Review – Barton Lynch Pro Surfing

The last surfing game to be released on consoles was Surf World Series, released to near nonexistent fanfare way back in 2017. Since then, if you really wanted to play anything that would even remotely resemble an interactive surfing experience, you had to play one of the Mario and Sonic sports compilations. The surfing mode was actually good, but it was just that, a mode. Suffice to say, considering the ever growing popularity of the sport, which was one of the most popular events at the last Olympic games, there was enough demand for a brand new surfing videogame, an opportunity Bungarra Software, a small studio from Australia, took advantage of, with the release of Barton Lynch Pro Surfing.

Barton Lynch Pro Surfing graphics

Barton Lynch Pro Surfing might be an ugly game, but its controls are quite good.

I jumped right into its detailed tutorial mode to get a grip of its controls, as well as the fact the game was promising me an in-game cash reward for doing so. Great lads. These initial impressions, at least when it came to the gameplay, were quite good; Barton Lynch Pro Surfing features responsive controls, and despite it being touted as more simulation-heavy, and not exactly an arcadey title, it wasn’t exactly hard to grasp. There were some completely pointless mechanics as well, such as being able to ride a jet-ski, for the most part, it was alright. The main problem of the game lies outside of its mechanics. It’s its presentation.

Barton Lynch Pro Surfing water

For some weird reason, the water just doesn’t look like water. It mostly resembles blue goo…

Simply put, despite not being available on last-gen consoles, Barton Lynch Pro Surfing is possibly one of the ugliest games I’ve ever played on my PS5. Granted, I get that Bungarra Software is a small team with few resources, and that a stable framerate (which it does feature) is more important than visual fidelity, but this game is horrendous to look at. The character animations are clunky and robotic, being refreshed at a weirdly low rate, which gives it an uncanny feeling when compared to the otherwise rock-solid 60fps. The water simply does not look or feel like water. It’s almost like it’s some kind of blue goo instead. Lighting effects can be somewhat decent, but when the rest of it looks this bad, it’s hard to feel excited about pretty sun rays. Especially when they end up lighting up any character models.

Barton Lynch Pro Surfing

It might not like much, but try doing this in real life.

Dear goodness, those are horrendous. Without a doubt, they are one of the worst-looking things I have ever seen. To make matters worse, the game somewhat wants you to create your own customizable Bride of Chucky and feel connected to it, which is downright impossible. Granted, you can still play as half a dozen (not exactly famous) real-life surfers, but if you do that, you are not given the same amount of career paths or customization options as you would with a plasticine avatar. With that being said, if all you really want to do is catch some waves without a care in the world, there are still many other modes available in Barton Lynch Pro Surfing to keep you distracted for a while.

Barton Lynch Pro Surfing biography

Trust me, this is one of the better-looking character models. The player-created ones are even worse.

Barton Lynch Pro Surfing satiates, at least momentarily, the need for a surfing game. It’s such a shame that it’s so utterly hideous to look at, because, for the most part, it is indeed a decent game, with intuitive controls and enough content to keep you busy for a while. If you really want to play a surfing game, this works out just fine. If you’re not particularly into the sport, I doubt there is anything in here that will grab your attention for too long, however.


Graphics: 3.5

Hideous characters, poor animations refreshed at a low rate, and ugly water effects. The lighting is the only thing that saves this game from just looking like a mid-tier title from the PS3 era.

Gameplay: 7.5

Despite being touted as being more of a simulation than an arcade title, the controls aren’t exactly hard to learn, and are intuitive and responsive. This is clearly where the efforts were focused on, and that was a smart decision.

Sound: 6.5

Decent music, with some genre variety, and passable voice acting. Gets the job done despite not being very exciting.

Fun Factor: 7.5

Despite being hideous and somewhat cheap in its presentation, it’s full of content, and its controls are quite good. If you really want to play a surfing game, this works out just fine.

Final Verdict: 6.5

Barton Lynch Pro Surfing is available now on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of Barton Lynch Pro Surfing was provided by the publisher.