Horizon Chase is an awe inspiring new racer from Brazilian based indie studio Aquiris. Inspired by the great hits of the 80’s and 90’s, it brings a modern sheen to the retro racing genre whilst sacrificing none of the nostalgia.
Each game genre has its grand daddy, usually from the 80’s golden era, they are games which forged a new direction, inspired other games and pioneered their genre’s to where they are today. RPG’s had Zelda, platformers had Mario and racing had Out Run.
Most millennium and even 90’s babies likely have no recollection of this here Out Run and what it did for the car racing genre. But those who actually had the pleasure of experiencing this game in its arcade cabinet know what a big deal it was.
There were three key factors that made Outrun unique: The changing environment and weather changes, the relaxed style of driving, and thirdly the huge variety of upbeat music tracks, which were designed in such a way that they never got old.
As the decades passed, car racing games progressively started to focus more on realism (with some notable exceptions like Mario Kart).
Which brings us to Horizon Chase.
Developer Aquiris has slammed the shifter into reverse and driven us back to our classic roots by putting a modern and refreshing spin on the Out Run style racer.
It borrows the best characteristics from Out Run, the scenery, the cars, the speed, and the music… (we must not forget the music!) Composer Barry Leitch has done an amazing job creating an up-tempo retro sound track which is on par with the legendary work of Hiroshi Kawaguchi.
Unlike other recent racers of this game-play style (notably Final Freeway 2R), Horizon Chase is created in 3D with an aesthetic focus on low poly models, which successfully manages to give the game a relaxed and casual feel, even at speeds of 200mph! Fun is the name of the game.
Here is the developer’s feature list:
- Classic Arcade Gameplay
- 16-Bit Graphics Reinvented
- Barry Leitch’s Soundtrack
- Compete Against Friends
- 16 Unlockable Cars
- Car Upgrading
- 8 Cups, 32 Cities, 73 Tracks
- Diverse Weather Changes
- 7 Input Methods (MFi Gamepad Compatibility)
This game is the absolute epitome of a premium game. There are no pesky ads or IAP. And I for one love this shift back towards premium pay once games. THIS is what mobile gaming should be, not pay walls and popup ads over buggy games made in a week.
I can confidently say that this game ticks all the boxes in my book of what makes a great game. The attention to detail and level of polish is on par with that of any AAA studio, whilst keeping its heart and soul pure and indie. The controls are intuitive enough that anyone can pick this thing up for the first time and have fun.
I highly recommend this game if you’re into casual racing on mobile, though its accessible enough that anyone can enjoy it. There is much pleasure to be found here for the price of a soy mocha chino.
I will leave you with an excerpt of an article written recently by Horizon Chase’s game designer Felipe Dal Molin.
“We’re trying to build a very specific type of racer in light of modern artistic and design sensibilities,” he says. “Top Gear, Out Run, Lamborghini American Challenge – they all had this concern of putting the player in a road trip as he advanced through several different places and weather conditions. And we’re really doing our best on that, crafting different backgrounds and ambience for each race with a lot of care. All in all, it’s a work of homage and improvement, more than of founding new conventions. Of course we’ll have some new things going on regarding progression and game feel, but I believe in a sense, it could be a new starting point for this old way of making racers.” – Felipe Dal Molin.