I used to work for a guy who just didn't understand why there weren't any great surfing video games. I couldn't explain it. Does the world need one?
We've had some surfing games. In the early 90s, for example, I played a lot of the surfing mode in California Games on my Atari Lynx.
I think that's the only surfing game I've ever played. There wasn't much to it. You kept the surfer on the wave, lowered him to gain some momentum and then shot to the crest of the wave for some spins. It was as fun as hackey-sack in California Games, which is to say it kept my busy as a child but isn't something I miss.
I never tried Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer, the surfing answer to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater from the PlayStation era.
And I didn't know until today that Rockstar Games even put out a surfing game, H3O surfing, which, for some reason, they've never bragged to me about.
But it looks kind of fun, doesn't it?
At E3 this year I saw someone playing a Wii surfing game, using the Wii Fit Balance Board as a surfboard. That seemed perfect. I shot this really bad video of it while it dawned on me that this was not the ultimate Wii surfing game I was looking for.
See? Bad video...
The game is called Vacation Isle: Beach Party. It was the Warner Bros. booth at E3 and, in the 10 years I've attended the show, it's the only game I've ever been shooed away from by a person working at the booth. It's just a kids game, they told me, with a tone that suggested the game wasn't worth my time.
I didn't shoot any more of it, but I did watch it a little longer. The surfing part of the game keeps the player inside the wave, zigging and zagging for points.
You can see some of it in action here, about 20 seconds or so in:
I'm obviously no surfing games expert, but I dare say that Vacation Isle: Beach Party may be at the apex of modern surfing games, because, well, it seems almost no one makes surfing games.
They didn't even put plain surfing in this game!
Earlier this year we ran an item about how an associate editor of Surfer magazine wants a surfing game. Sadly, I see no sign of one. Consider that pro snowboarder Shaun White recently expanded his boarding game franchise to... skateboarding.
If you are making a surfing game... if you want a surfing game... you best speak up because the sorry history of surfing games could use a happy chapter.