as it makes perfect logical sense to only pick the newly unlocked car.

Other game modes include Tournament mode which is a four-race tournament against other racers to win a range of cups, with varied modes of difficulty. Playground mode is a selection of limited-time race with all sorts of game changing twists such as less laps, mirror mode, restricted cars, and the surprisingly great, yet equally irritating, no-HUD mode. There isn't an ability to play online with others, which is a shame, but lap times are uploaded on leaderboards. The final mode, Endurance, is unlocked once World Tour has been completed (or every Tournament has been finished), and features every single race in the game, which can be played through all at once. Every single game mode has an up to four-player, split-screen, multiplayer, which is ideal for all of those local multiplayer parties, or the very nature of the Switch and its portability.

Screenshot for Horizon Chase Turbo  on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Horizon Chase Turbo is chocked full of cars and tracks, and numerous variations on all of the above. Not only does the Brazilian developer Aquiris bring quantity, but it also brings impeccable quality. This high-level slew of content, finesse and masterful, fast-paced racing, perfectly captures the true essence of any racing title. Anyone looking for a racer on the Nintendo Switch, should automatically consider this without any hesitation.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop


Love how '90s it looks!

Can't a fella drink in peace?

I love the progression in the game, it just gets faster and faster and the different options means that there is just so much content to play through. Especially for a indie cheaper title.

Looks and sounds good, might have to get it at some point! I love Outrun and this looks like a modern take on it.

Absolutely, the developers are still pushing new content into the game as well. Pretty fun! And its on sale right now!

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