Horizon Chase 2: Arcade Racing Reimagined

Horizon Chase 2: A Nostalgic Yet Limited Racing Experience

Racing games have evolved tremendously over the years, boasting advanced graphics, realistic physics, and intricate gameplay mechanics. Yet, sometimes, there’s a yearning to revisit the simpler, arcade-style racing games of the past. Horizon Chase 2 attempts to bridge this gap, drawing clear inspiration from retro classics like *Outrun* and *Cruis’n*. However, in its quest to modernize the arcade racer, it reveals both the charm and limitations of such an approach.

A screenshot of Horizon Chase 2 gameplay showing a high-speed race on a vibrant track.
Image Credit: X.com

Speed and Gameplay Mechanics

Horizon Chase 2 succeeds in delivering a strong sense of speed, reminiscent of the old arcade days. It plays more like *Outrun*, with courses that whiz by at a blistering pace. This speed can be disorienting for spectators; my wife, for example, felt queasy just watching it. Despite this, the game nails the essential feeling of velocity, a trait many modern racing games sometimes miss. This rapid pace provides an adrenaline rush that can be exhilarating for the player, yet overwhelming for onlookers.

However, with great speed comes some significant constraints. The game features robust guardrails that prevent players from running off the track unless done intentionally. This design choice makes the racing experience feel like controlling wired RC cars on a fixed track, removing much of the potential challenge. Unfortunately, there’s no setting to disable these “training wheels,” leading to races where braking is rarely, if ever, necessary. This lack of complexity can result in a racing experience that feels superficial and fails to hold long-term attention.

Also Read:- System Shock Remake: Xbox Debut

Moreover, the handling of cars in Horizon Chase 2 is simplified to accommodate the high speeds and arcade-style gameplay. While this approach preserves the nostalgic feel, it can make the driving experience feel less engaging for players accustomed to the nuanced handling in modern racing games. The absence of a need to use brakes, combined with the restrictive guardrails, reduces the skill ceiling and can make the game feel more like a high-speed amusement ride than a competitive racing experience.

Game Modes and Progression

Horizon Chase 2 offers a variety of game modes, providing a decent amount of content. The main mode, World Tour, takes players across the globe, unlocking new tracks and cars as they progress. Each region offers unique environments and challenges, from the sunny beaches of California to the bustling streets of Tokyo. The game’s vibrant, colorful graphics enhance these diverse locations, adding to the arcade feel.

In World Tour mode, each track features blue coins to collect, which are essential for upgrading vehicles with enhancements like improved suspension and nitro boosts. Players earn trophies and credits based on their finishing positions, with credits being used to purchase customization items. The multitude of currencies might seem overwhelming, but it’s straightforward to manage. For completionists, collecting all trophies and coins can give the game a rewarding collect-a-thon vibe.

Collectibles and Customization

The inclusion of collectibles like blue coins adds an extra layer of engagement to the racing experience. Players are encouraged to explore each track thoroughly and perfect their racing lines to collect all available coins. This element of the game appeals to players who enjoy thorough exploration and achieving 100% completion. The upgrades available through these collectibles allow for some degree of personalization, though the impact on gameplay can feel minimal due to the overall simplified mechanics.

Customization options in Horizon Chase 2 include cosmetic changes such as paint jobs, rims, and body variants. While these additions are a nice touch, they do not significantly alter the gameplay experience. The focus remains on the core racing mechanics, which are designed to evoke the feel of classic arcade racers. For players who enjoy visual personalization, these options provide a way to make their vehicles unique, even if the changes are purely aesthetic.

Also Read:- Crow Country Horror Review

Online and Multiplayer Modes

The Playground mode allows for online racing against other players, but finding opponents can be challenging. Despite cross-platform play with mobile, PC, and Switch, matches often end up filled with AI drivers, undermining the excitement of racing against real people. Online challenges, where players compete to lower their times and climb leaderboards, offer some replay value, but the lack of a substantial player base limits this mode’s appeal. Players can also form a crew for both online and local split-screen races, offering a more personal multiplayer experience.

Challenges with Online Play

The potential for competitive online play is one of Horizon Chase 2’s appealing aspects, yet the execution falls short due to the sparse player base. Racing against AI drivers in what are supposed to be online matches diminishes the sense of achievement and competition that comes from beating human opponents. This shortfall highlights a critical issue: the game’s reliance on a robust online community to fulfill its potential.

The online challenges and global leaderboards add an element of competition, encouraging players to refine their skills and achieve better times. However, the lack of a consistent player base means that these features are underutilized. Without regular human competitors, the thrill of online racing is significantly reduced, making it feel like an afterthought rather than a core component of the game.

Tournament and Additional Features

The Tournament mode features a series of races in a circuit, with points awarded based on finishing positions. The driver with the most points at the end wins the tournament and receives significant credit rewards. These credits can be used to buy vehicle cosmetics, including paint jobs, rims, and body variants, adding a layer of customization to the game.

Regardless of the mode, Horizon Chase 2’s track designs are a standout feature. Each track is themed according to its global location, such as Florida’s RVs and palm trees or Morocco’s desert landscape. The music is similarly themed, enhancing the immersive experience. Dynamic changes like time of day and weather conditions, including dust storms and rain showers, add a refreshing variety to the races.

Also Read:- Dead Island 2 Review

Track Design and Environmental Effects

The diverse track designs in Horizon Chase 2 are a testament to the developers’ creativity and attention to detail. Each location feels distinct, with unique environmental elements that impact the racing experience. For instance, a track set in Iceland might feature snow and ice, affecting vehicle handling and visibility. These environmental effects add a layer of strategy, as players must adapt their driving style to suit the conditions.

Changes in time of day and weather also contribute to the game’s visual and gameplay variety. Racing under the bright sun in one race and through a torrential downpour in the next keeps the experience fresh and engaging. These dynamic elements, although not revolutionary, enhance the overall immersion and challenge players to remain vigilant and adaptable.

Overall Experience

Despite its nostalgic appeal, Horizon Chase 2 struggles to keep players engaged over the long term. The built-in guardrails and lack of challenging AI reduce the overall excitement and depth of the racing experience. Moreover, the difficulty in finding online opponents diminishes the competitive aspect that could have elevated the game.

For older players, Horizon Chase 2 serves as a pleasant reminder of the arcade racing classics that many grew up with. However, it also highlights how far the genre has come, often leaving players yearning for more sophisticated and engaging gameplay. For younger players or those new to the genre, it’s a fun introduction that captures the essence of arcade racing.

Nostalgia vs. Modern Expectations

The nostalgic elements of Horizon Chase 2 are both its greatest strength and its most significant limitation. The game successfully captures the feel of classic arcade racers, offering a straightforward, high-speed experience that can be a refreshing change from more complex modern titles. However, this same simplicity can make the game feel outdated compared to contemporary racing games that offer deeper mechanics, realistic physics, and more engaging challenges.

The balance between nostalgia and modern expectations is a delicate one. While Horizon Chase 2 excels at evoking the spirit of retro racers, it falls short of providing the depth and replayability that many players expect from modern games. This dichotomy means that the game may have limited appeal beyond its initial nostalgic draw.


Horizon Chase 2 delivers a nostalgic trip down memory lane, with great track design and a thrilling sense of speed. However, the game’s simplistic mechanics and lack of substantial challenge prevent it from being a standout title in today’s racing game landscape. It serves as an ode to the arcade racers of yesteryear, reminding us of both their charm and how far the genre has evolved. While it may entertain for a while, especially for those looking to introduce younger players to the genre, its longevity is limited.

Good track design and a blistering sense of speed aren’t enough to compensate for relatively mindless racing. Horizon Chase 2 stands as a testament to the evolution of racing games, making us appreciate the advancements that have shaped the genre today. For those old enough to remember playing its inspirations, Horizon Chase 2 serves as a reminder of just how far racing games have come over the years. If you have children or young people in your orbit, this is a great game to acquaint them with the genre, but beyond that, I don’t know how long it will keep you entertained.

Horizon Chase 2 FAQ

What is Horizon Chase 2?

Horizon Chase 2 is a retro-style arcade racing game that draws inspiration from classic titles like *Outrun* and *Cruis’n*. It features fast-paced gameplay, colorful graphics, and a variety of game modes, including World Tour, Playground, and Tournament.

What platforms is Horizon Chase 2 available on?

Horizon Chase 2 is available on mobile devices, PC, and Nintendo Switch. The game supports cross-platform play, allowing players from different devices to race against each other online.

How does the World Tour mode work?

In World Tour mode, players race across various global locations, unlocking new tracks and cars as they progress. Each region features unique environments and challenges. Players collect blue coins on tracks to upgrade their vehicles and earn trophies and credits based on their finishing positions.

What are the customization options in Horizon Chase 2?

Players can customize their vehicles with various cosmetic items, including paint jobs, rims, and body variants. Upgrades for vehicle performance, such as suspension and nitro boosts, are also available by collecting blue coins in World Tour mode.

Is there a multiplayer mode in Horizon Chase 2?

Yes, Horizon Chase 2 features a Playground mode for online multiplayer racing. However, finding human opponents can be challenging, and races are often filled with AI drivers. The game also allows players to form a crew for both online and local split-screen races.

What is the Tournament mode?

Tournament mode consists of a series of races in a circuit, with points awarded based on finishing positions. The driver with the most points at the end of the tournament wins and receives significant credit rewards, which can be used for vehicle customization.

How are the tracks and environments in Horizon Chase 2 designed?

Tracks in Horizon Chase 2 are themed around their global locations, such as Florida, Morocco, and Iceland. The game features dynamic changes in time of day and weather conditions, adding variety and challenge to the races.

Also Read:- House Flipper 2 Review: Renovation Delight

Can I play Horizon Chase 2 with friends?

Yes, Horizon Chase 2 supports local split-screen multiplayer, allowing you to race against friends on the same device. You can also form a crew and race together online.

What currencies are used in Horizon Chase 2?

Horizon Chase 2 uses several types of in-game currency, including blue coins for upgrades, credits for purchasing customization items, and tickets earned from online challenges.

How does the game handle speed and difficulty?

Horizon Chase 2 emphasizes high-speed racing, with guardrails preventing players from running off the track. This design choice simplifies the gameplay, making it accessible but potentially less challenging for experienced players. The game does not require the use of brakes, further reducing the difficulty.

Is Horizon Chase 2 suitable for younger players?

Yes, Horizon Chase 2’s simplified mechanics and colorful, arcade-style gameplay make it suitable for younger players and those new to the racing genre. The game offers a fun introduction to racing without the complexities of more realistic titles.

How does Horizon Chase 2 compare to modern racing games?

Horizon Chase 2 is a nostalgic throwback to arcade racers of the past, offering a simpler, fast-paced experience. While it captures the charm of classic racing games, it lacks the depth and complexity of modern titles, which may limit its long-term appeal for some players.

Will there be future updates or expansions for Horizon Chase 2?

As of now, there is no official information on future updates or expansions for Horizon Chase 2. Players should check the game’s official channels for any announcements regarding new content or features.

What kind of online challenges are available in Horizon Chase 2?

Online challenges in Horizon Chase 2 involve races with specific requirements, where players compete to achieve the best times and climb global leaderboards. Completing these challenges earns tickets, which can be redeemed for cosmetic items.

How can I keep track of my progress in Horizon Chase 2?

Players can track their progress through the game’s various modes by viewing their collected trophies, coins, and earned credits. The game provides a straightforward interface to manage these elements and track your achievements.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top