Horizon Chase Turbo is quite different from most racers today due to it following the same formula that most indie titles do: being a reimagining of classic games. Thus, Horizon Chase Turbo looks and plays like a 16-bit racer from the 1980s, despite being a modern-day title.
Driving feels more like sliding from left to right, as the cars all have a very limited range of movement (which again is due to it mimicking a 16-bit game). Even so, the sense of speed is pulled off surprisingly well. But, one must not get too blown away by it, as Horizon Chase Turbo is a surprisingly challenging game.
You’ll be zooming along tracks that are placed in different countries all over the world. While the majority of them are simple oval-like shapes, there are also quite a few which have a lot of twists, turns, and bends. The goal is to try not to veer too much off the corner, as you’ll almost immediately smack into an object, thus killing your speed. The same is true when colliding with other cars. The exaggerated arcadey physics result in the cars feeling like they’re made out of rubber, as hitting into one another will send you both bouncing off in opposite directions. Should you be the one rear-ending another driver, you’ll basically end up giving them a speed boost.
Burnin’ rubber and bumpin’ bumpers
Another factor of the challenge is that your car will consume fuel throughout the race, and your nitro is also limited. Again, this is pretty different from most racers today, especially other arcade-like ones. But, I welcome the change, even if it can be frustrating. There are dozens upon dozens of races, so trying to place 1st in all of them is definitely a daunting task. But, that’s essentially what the game is all about. Practice makes perfect. On that note, this is what makes Horizon Chase Turbo a perfect fit for the Switch.
I’ve actually played Horizon Chase Turbo before on PC, but I find having it on Switch to make the experience better. It’s still the same game through-and-through, but this is definitely a more pick-up-and-play style of game. Most races last just a few minutes, so you can easily grab your Switch to play a few in portable mode. This ultimately makes progressing feel smoother, as it does genuinely take time to gradually unlock the wealth of content that is present between the four different game modes, 48 locales (which contain 109 tracks in all), and 32 vehicles. Indeed, there’s quite a lot on offer so being able to chip away at it in small bits is quite handy.
Horizon Chase Turbo is also still quite beautiful here on Switch. Its super-vibrant color palette still shines on the Switch’s screen and performance is smooth (though I noticed a few split-second micro stutters). The implementation of HD Rumble is also quite nice, as the controllers match the sound effects of the game like boosting, crashing, and bumping into other cars.
If you’re a super-serious racing fan, then Horizon Chase Tubro might come off as being a bit too simplistic. But, I think it strikes a good balance between having a fun arcade feel with some challenging aspects also being present in order to keep you coming back again and again. As stated, I find the Switch version to be the best suited for the task. Thus, I’d arguably consider it to be the definitive version of the game just for the sake of being able to play it at any time.