Hands-on: Horizon Chase Turbo offers ‘90s racing game nostalgia

One of the things I love about modern gaming is that no matter what genre you enjoy, you can still find games to play, ranging from new entries in that old style to re-released classics. Take the case of Horizon Chase Turbo, an old school-style racing game in the vein of Outrun that's making the move from iOS to PlayStation 4 next year.

"Horizon Chase Turbo is a racing game inspired by arcade racing games from the '90s," explains Aquiris' Sandro Manfredini, "but it has more modern graphics and some modes those games didn't include."

Horizon Chase Turbo also, in the spirit of those old school racers, doesn't have real cars, but instead eqips you with cars made up by Aquiris; any passing resemblance to a '57 Chevy or Porsche Panamera is clearly coincidental, your honor. Though as Manfredini notes, all of the made-up cars are of the street legal variety; there's no Formula One or NASCAR cars here.

The tracks in Horizon Chase Turbo are also reminiscent of classic arcade racers, in that they're open highways, complete with other drivers you have to avoid slamming into. Though unlike in a modern street racing game, doing so won't cause an accident that resembles something out of a Michael Bay movie; instead, you just bounce off them and keep going, albeit a little slower than before.

Lastly, instead of online races, Horizon Chase Turbo has couch competition that will let you and up to three pals race against each other... just so long as you're in the same room at the same time (couch not included).

"As for how the PS4 version differs from the mobile," Manfredini notes, "we've added twenty-six new tracks, a new interface, we balanced the tracks from touchscreen controls to the controller, the aforementioned couch co-op, and 'Ghost Mode,' a mode where you race against your friend's best times."

Even with these new additions, though, Horizon Chase Turbo does indeed feel old school. Especially in how it seems like everything is just slightly sped up.

With one interesting exception. Like in real life, cars in this game use gasoline. And if you run out of gas, your race is over. Which is how mine ended the first time I played.

Unlike in real life, though, Horizon Chase Turbo don't make you drive around, looking for a gas station when your meter is in the red. Instead, you have to run over power-ups. "The cars all have different attributes," Manfredini explains. "Some have better handling, some that go faster. So this was a way to balance things out."

As for modes, Horizon Chase Turbo not only has the aforementioned couch co-op races and "Ghost Mode," but it also has a full single-player career mode, a "Tournament" mode you can play solo or with friends, and what Manfredini describes as, "almost an endless mode where you have to come in fifth place or better to qualify to get to the next race, where you again have to qualify to keep going."

Which, as I previously mentioned, was not in the cards for me when I played against three of my fellow PlayStation Experience 2017 attendees (though in my defense, I haven't played a racing game like this in twenty years). Even so, Horizon Chase Turbo was fast and fun, and not just in a nostalgic way. We'll see if it remains that way when it comes out next year.

Horizon Chase Turbo will be out in the first half of 2018.