Review – Wave Break

I won’t beat around the bush; Funktronic Labs’ Wave Break is basically Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, but if you swapped skateboards for boats, and human skaters for cute little bears. Oh, and if everything was centered around Miami Vice‘s aesthetic, with the bears holding guns for some weird reason. In most cases, such a bonkers premise can only result in a game so ludicrous you can’t help but love, or a downright disaster. Wave Break is a weird exception that lies exactly in the middle. Even though it’s unique, it manages to be unbelievably forgettable at the same time.

Gameplay-wise, this game is literally Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, but with speedboats. This means that unless you set the acceleration feature to automatic in the main menu, you have you constantly accelerate or reverse your boat in order to move around levels. The rest follows the same premise as Tony Hawk, with a button dedicated to grinding, one dedicated to grabs, flips, a manual feature… it makes absolutely no sense when you’re playing the game, but we’re not here to discuss realism.

Wave Break Scoring System

Wave Break’s scoring system isn’t as intuitive or rewarding as Tony Hawk’s.

The gun mechanics, which feel like the most pointless of afterthoughts, are basically used during a handful of missions in each map. These are unlocked after completing the Tony Hawk-esque objectives given to you, such as finding the secret tape, collecting B-R-E-A-K, getting a high score, and so on. These missions, which act almost as a Grand Theft Auto boat-based heist, feel out of place as hell, completely going against the arcade-like objectives inspired by Activision’s hit series. Having no shooting sections whatsoever, as well as not a single semblance of a plot, would have benefited the game massively. They are not bad per se, they just stand out like a sore thumb. Much like the one Weezer song included in the soundtrack, which goes against the rest of the game’s emphasis on synthwave and 80’s-esque music.

I didn’t find anything in this game to be outright terrible, but I also didn’t find a single aspect of it that stood out in a positive way. For instance, although I liked the fact that the control scheme was a carbon copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (you don’t need to fix what isn’t broken), the poor level design and botched point system made Wave Break a lot more annoying to play. While I loved its excellent 60fps performance, I didn’t like its pointless art direction (or lack thereof). I liked the inclusion of a licensed soundtrack, I didn’t exactly think the songs included helped provide an adrenaline-pumping sensation that is absolutely mandatory in an extreme sports game.


Wave Break needs more ska.

Wave Break is, at best, an average Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater clone that just so happened to be launched at the worst time possible, right alongside the debut of its main source of inspiration on the Switch. Sure, it’s cheaper than its main competitor and I suppose ultra-die-hard Weezer fans will want to grab it just because of the inclusion of one of their songs in its soundtrack, but it’s inferior in every conceivable way. Its level design is weak, its art direction is lacking, and its controls aren’t as polished as the genre mandates. You can have a bit of fun with it, but you’ll most certainly forget about it as soon as you boot up Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2.


Graphics: 6.5

While some of its characters look cute and it runs at an excellent 60fps at all times, Wave Break‘s art direction (or lack thereof) is way too weird, with nothing looking cohesive or appealing.

Gameplay: 6.0

It’s the same control scheme from the Tony Hawk games, with the inclusion of pointless shooting mechanics, but the poor level design and unreliable collision detection make this game way more annoying to play than its peers.

Sound: 7.0

It features some decent synthwave tunes, as well as a Weezer song that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Fun Factor: 6.0

It’s a nice distraction for a few hours, but considering that there’s an actual Tony Hawk game available on the Switch, there’s little to no reason to pick Wave Break over its main source of inspiration.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Wave Break is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, and Stadia.

Reviewed on Switch

A copy of Wave Break was provided by the publisher.