Waterworld (video game)

Last updated
Waterworld for Virtual Boy, Front Cover.jpg
Virtual Boy cover art
Developer(s) Ocean of America (VB, SS)
DMA Design (SNES)
Data Design Interactive (MD)
PAM Development (GB)
Intelligent Games (PC)
Publisher(s) Ocean Software (VB, SNES, GB)
Interplay Productions (PC)
Designer(s) Steve Woita (VB, SS)
Platform(s) Virtual Boy, Super NES, Game Boy, MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows
ReleaseSuper NES and Game Boy
Virtual Boy
  • NA: November 21, 1995
MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s)1 - 9 players (Alternating)

Waterworld is a video game released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Virtual Boy, MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows and Game Boy, based on the film of the same name, along with unpublished versions for the Mega Drive/Genesis [1] , Sega Saturn [2] , Atari Jaguar [3] [4] [5] [6] , 3DO [7] and PlayStation. [8] These games were produced by Ocean Software. The SNES and Game Boy games were released only in Europe in 1995 and the Virtual Boy game was released exclusively in North America in November 1995. It was released for PC in 1997. The game received widespread negative reviews and the version released for the Virtual Boy is generally considered to be the worst game of its 22 releases.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System home video game console developed by Nintendo

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), also known as the Super NES or Super Nintendo, is a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo that was released in 1990 in Japan and South Korea, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe and Australasia (Oceania), and 1993 in South America. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom (SFC). In South Korea, it is known as the Super Comboy and was distributed by Hyundai Electronics. The system was released in Brazil on August 30, 1993, by Playtronic. Although each version is essentially the same, several forms of regional lockout prevent the different versions from being compatible with one another.

Virtual Boy table-top video game console developed by Nintendo

The Virtual Boy is a 32-bit table-top video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. Released in 1995 it was marketed as the first console capable of displaying stereoscopic "3D" graphics. The player uses the console in a manner similar to a head-mounted display, placing their head against the eyepiece to see a red monochrome display. The games use a parallax effect to create the illusion of depth. Sales failed to meet targets, and by early 1996, Nintendo ceased distribution and game development, releasing only 22 games for the system.



Virtual Boy

The game is focused around the Mariner's (the main character) trimaran, which the player moves around a 3-D world, shooting enemies on personal water crafts called Smokers. It is a form of 3D shoot 'em up, similar to that of the All-Range Mode in Star Fox 64 .

Trimaran triple-hulled boat

A trimaran is a multihull boat that comprises a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls which are attached to the main hull with lateral beams. Most trimarans are sailing yachts designed for recreation or racing; others are ferries or warships.

Shoot 'em up is a subgenre of video games within the shooter subgenre in the action genre. There is no consensus as to which design elements compose a shoot 'em up. Some restrict the definition to games featuring spacecraft and certain types of character movement; others allow a broader definition including characters on foot and a variety of perspectives.

<i>Star Fox 64</i> 1997 video game

Star Fox 64, known in the PAL region as Lylat Wars, is a 3D scrolling shooter game themed around aircraft combat for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It is a reboot of the original Star Fox, and the only game in the Star Fox series to be released on the Nintendo 64. An autostereoscopic remake, titled Star Fox 64 3D, was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011.

The objective is to keep the Smokers from grabbing Atollers (inhabitants of Atoll) placed around the playing field. To keep them from being captured, the player must shoot the Smokers using the L and R buttons on the Virtual Boy's controller while moving around with either of the two directional pads.

Like all other Virtual Boy games, Waterworld uses a red-and-black color scheme and uses parallax, an optical trick that is used to simulate a 3D effect. [9] While all the other versions of Waterworld are single player only, the Virtual Boy edition supports up to nine players. [10]

Parallax difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight

Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines. Due to foreshortening, nearby objects show a larger parallax than farther objects when observed from different positions, so parallax can be used to determine distances.

Super NES

Waterworld for Super NES was released in 1995 in Europe by Ocean Software. It was only released in PAL territories, but an NTSC version had been scheduled for release in December 1995, and given a lengthy review in that month's issue of Nintendo Power.

Ocean Software Ltd, commonly referred to as Ocean, was a British software development company, that became one of the biggest European video game developers and publishers of the 1980s and 1990s.

<i>Nintendo Power</i> magazine

Nintendo Power is a video game news and strategy podcast from Nintendo of America, which had originated in August 1988 as Nintendo's official print magazine. The magazine's publication was initially done monthly by Nintendo of America, then independently, and in December 2007 contracted to Future US, the American subsidiary of British publisher Future. Its 24 year production run is one of the longest of all video game magazines in the United States and Canada.

The game was played from an overhead/isometric perspective with the player controlling the Mariner's boat on the ocean. The point of the game was to destroy the Smokers' boats and dive for sunken artifacts, at which point the game switches to a side on perspective so that the player can directly control the Mariner underwater.


A Sega Genesis port of the Super NES version was also produced by Ocean. Planned for release in Europe in fall 1995, it was never distributed. A complete version of the game was eventually leaked on the net.

Sega Genesis Fourth-generation home video game console and fourth developed by Sega

The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive in regions outside North America, is a 16-bit home video game console developed and sold by Sega. The Genesis is Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System. Sega released it as the Mega Drive in Japan in 1988, and later as the Genesis in North America in 1989. In 1990, it was distributed as the Mega Drive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, Ozisoft in Australasia, and Tec Toy in Brazil. In South Korea, it was distributed by Samsung as the Super Gam*Boy and later the Super Aladdin Boy.


The cancelled Sega Saturn version of the game was to feature a 3D virtual ocean with a dynamic surface. [10] It began development in late 1994. [11]

Sega Saturn Video game console

The Sega Saturn is a 32-bit fifth-generation home video game console developed by Sega and released on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America, and July 8, 1995 in Europe. The successor to the successful Sega Genesis, the Saturn has a dual-CPU architecture and eight processors. Its games are in CD-ROM format, and its game library contains several arcade ports as well as original games.


In April 1995, Interplay Entertainment announced that they had garnered the rights to make a Waterworld game. [12] The game was developed by Intelligent Games and published by Interplay. It was released for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows personal computers in 1997. It is a real-time strategy video game. The game contains 25 missions. In the game, players play as a War Chief and lead a taskforce of 2 to 14 men depending upon the mission. The main objective of the game is to amass enough hydro (fresh water), food, weapons, and critical information to successfully evade the "Smokers" and revert the inundated world to its former glory. [13]


Waterworld received predominantly negative reviews. GameSpot gave the PC version a review score of 4.5/10. [13]

The Virtual Boy version gathered particularly negative reviews for its poor gameplay and graphics. Sir Garnabus of GamePro panned it for having slow controls, bad collision detection, and the same enemies and victims in every level. He also criticized the lack of any backgrounds apart from the sunset, saying this mutes the 3D effect. [14] Dave Frear of Nintendo Life claimed that the game was "crap", adding "with severely flawed visuals it can’t even gain points for impressing technically". [15] The author of The Ultimate History of Video Games, Steven L. Kent, considers Waterworld to be the worst video game of all time. [16] Seanbaby called Waterworld "the most horrible thing to ever be put inside a Virtual Boy". [1]

See also

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