Race the wave.
Like everyone else in the world, I am waiting on a new Wave Race game. It has been far too long, so whenever a new game in the genre comes along, I immediately jump on that bandwagon in hopes that it will satiate my needs. The latest comes from developer Zordix, and has been in Early Access on Steam for a while. The game is finally ready for release, and has popped up on PS4 as well. While it might not dethrone the king, it is the closest we have come to a modern Wave Race to date.
Comparisons to the aforementioned water racer are impossible, but Aqua Moto Racing Utopia can stand on its own as well. The game features ten different environments and tons of tracks to race on. There are also a bevy of modes, both online and offline. The game features two types of watercraft to race in, wave runners and jet skis, and both handle differently. Players earn currency that can be used to purchase new crafts by collecting tokens and winning races.
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed), PC
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
In addition to the standard modes there are also leisure modes that allow players to just ride around and enjoy the great water physics, which everyone knows is the hallmark of a great wave racing game. The water not only looks great, but it also reacts as one would expect. Controls are responsive, and capture that arcade feel I want in a game of this type.
The leisure modes also have some fun side stuff to enjoy. These modes include a take on hockey and even a king of the hill mode. They are actually pretty fun, and a nice diversion from the straightforward racing.
Players can also customize everything from their rider to their craft. The options are pretty bare bones for the rider, and to be honest, the character models are a bit frightening at times. There is also a selection of announcers to choose from, but I truly wish there were a few more unlockables for customization. Yes, there is a wizard hat, and it is incredible, but I really want some more wackiness just like that.
As I mentioned already, the water looks amazing, which is a weird thing to say out of context. These games thrive on that though, and the physics match it. The stages remind me a lot of classics from Wave Race, and the game runs really well on PS4. It is worth noting though there are weird visual glitches from time to time. Polygons get stretched out and create some truly weird visual abnormalities. Simply restarting the race always fixed this, but it is definitely worth noting.
Aqua Moto Racing Utopia scratches that itch I get every couple years to play a wave racing game. It is rough around the edges, and lacks a good collection of unlockables, but the core racing is fun. For those like me that are tired of waiting on Nintendo to resurrect the king, this is a great substitute.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.