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T&C Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Rating: 1%
T&C Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage
T&C Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage T&C Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage T&C Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage T&C Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage
  • Review Score:

  • F
By 1988, T&C Surf Desgins was at the height of their success. This one-time surf wear company was riding high thanks to their animated Thrilla Gorilla character and the sudden pop culture fascination with water-based extreme
sports. And that's when LJN released T&C Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage and officially stopped any momentum the Hawaii-based company had.

Don't be confused by the title. The "Wood" is talking about your skateboard, which you ride all over the city streets. The "Water" is where you surf, trying to pull off sick tricks while avoiding sharks and other obstacles. The "Rage" is what you feel when you spend more than a few seconds playing either of these two mini-games.

T&C Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage (NES)

Our first stop is Big Wave Encounter, a practically unplayable exercise in frustration. The entire game is no more than two screens, a wave and the docks. The goal is to "trick" (if you want to call it that) off of this enormous wave. You're constantly fighting the water, which is pulling you further away from your goal. Also, you'll need to watch out for swimmers, sea life and other hazards. Pull off enough tricks, safely pilot the board to the docks and collect your sweet, sweet reward. It's that simple.

Actually, it's not that simple. The control here is horrendous, some of the worst I've ever seen. Moving the character along the giant wave makes no sense and it's hard to judge the pull. Even when you get it right, the tricks you pull off are so lame that they aren't worth your time. I can see where the developers were going with this, but the overall mini-game is too simplistic and hard to control to be any fun.

Our next stop is Street Skate Session, which has us grab our wood to slowly skate around obstacles. Forget Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, this T&C mini-game has more in common with Hudson's Adventure Island than an extreme sports product. Most of the action takes place on the city street, which is riddled with potholes, overturned cans and people playing Frisbee. After a while it started to feel like T&C Surf Designs was an indictment on how run down Hawaii's streets are.

The good news is that Street Skate Session is infinitely more playable than Big Wave Encounter. Controlling your jumps is relatively easy and you can see the activity's potential as you dig deeper. Unfortunately, it's not a whole lot of fun. You're never pulling off tricks and most of the obstacles feel cheap. I ultimately gave up playing this mode out of boredom.

T&C Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage (NES)

The game's third mode has the smart idea of mixing both wood AND water. Don't be fooled, because this is just a variation on what you've seen already. The only other option is the two-player mode, which gives you the opportunity to torture a friend.

With uncontrollable gameplay and sub-par graphics, T&C Surf Designs: Wood & Water Rage is a level of bad I wasn't prepared for. There isn't enough to either of these games to warrant spending more than a few minutes. And even then, I suspect you'll tire of these exercises within seconds. Not even the two-player option can make up for the terrible game design. If this is what Hawaii is like, then you can count me out.
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