The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Horizon Chase

It's kind of crazy to think that we saw Final Fantasy 7, one of the most beloved entries from one of the most popular video game series of all time, and Pac-Man 256, a fresh spin on one of the most iconic video games in history, both arrive on iOS this week. And yet, it's the scrappy little retro-inspired racer Horizon Chase [Free] from Aquiris Game Studio which has taken up all of our free time since its release a couple of days ago, and surprisingly, it was an easy choice for our Game of the Week pick.

brighton_beach_sample

Gosh, where to even start? As mentioned, Horizon Chase is "retro-inspired", citing games like OutRun and Top Gear as inspirations, but it's certainly not a game that could have ran on the hardware of the '80s or '90s. It's strange, it totally straddles the line between being a retro title and being modern. The graphics are blocky but they're not pixels, this game is totally in 3D and runs at an incredibly smooth framerate. It feels like what a gamer in the '80s would envision as a video game of the future.

So Horizon Chase is slick as heck visually, but its gameplay also expertly blends the old-era of gaming with the new. I've often felt that modern racing games are just flat out too complicated for me. I mean, it's great that games can be so realistic nowadays, but for my money I just want to plant my foot on the gas, trade paint with some stiff competition, and get a great sense of speed while I race. Horizon Chase delivers on all these fronts in spades.

The AI is surprisingly competent and dynamic, and puts up a real challenge. Close calls at the finish line are common, and this is a game that will get your adrenaline pumping while you play. Related to that, the sense of speed is wonderful, and that also goes back to how smooth the framerate is at all times. The actual racing is also very straightforward. Just smash down the gas pedal, let up on it occasionally during turns, and learn the various race tracks in the game. That's about it. There's a very basic upgrade system and incrementally better cars to unlock, but for the most part this is a racing game built around pure skill.

I feel like I could go on and on about Horizon Chase, it's really that good. It looks great, it plays great, it's got a ton of content, it's a paltry 3 bucks with no in-app purchases. If you like racing games even in the slightest, you'd be doing yourself a favor by playing this little gem of a game. It's doing well in the charts currently and people in our forums are raving about it, so hopefully that means there's a long, bright future ahead for Horizon Chase.

  • Maglor

    ⊂_ヽ
      \\ Λ_Λ
       \(´∀`) THAT Game of the Week!!
        > ⌒ヽOh~ Yeah!! I'm SO lovin' it!!
       /   へ\ <3 <3 <3
       /  / \\
       レ ノ   ヽ_つ
      / /
      / /|
     ( (ヽ
     | |、\
     | 丿 \ ⌒)
     | |  ) /
    ノ )  Lノ
    (_/

    I can't believe that I finally played 'LEGENDARY CLASSIC' racing game. This is the 'Purrrrrrfect' retro-rish racing genre on AppStore ever. It brings old memories like Outrun, Chase HQ, and TopGear. Gameplay, Graphic, Control, BGM, etc etc etc etc.......

    EVERYTHING

    IS

    AWESOME!!!!!

    🐈🐱fanCATstic!!🐱🐈
    👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

    • isabellabbchu

      。。。。

    • spsummer

      Awesome

    • Dankrio

      Maglor really excited? Lol

    • nini

      So all you need to do to make Maglor get really excitable.... is redo an old arcade driving game. Guess you too can appeal to the gimmick based cat human poster whose English is still better than speedyph's, devs, remake an old game he enjoys!

    • Dailon Huskey

      Maglor,
      I'm like you my jaw is still on the floor about this one! I can't get over how great this game is and it's been years since I have played a racing game this awesome. I thought I had played some good ones but I hadn't 🙂 this one is tops!

    • MarsMachine

      Wow, I have never seen maglor this excited! Ok, ok, I am buying it too!

    • ATOMBOMBadil

      Do you do this elsewhere on the internet? I feel like the web should know you exist. Always appreciate the enthusiasm too.

  • DAN13LG

    One of the best games I have ever bought. Just magnificent.

  • brantov

    this is really fantastic.

  • LordShad0wz

    This is probably one of the first times I completely agree! This weeks choice is a nail biter. For me either Horizon or Pacman! Horizon really is an amazing game!

    • Dankrio

      And Galactic Keep.

      • Boopero

        And Dungeon of the Endless

    • collider

      Can't put this one down... which is exactly what I said about pac man. I give them both GOTW.

  • Timmy2x

    Ohhhh controversial choice I like it!

    • Rip73

      Not really.
      This actually is the game that advances the platform and validates it as a whole, it's that good.

  • Dankrio

    An easy choice on a very strong week? That must say something!

  • nkx

    Final fantasy 7 should be the clear winner here!!!

    • Rip73

      Not really.

      Excellent and all Final Fantasy may be, it advances this platform in no way other than being being a "port" to something else of an all time classic.

      This one however, a future classic undoubtedly that might just help define the validity of the platform.

      This ones significance is far greater. It is genuinely that good and appropriately paired to the platform its on.

      I have no doubt this is one we will look back on ten years and realise its significance.

      And yes, I know that's a big statement, but to be fair, it's one hell of a good game that genuinely contributes to iOS as a platform.

      • nini

        I still don't see how you prove validity through essentially remaking the past, it kinda proves it can play like the old games of yore but doesn't show it to be different so it can claim its own space that it defined, not one covered with the reconstructed hides of older ones. Gamers are hardcore nostalgists, I see that in every remake that gets good reviews because of it being like the old one but shinier so maybe this is the way to glory, give them what they already saw.

      • Rip73

        Well as FF7 is just a port, that's even less valid.
        These guys at least reimagined and modernised a classic, not just remade.
        FF7, despite its brilliance, isn't even that.
        Horizon Chase can at least claim its own space because it's a classic formula remade for a new platform whereas FF7 is just a port, not even remade or reimagined for a new platform. Just ported. Which is not exactly the same as what the HC team has done.
        They've made something familiar yet very very distinctive, very modern and unique on the platform.
        Whereas FF7 is the same old FF 7 it was back in 1997 or so. Not a bad thing by the way, still a classic.
        Nothing wrong with that but far less unique than what Horizon Chase does.

      • LordShad0wz

        Amen!

  • Amenbrother

    Game is super fun!

  • Rip73

    Delighted to see this game got it.

    To be fair, man, what a week, what a choice, but if one had to pick a standout title that both payed homage to the past yet fully embraced the modern, this game is it..

    One word.

    Fantastic.

    A few more.

    The very definition of a must have right now instabuy.
    There is just so much right about it in every way.

    Buy it.
    Buy it now.

  • mrsaturn789

    This got picked over Final Fantasy 7? That is noteworthy, surprising, and interesting!

    • LordShad0wz

      Final fantasy 7 is a port. I've played it before. I've played most of them. It's nothing new or unique even though it is very good. I can see why Horizon was chosen over it.

    • Dailon Huskey

      You haven't played it yet 🙂
      When you do you will go ok that makes sense.

  • jati

    Well deserved. I've had already a lot of fun with it. Great graphics. Awesome music. And exactly the right balance for my taste. And it's not crippled by an awful free to play mechanic! I hope the developers earn a ton of money with it and this becomes a new series of games.

  • Quazonk

    Good pick.

    Can we please do away with the little prefacing paragraphs that are copy/pasted every week? We all know "these picks are controversial, and that's OK..." *pats 5 year old reader welling up with tears on the head to let them know everything will be alright*, there's no need to add that in every week. Just tell us the pick, or maybe just start with the paragraph that pertains to that week?

    • nini

      Oh there is, every time they make a genuinely controversial pick (i.e. a perfectly solid game, just not one in lockstep with the groupthink) you'll find people annoyed that got the pick instead of this week's fantasy dungeoncrawler. For as long as people object to other opinions, it'll be needed. Keep patting those heads, consider investing in some soft tissues as well.

    • Dawn Stung atoms

      The preface is there because:
      1.) there will always be people new to the site who has no idea on how TA picks their Game of the Week.
      2.) people will be inclined to click the "read more" link to know more about the game picked, rather than give a lot of info on the main TA page. Page hits are very important for revenue.

    • Tom Swayer

      Relax. Jesus....!

  • collider

    I haven't put down pac man long enough to try this one... I think I'm going to have a looooong weekend inside...

  • bcredonk

    Tough week to choose like you said. I'm really into pacman 256, and definitely enjoying galactic keep now that I got over my skepticism, but haven't picked this one up

  • InvictusAPA

    I agree! This is one of my favorite games on iOS. This game is polished. Reminds me of a game on Nintendo called, "Rad Racer".

  • Xyth

    I'm having so much fun with this one. It's certainly the game of my week.

  • squirpe

    I guess I put too much love in my post that got removed 🙁 so I just say again I LOVE this game! Great choice!

  • Stuart Wallace

    From the moment that I saw the first video of this it was instabuy. Love it!

  • Dailon Huskey

    I had said right before FFVII came out and when we knew it was coming out that it should be game of the week no question... Well I also bought another game that next day called Horizon Chase and I not only played the game of the week but game of the year! this game is so old school arcade awesome it's unreal.
    FFVII also had a couple flaws like not being full screen on my 5s and some emulator style controls that honestly I can live with and its the same killer RPG it was first time I played it. But horizon chase is true game of the week so great choice TA and honestly that had to be an easy decision on what turned out to be an epic week.

  • Chorobe

    This almost reminds me of an updated version of Final Freeway (from a few years back, I believe a TA 4* game)! Will have to put it on my "to buy" list!

  • ste86uk

    So many to chose from this week and a very tough choice indeed. But this is a great game for sure! If you don't own it already why not?

  • orangecan

    Well I be bought dungeon of the endless, Galactic keep and this this week and aside from a quick 5 minutes to check the other two out this is all I've been playing.....

  • OutSpoken

    How is this game different to Final Freeway 2R? Other than a new spin on retro style graphics..

    • r10k

      It's more of a track racer than a 'get as far as you can' game. So, it's more Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge than Outrun.

  • Prhaber

    I think it's a fantastic time to be playing iOS games. There seems to have been a run of amazing re-imaginined, retro-inspired games recently. At the moment I'm playing Faster-than-light, Pacman championship edition, Pacman256, the amazing Galactic Keep and now Horizon as well. All inspired by the past but very much of the present, which I think shows the way forward for games on iOS. It's telling that in a week that's seen the release of one of the most popular games in one of the most popular series' by a major developer (Final Fantasy 7) it's the games like this produced by smaller, independent teams that are really pushing the AppStore forward.

  • spedav

    This and Galactic Keep are eatting up all my free time. Haven't even touched FFVII.

    I don't have the time to invest 60+ hours in a JRPG anymore... : (

  • rich_952000

    Weak Week...on most other digital platforms. This week rocks on iOS!

  • BulkSlash

    I'm really enjoying Horizon Chase, the fast arcade racing, the graphics that are a mixture of OutRun and Virtua Racing and the awesome rock soundtrack all make this fantastically fun to play.

    The only flaw I think is the lack of iCloud saves which prevents me transferring my progress between iPhone and iPad. Other than that, it's excellent.

  • DrlRage

    I love it!
    Words do this game no justice. It's only downfall is how super addictive it is. Great pick for game of the week! 🙂

  • Howlingwolf

    Superb game

  • http://www.tudoparahomens.com.br rodrigocunha

    One of the best iOS vames of all time!!! I really like this gem. Remembers me a lot of epic OUT RUN nights when i was 12 years old. I'm so fucking happy with this!!!! :))))

  • spike17spiegel

    What a great game! I miss games like OutRun and when I saw this in the App Store I had to get it right away!

    • Inaba-kun

      If you want an OutRun clone on iOS, then buy Final Freeway 2R. It's not very good, and rather ugly, but it's far more like OutRun than Horizon Chase, which is a circuit based game with ugly visuals.

  • Inaba-kun

    The OutRun comparisons this game seems to be generating, even from the devs themselves make no sense to me. Beyond the game having a Ferrari like player car, this is worlds away from the joys of OutRun,

    It's a circuit racer, the music is bland, the scenery is bland, it's all made with ugly flat shaded polygons, and it lacks any sort of flair or character. OutRun by comparison was a wonderful A to B road trip, with ever changing beautiful scenery, one of the best soundtracks in video game history, and tons of character in it's lovingly hand drawn art.

    This is just a dull circuit racer with polygonal visuals so bad they wouldn't pass Sony QA for a PS1 title.I can only assume the devs had never actually played OutRun, or indeed any classic racing game.

    • Timmy2x

      You sir are...

  • Gamer_Kev

    This was the only title I grabbed so far of this week's offerings and I haven't been disappointed. I really like how they concentrated more on the feel of older racers rather than trying to copy the graphics. Though it probably will never happen, I'd love to see a remake of "The Great American Cross Country Road Race" in this style.

  • Cheuk Seto

    This was a tough week to pick a game. I was very torn between Pac-man 256 and Horizon Chaser as well, but have to agree that the latter should take the game of the week (maybe even month?). All the details are perfect. I LOOOVE the soundtrack, especially when you take 1st place and hearing that awesome 80s guitar riff was very sweet.

  • Timmy2x

    I don't even like racing games...until this one! Every aspect of the game is spot on, fun fun fun!!!

  • Ruben Pedro

    Yeah!! It looks a lot like Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge 😀

  • TokyoDan

    This is one of the best racing games ever made! Fantastic!

  • Ruben Pedro

    It' cute, but the gameplay is not addictive 🙁

  • Lohengriehn

    there have been much better games released this week. the gameplay is boring.