May 212014

More college semesters are ending by the week, and soon high schools and elementary schools across the country will follow. That means there’s only one thing on the minds of youths right now: SUMMER VACATION! As I’ve shown through lists like these before, video game music provides the perfect theme for any holiday or season, and the summertime is no exception. Lay down a beach blanket, inflate that volleyball that’s been sitting in your basement since last October, and let these tracks enhance your beach going experience during these next few months:


“Tropical Resort,” from Sonic Colors

It’s the first level of Sonic Colors, and its theme welcomes you into your summer vacation just like it welcomes you into the game. The theme of “Tropical Resort” is upbeat and fun, just like something you may hear playing poolside at a hotel in Orlando, just next to the Hawaiian-style buffet.


“Wave Man,” from Mega Man V

A slightly more relaxed track, Wave Man’s stage music from Mega Man V is the perfect song for those times when you’re lounging on the beach, waves rolling onto the shore as the sky glows a beautiful orange-yellow during the day’s sunset. For an evil Robot Master, Wave Man sure knows how to take it slow, as they do in Kokomo.


“Splash Wave,” from OutRun

Press play on this track, close your eyes for a moment, and imagine you’re cruising along the coast of southern California in a bright red convertible. The breeze whips through your hair, and there are no clouds on this perfect day. You feel it, don’t you? “Splash Wave,” as well as much of the rest of the OutRun soundtrack, can double as the theme songs of your summer beach party or road trip.


“Koopa Troopa Beach,” from Mario Kart 64

Just lay back and let those steel drums take you to a secluded patch of sand on the South Pacific (hopefully not one riddled with banana peels and spiny shells). It was tough to pick one single track from the Mario franchise to represent summer fun (runner-ups include “Beach Bowl Galaxy” from Super Mario Galaxy and “Delfino Plaza” from Mario Sunshine), but in the end “Koopa Troopa Beach” takes the win, if anything then for the perfect instrument selection that makes you feel like you’ve touched down in Jamaica.


“Treasure Trove Cove,” from Banjo-Kazooie

A more fast-paced tune than “Koopa Troopa Beach” but still full of steel drums (as well as flutes and xylophones), “Treasure Trove Cove” is just the right kind of upbeat melody to play through your head while you make like Banjo, exploring a tropical paradise. Whether on a coastal town or exploring a reef, this song is just the right theme for the curious vacationer discovering an interesting, foreign tropical landscape.


“Sandbox,” from Hot Wheels Stunt Track Driver

I’ll bet you never expected this classic from my childhood to appear here. But you know what, the music that plays in the Sandbox level of Hot Wheels Stunt Track Driver is the song that has defined summertime for me since I was six years old. That sweet, twang-y surf guitar and that awesome drumbeat are enough to scream “fun in the sun.” Fire up a poolside barbecue and crank this tune up, and you’ve made your own picturesque scene straight out of a commercial for Old Navy Bermuda shorts.

There you have it! Now crank up these tunes as you drive straight to the beach after your last day of school gets out. You’ll be kicking off your first summer beach party in the most epic way.


The Minus World is written by Steven Brasley. You can keep up with his thoughts on gaming via Twitter. Check back every Tuesday for new articles.