SNES or NES game.
It's a platformer where you are moving up the screen while water is slowly filling up the area and chasing you upwards?
Not a lot to go on i know, been racking my brains and can't think of what it was at all!
Can you remember anything else, like the title screen, characters, enemies, outcome of failure / gameover, "plot" (or did you have to collect anything)?
The obvious answer is Rainbow Islands. But the flooding mechanic wasn't exactly at the forefront.
There's SOS on the Super Nintendo, never released in the EU though.
It is a side scrolling survival game on board a passenger liner.