First released in arcade-cabinet form in 1999, Hydro Thunder made a splash landing on the N64 the following year.
The arcade-style gameplay of the original remains intact in this port, most notably because Hydro Thunder is first and foremost a checkpoint racer.
In the game you pilot a futuristic speedboat through a variety of courses in a bid to cross the finish line ahead of all the other racers. Core to the gameplay is a boost feature: by collecting power-ups spread out across the track you can make your speedboat go faster, and even perform jumps that will enable you to reach hidden areas and routes. Going off the beaten path is definitely the key to success, but finding these routes isn’t always a straightforward affair.
The N64 version allows up to four players to race against one another, although an Expansion Pak is required for more than two players.