Arcade racers should instil within you a sense of joy. They should make your heart shudder, your buttocks clench, and your mouth spew out the very worst expletives when you crash on the last corner.
But they should also have a sense of swagger. A cockiness that's nothing to do with any in-game characters or tacked-on story, but that stems from the stench of nitrous oxide burning and the sound of tyres squealing to stick to the road.
And Horizon Chase has all of this in spades. It's full of bravado, but it's all generated by some of the best racing you're ever likely to see on mobile. And it looks absolutely stunning.Oil slick
The game is a globe-trotting car-driving adventure, and it's pitched perfectly between casual and hardcore. The controls are super slick, and allow you to dart through traffic with the greatest of ease.
There's a real sense of speed here, and each track has its own unique collection of corners, straights, and obstacles. Some of the speedier sections, where you're hammering left and right turns in quick succession, while trying not to slow down or smash into your opponents, will leave you breathless.
There are some twists to the formula though. You need to pick up fuel as you thrash through the tracks, and if you run out it's game over. There are tokens to nab as well, which unlock new levels, and extra nitro boosts to give you an edge.
You start every race at the back of the pack, and need to work your way to the front. There's rarely a point where you're not jostling for position, and only the slightest mistake can be the difference between victory and sore defeat.
Final corner overtaking moves are common, and you're constantly trying to find gaps to slip through and places to shave precious seconds off your time.Hard left
Horizon Chase never edges towards simulation territory. It's a retro arcade racer through and through, albeit one that's thoroughly modern. The graphics are stunning, and the different weather effects and track-types you'll race on have to be seen in motion.
It does get a little grindy at times, but it's the sort of grind you're happy to wade through. It's just such a joy to speed through the different environments, and play sessions quickly shift from minutes to hours.
There are little touches here that will raise a smile, and the overall experience offers the sort of action and excitement that most other iOS racers can only aim for.