Wave Race is a top-down personal watercraft racing game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy in North America on July 1, 1992. It was later release in Europe on June 24, 1997.
A top-down racing game similar to the 1991 game Micro Machines, Wave Race puts players in four-player open-water races using personal watercraft (PWCs). The game includes 16 courses, split into two separate game modes (traditional racing and free-form checkpoint racing), and supports linked multiplayer via the Game Link Cable (with further support for four-player multiplayer using the Four Player Adapter).
The game later received two sequels, one for the Nintendo 64 (Wave Race 64) and one for the GameCube (Wave Race: Blue Storm). Both sequels use a revamped style of traditional racing (using navigation similar to slalom skiing) with improved water physics, closed circuits, and multiple characters to choose from (each with their own unique stats).
The game includes two main game modes:
- Circuit Mode is the game's traditional lap-based racing mode, where players maneuver around laps of numerous checkpoints (in a fixed circuit). Faster Divisions require more laps to complete. Players earn points based on their final placement in the course (5 for first place, 3 for second, 2 for third, and 1 for last), but can fail to score points if the timer expires (which refresh between laps).
- Slalom Mode is a unique checkpoint-based racing mode, where players race to claim checkpoints scattered throughout the water. Once a checkpoint is claimed by a player, it cannot be claimed by another. After all checkpoints are claimed, the race ends and players earn points based on how many checkpoints they claimed.
In 1-P Mode, players start with only one Division for each game mode: National Series 550cc. In order to participate in faster Divisions (650cc and 800cc), as well as the harder World Series, players must complete each unlocked Division with a certain point requirement. In Multiplayer Mode, all Divisions are unlocked from the start.
Additionally, players can practice each Circuit and Slalom course with no opponents at any Division (regardless of how much of the game is unlocked).
Both Circuit and Slalom modes have eight courses each, for a total of 16 courses. Despite having different layouts, the name and division requirement for both courses are the same.
- Sydney (650cc and 800cc only)
- Miami (650cc and 800cc only)
- Fiji (800cc only)
- Bali (800cc only)