Virtual Skipper 5 - 32nd America's Cup review

  • To learn how to make your boat zoom
  • The patient pace
  • The tranquil atmosphere
  • How long it takes to learn
  • That this might be too tranquil
  • The lack of visual and audio zest

You’ve got a yacht, right? Because the extreme wealth we’ve acquired from typing stuff about video games has allowed us to purchase the fourth official GamesRadar Boat. So join us for our annual race: the first one to sail the circumference of Gangsta Party Island (that’s the new ditty in the Philippines we also just bought) wins a bottle of Hennessy, and a Wii.

But you won’t win. We’ve been practicing on Virtual Skipper 5, and this game taught us the way of the dinghy. We are true navigators. Next week, we’re so gonna dominate those bloomin’ wankers at the Cambridge University Cruising Club.

If you want to live our lavish life, simply spend a week adapting to the drowsy existence of a virtual skipper. Really though, at first, it’s gonna feel like loitering in molasses. And it’s not like you’ve got grand visual splendor to ogle at as you drift.

The middle-of-the-sea setting means the backgrounds are mostly static and mostly blank. Even your ship’s crew remains locked into position like manikins that only come to life when you’ve got to raise the sails. There’s also zero background music, save for a little fusion of techno and whining guitar that washes over you during the menu screens.

But trust us, just glide into the highly educational and super thorough tutorial. You’ll learn everything from the basics of reading a specialized compass, to the intermediacies of using the spinnaker sail, to the advanced ninja technique you can use to navigate against the wind.

And if you delve into V.S., you better be serious. It’s brutally unforgiving in its religious adherence to realistic physics. Make even a slight miscalculation and you’ll be left floating lifeless, contemplating suicide as the other men sail forever into the vast ocean, seizing the sea, as well as your lover’s heart.

But even with the hardship, learning to be captain is a refreshing lifestyle change from the gasoline-powered tweak sessions you’re used too. Once you force your heart to slow, the pleasant subtlety of trying to race using only the wind and a few sheets of fabric becomes as serene as a morphine dream.

More Info

Release date: Apr 09 2007 - PC (US)
Apr 09 2007 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Simulation
Published by: CDV
Developed by: Nadeo
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending


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