Game Review: Horse Racing 2016 (Xbox One)

Do you want to feel the thrill of racing your own horse? Taking part in competitive & exciting races? Well, don’t pick up Horse Racing 2016. Unless you’re really into button bashing.

Ugly to look at & even uglier to play, the best thing that can be said about Horse Racing 2016 is that it’s easy gamerscore/trophy collecting.

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The meat of the game comes in the form of the 10 seasons (+ season finale) that see you competing in time trials, track runs, sprints & hurdles. The aim is to finish at the top with the points earned accumulating towards your overall championship score. Finish top by the season finale & you’ll walk away with the title.

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There are 55 events to play but they are repetitive, boring & sometimes frustrating. The annoyance is born from how you play the game. Horse Racing 2016 is a button mash game where you hammer buttons to move your horse. To help you get the jump on your opponents at the start you can try to line up two swinging arrows. Get them as close together as you can for an instant speed boost. This is crucial to winning most races as it puts you out in front, ensuring as long as you maintain that lead, no-one can get in front & block you.

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In addition you can whip your horse a limited number of times for short speed boosts. You have to be careful though as over-whipping will tire the horse out, slowing you down before it eventually collapses.

All the while you have to be hammering buttons to keep your momentum up. A real problem when you also have to turn your horse (on curved tracks) & occasionally jump hurdles. These races are the worst as you have to be so precise with your jump to make it over completely. A second to early or too late & the horse will catch the hurdle slowing it down significantly.

As you make your way through the seasons more horses become available. Again, changing horses is crucial for you to keep ahead of the pack. It’s a game that becomes easier as it goes on thanks to the many different & better stats later horses have.

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Of course, if you fancy pitting your skills against other players you can but only offline were up to four players can race. Hardly going to be remembered as a high point of a night playing games with your pals.

Horse Racing 2016 is aimed at a bit of an odd market. It’s control scheme & simple race structures are aimed at a casual gamer. There are no upgrades or ways to improve your skills, it’s not a simulation at all so why would a hardcore horse racing nut even give this the time of day? However, realistically how many casual gamers are likely to pick this up on a whim? Not many I would wager a guess, especially when it looks so rough!

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It’s not fun & most will get some serious buyer’s remorse regardless of how much was paid for it.

Horse Racing 2016
  • The Final Score - 2/10
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