When bad news hits, people are always quick to soften the blow and trudge out the old 'every cloud has a silver lining' platitude. It's the kind of line optimistic folk come out with, but subscribing to this mantra also acknowledges one slightly more depressing fact: every silver lining comes pre-packaged with a dark, sodden cloud.
You can have the best news ever, but there's usually a dreary downside that you might not even contemplate. Like being handed a thrilling ride on a speed boat only to find that the handling is pretty abysmal. If you're wondering what such an experience might be like, Wave Blazer answers life's most pressing question.
The promise comes in the form of the game's feature list. Top billing goes to the slick 3D visuals, which - while they don't always run perfectly smoothly - are full of buildings, bridges, and other impressive elements.
Wave Blazer also comes with three solo modes and online multiplayer. Standard races are joined by time trials and an Arcade mode that tasks you with racing solo, from checkpoint to checkpoint.
There's nothing obviously missing, but you often can't tell where the leaks are from looking at the exterior of the hull.
Races consist of an impressive eight boats striding for the top three positions. As exciting as they sound, they're actually rather tame affairs. While the tracks contain bridges, jumps and obstacles aplenty, the boats themselves tend to keep apart.
The only thing you're usually struggling with is keeping yourself on course. Yes, Wave Blazer's handling leaves a lot to be desired and, while it can be customised to suit your own tastes, it always feels overbearing, never finding the balance between an initial stiffness and a tendency to overcompensate at the last minute.
This yields plenty of encounters with the wall, with you ping ponging from side to side losing vital positions as you try to bounce your way back into contention.
The game does come with an auto-pilot button, which supposedly brings your boat back into line once tapped. What it actually does, however, is turn you back into the wall you're trying to get away from, making it worse than useless.
It's not as if staying out of trouble and sticking to the straight and narrow is encouraged, either. Goodies in the form of boosts litter the raceway in predictably precarious locations. They offer a tremendous burst of speed too, often gaining you three or four positions in the latter stages of a race. However, trying to reach out for them can land you in trouble, slamming you into an immovable wall or an annoyingly placed pillar.
It's a bit of a travesty because the structure for a solid game is here. In the straight runs, where steering isn't needed, Wave Blazer flies past at an impressive pace and makes some of its rivals look fairly pedestrian.
That said, Polarbit's effort can't compete in terms of ease of use, control, or pure fun with Powerboat Challenge. Ultimately, it dangles at the back of the pack when it comes to the racing revolution currently sweeping through the App Store.