Powerboat GT Review
Powerboat GT box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Hammerware 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: DreamCatcher / Arcade Moon 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb. 29, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-9 (LAN) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Getting your boat moving is easy enough (keyboard directional keys control thrust and turning while the space bar and shift keys handle weapons and speed boosts respectively), but keeping it on course when dodging weapon fire or being rammed at high speed from another vessel is next to impossible. It helps that the controls are so simple that your family pet could operate them, but their responsiveness is largely determined by the make of your boat and how fast it's moving. Controls also get pretty touchy when you're maxing out your speed and have to make even slight changes to your course.

Powerboat GT screenshot

Though racing is what you'll be doing the most of in Powerboat GT, there are a few other activities that switch things up a bit and provide opportunities to increase your bankroll. You can taxi rich tourists around, save drowning victims, and pilot sluggish fishing boats and other assorted vessels to hunt for treasure coins on the open seas, to name a few. The most interesting diversion involves piloting a rickety plane to dive-bomb crates at specific locations. Much of your time will be spent seeking out money to spend on new boat upgrades or stylish paint jobs for your sweet powerboat collection. If you get really bored, you can always mess around with your in-game PDA. Fiddling with the device allows you to check the map, change the tunes, read e-mails from sponsors, and track your earnings. Online multiplayer would have been fun, but you're stuck with local LAN matches if you want to go up against buddies. However, you can take pictures of your boat and upload images and data about what ships you own to a website via the in-game menu, but I'm not sure why you'd want to do that.

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Powerboat GT is a great looking game, and its beauty balances out its mediocre points. The distant scenery is pretty, and the close-up environments are equally attractive. The water visuals and physics are also highly realistic, particularly on higher graphical settings. Given the nominal system requirements, the game looks far more impressive than you might expect. It all looks good on medium-level graphical settings, but hiking it up to "perfect" makes the game world simply pop. At times, just glancing off into the distance is enough to provide a few moments of calm - if you hit the mute button first.

For a budget priced PC title, Powerboat GT is a solid game. With summer still months away, it just might be the perfect distraction to get you through the last remnants of cold weather. At $19.99, it's certainly cheaper than a boating vacation to the Caribbean.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.8
Graphics
Everything about this beautifully rendered game looks amazing except for the front-end menu.
3.0
Control
Simple keyboard controls are a little rough around the edges in terms of responsiveness. They'll grow on you in time.
3.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Lots of music from virtually unknown bands. Great variety in styles, but not so much in terms of the songs themselves.
3.6
Play Value
A good deal of fun in short bursts, but it holds up well for an hour or two at a time.
3.7
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Explore the world in speedboats, yachts, and seaplanes.
  • Enjoy exciting races against A.I. opponents or LAN-connected players in classic kart racer style with eight bizarre and devastating weapons.
  • Varied gameplay with extra activities to earn money or gain popularity.
  • Take to the air on jumps and watch the results with instant cinematic cameras.
  • Several video post-processing effects to achieve great looking visuals.
  • High quality water effects.
  • Ride the waves accompanied by a rich soundtrack.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Powerboat GT screenshot - click to enlarge Powerboat GT screenshot - click to enlarge Powerboat GT screenshot - click to enlarge Powerboat GT screenshot - click to enlarge Powerboat GT screenshot - click to enlarge Powerboat GT screenshot - click to enlarge

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