Do you know how nostalgia smells? I guess that’s rather an individual question, but for me it will always be the mixture of burning tires and gasoline on the warm asphalt, as my car speeds past other vehicles, rushing towards the city in the distance. Of course, as a kid, the only opportunity I had to drive, let alone break speed limits and a bunch of other traffic laws, was in Turbo Outrun, Cisco Heat, Lotus Turbo Challenge, Top Gear and the rest of classic arcade racers. What I miss the most from the classic arcade racers of the eighties and the nineties was the unrestrained feeling of hustle, speed, freedom, excitement and almost any lack of restrictions. Yeah, where else you could smash, scratch and push other cars out of the way, or spectacularly overturn several times, getting away only with your girlfriend nagging you from the passenger’s seat? Today we have many high-quality racing games and realistic driving simulations, but not until Horizon Chase Turbo appeared I had become aware that there was any kind of void that needed to be filled.
And, boy, how satisfyingly it had filled it! In comparison with Horizon Chase Turbo, most modern driving games are dull, colorless and bland affairs, lacking true grit and flair. Made by Brazilian developer Aquiris Game Studio, Horizon Chase Turbo is a tribute to all those classic arcade racers we loved to play back in the day, so it’s rather nice that it appeared on a large variety of different gaming platforms, from PC, through PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The game comes with several modes. The first and most interesting is certainly the World Tour. As its name implies, the main mode, or a sort of campaign of the game, World Tour essentially offers you the opportunity to race your way through several different countries, starting from California to Hawaii. This racing tour of the world boasts 12 regions and 109 unique tracks, so you’ll certainly spend lots of time playing this particular mode. In addition to World Tour, Horizon Chase Turbo offers two additional modes: Championship which is a sort of tournament and Endurance where you’ll be able to compete in 12, 36 or 109 tracks.
Now, if you are a lone wolf at heart, you can enjoy Horizon Chase Turbo by yourself without feeling guilt or remorse. However, this wouldn’t be a blast from the past kind of game if it wouldn’t offer you the opportunity to experience the joys of retro multiplayer gaming, which means that the game supports up to four players at the same time thanks to the nifty split-screen feature. So grab your friends and jog your memory how it was back in the day when you had to sit in the same room if you wanted to play together with your buddies.
In addition to arcade gameplay, specific kind of physics – or, rather, lack of it (who needs it anyway, when it just spoils the fun and weights you down?) – and a right kind of electrifying atmosphere, Horizon Chase Turbo boasts truly wonderful graphics, specially done to emulate what you could’ve seen in the glory days of classic arcade racers. It’s simple, colorfully, flashy, groovy, with trademark parallel lines on the surfaces beside the road to contribute to the feeling of racing and speeding – in short, it’ll make you feel rather special and wild at heart, like a true highway star you are. Of course, in order to truly put you in the right high-octane mood, there’s hip retro-styled soundtrack which will light you up as a match dropped in the reservoir full of petrol, serving as a perfect accompaniment to all your racing escapades. And if the music sounds a bit familiar, that’s because it’s work of legendary Barry Leitch who did the soundtrack for games such as Top Gear, Toyota Rally, Lotus Turbo Challenge, Double Dragon, Utopia and dozens of other famous games. All in all, Horizon Chase Turbo is a great title for all gamers suffering from the acute nostalgia, as well as for those others who wish to test their driving proves with a true retro-styled no holds barred arcade racer.