Waterworld is an action-adventure game that was originally released on the SNES in 1995. It was developed by Ocean and went on to be released on multiple platforms such as the Virtual Boy. Although it is considered as a licensed game, it's only loosely based on the movie.
The game opens up with a series of stills from the movie with the movie's lore written on top. This is actually one of the only indications that the game has anything to do with the movie:
The Sun, for millions of years the source of life, but for one planet the source of it's demise.
The temperatures climbed, the vast fields of ice at its poles melted and the oceans rose.
Centuries later, few people remained on this planet once called earth.
The only remaining pockets of civilisation are floating islands of debris called Atolls.
The player assumes the role of the Mariner, the drifter played by Kevin Costner in the movie, and fends off Smokers but that's about all the game has in common with the movie.
Note: "it's" in the first line is a spelling mistake that the developers made.
The game alternates between 3 different gameplay phases: some levels have the player piloting a boat, others have them doing some platforming and then there are the bonus stages:
- Boat levels: The player controls a sail boat and must fend off Smokers who are riding jet skis, planes and motor boats. They're attacking the Atolls and the player must destroy them with their missiles. They must also save drowning civilians.
- Platforming levels: Here the player takes control of the Mariner and must kill all the Smokers to move on to the next level. He starts off with a machete but can get other weapons, such as a gun, from the enemies he kills. The player always plays on the exact same level as they're always defending the same Atoll.
- Bonus levels: The player unlocks these after completing a boat level. It consists of the Mariner swimming underwater, trying to get bonus items before they run out of breath. If he runs out of breath while underwater, the player automatically loses all the items they had collected. These items earn points that can then be spent in the in-game shop to upgrade the ship.