The evolution of water effects

Micro Machines (1991, NES version)
The 8-bit version may look basic (as do the16-bit versions, in truth), but at least you do get the feeling you're in a bathtub. There's the classic iconography of bubbles, rubber ducks and even the swirling vortex of the plug hole all doing the job. Sliding over bars of soap and testing the spongy retention of the bubbly trackside is fun too. Sadly, no waves or reflections to speak of. This is just blue. Or green if you're playing Game Boy. The only indicator you've got is a tiny little wake made of splash patterns. Bless.

Above: The Game Boy version didn't even have blue, unlike the NES version (right)

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine,, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.