Have you ever wanted to play a classic-styled Tony Hawk game, but with a cartoon bear in a motorboat? That’s not a question you would have ever considered in your entire life? That sounds about right. If that brief description intrigues you, you might like Wave Break. Emphasis on “might,” because the game is not only like a sillier version of Tony Hawk, but is also ridiculously difficult. Wave Break launched on Stadia earlier this year, but it recently arrived on Steam. Chances are, this is the first time many will consider playing it. But the question stands: Is Wave Break worth it?
The above summation of the game’s premise honestly tells you most of what you need to know about Wave Break. You play as a little bear in a little motorboat, and you move it around a level. It controls much like Tony Hawk. There are half-pipes all over the place, rails to grind on, and all sorts of floating things you’re meant to collect. Each level tasks you with completing a bunch of objectives. Each one nets you some cash. Once you earn enough cash, you’ll unlock the next level. It’s insanely familiar.
Each level has similar goals. There are letters to collect that spell words. One of these is completely standard, while the other requires the letters to be collected as part of an unbroken trick combo. Levels have time limits, so you’ll need to complete a goal within them. There are also goals for collecting enough items of different types. Naturally, there are score goals. You’ll need to get your score up to a certain point within the time limit. Each level also has a difficult-to-reach tape to find, level-specific goals that include doing a certain trick in a specified part of the level, plus hidden goals.
This wave will break you
Your moves are as classic as they can get, although many of them are called something different than what you’ll be used to from Tony Hawk. Wave Break lets you ollie, do grabs, and lets you do flip tricks with the boat. It’s exactly like Tony Hawk. If you played the first four games in that series, you’ll immediately feel at home here. But as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, this game is much, much more difficult.
Pulling off the tricks and grabbing the collectibles within the time limit are tough as hell. Many of the level goals will take significant amounts of practice, and Wave Break is unforgiving. You need to do it perfectly, or you’ll fail. This is a bit of an issue, as the game doesn’t actually control as well as its inspiration. The boat can be kind of a pain to maneuver how you want, so I definitely wouldn’t say it’s as good as the real thing. There’s also a level editor, plus multiplayer, and unlockable characters.
Is it worth it though? If an extremely difficult, cutesy Tony Hawk clone with worse controls sounds like something you’d enjoy, you can pick up Wave Break on Steam for $26.99 USD. If you’re not a masochist, however, I would personally suggest steering clear.