Horizon Chase Turbo review for PS4, PC

Platform: PS4
Also On: PC
Publisher: Aquiris Game Studio
Developer: Aquiris Game Studio
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: Leaderboards

Here?s how good Horizon Chase Turbo chase is: it actually makes me nostalgic for NES racers.

This is no small feat. More often than not, when I play a game as nostalgia-laden as this one, I?m either a) reminded of how much I hated the genre the first time around, or b) annoyed at how the developers completely missed the point of the games that allegedly influenced them. Neither of those things is the case here. Horizon Chase Turbo is a retro-infused racer that, impressively, gets pretty much everything right.

This starts, I suspect, with not being too indebted to the past. Even though Horizon Chase Turbo is firmly in the tradition of old-school arcade racers like Rad Racer or Out Run (admittedly, that?s Sega, rather than NES), and even though it looks kind of like them with its sorta-2D/sorta-3D visuals, it?s clearly from the present day. Everything looks crisp and clean enough that the game feels like a continuation of what came before it, rather than coming off as a straight-up rip-off, if that makes sense.

The same mostly goes for the controls too. Like you?d expect from one of those racers from a few decades ago, Horizon Chase Turbo has controls that could easily have been pulled off on an old-school controller — one button to go, one button for turbo, and the d-pad for navigating. It?s simple, but it?s pretty effective.

I said ?mostly? in that last paragraph for a reason, though, because the controls are also where you find the game?s most noteworthy flaw. To put it simply: the cars don?t have any sense of momentum. If you?ve ever played as either Donkey Kong or Bowser back on the original Mario Kart, you?ll have a good idea of what this feels like. Yes, you?ll feel like you?re going fast — the relatively simple graphics do a great job of conveying that — but the moment you hit somebody else (or, even worse, hit an object on the side of the road), you come to a complete stop. It doesn?t matter if you?re zooming along at top speed, hitting anything else will completely derail you.

Thankfully, however, this flaw isn?t enough to derail the whole game. Horizon Chase Turbo may occasionally be infuriating, but it?s a whole lot of fun much more frequently. If you?ve ever yearned for an arcade racer that genuinely feels like it comes from the early days of home consoles, you should most definitely check this one out.

Aquiris Game Studio provided us with a Horizon Chase Turbo PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: A-