Horizon Chase Turbo from Aquiris Game Studio is a nod to classics of the genre, and boy do they do it well. There’s 4 game modes to play, with World Tour being the only one available to begin with, unlocking the others as you make progress through the Tour. There are 12 countries to unlock while playing the World Tour, each with their own unique background, and ocassional natural hazards, such as sand storms and snow blizzards. Each country has around 4 locations in which there will be numerous races to compete in, as well as an upgrade race.
You start out in California, and have just 2 cars to get you going, the objective obviously is to win the race, scoring coins according to your finishing position, you’ll also have the opportunity to collect tokens that are located in various positions along the track, collect all of these and win the race will bag you the maximum amount of coins and award you the super trophy for that track. You can also earn bonus coins for fuel, as you’ll also need to manage this throughout the race by collecting the jerry cans that are also located in various positions around the track.
Coins are used as an XP system with new locations and cars unlocking as you hit pre-set milestones. Completing the objective for an upgrade race will award you with the choice of 1 of 3 upgrades to apply to all of your cars with a maximum of 12 to get. a great feture that will enable you to re visit previous races that you may have struggled with, and go for those super trophys.
Gameplay is simple yet addictive. with just accelerating and steering to concentrate on as well as avoiding competitors and trackside obstacles. you can’t crash out of the race or take damage, you simply bump into competitors which will slow you down a little or colliding with track side objects will cause you to flip, and slow right down for a second. The other modes include Tournament and endurance which are pretty much self explanitory and playground. Playground is a set of races that have different setting applied to them such as no HUD, less opponents that are much harder to beat etc.
The game features couch co-op across the board, simply sign in with another account on the main menu and you can take part in all modes with up to 4 players, sadly there’s no online multiplayer, although there was no such thing back in the day, opening the game up to include online play would have been great.
Visually I feel the right balance has been struck, the modern, clean, minimalistic look captures the nostalgia of the genre well, without it looking like a straight rip-off of, lets say, Out Run. It gives the game its own identity yet reminiscent of the games it’s inspired by the same goes for the audio. Superbly done, exactly like the visuals it has it’s own identity, modern with a nostalgic twist.