Virtual Skipper 4

Toby Heppell reviews Virtual Skipper 4
“Sailing fans, rejoice!” These are the words offered by the Virtual Skipper 4 case when it arrived at thedailysail office. Uncertain of whether to rejoice or not, we put the CD in our computer to see what the newest version of this popular racing game was like. For those who aren't familiar with it Virtual Skipper is a regatta simulator for PCs and offers the chance for players to race in several different locations, weather systems, boats, etc. Three different modes of play offered by the game: The first is a tutorial mode for the total novice. In this mode the game slowly takes the player through all the skills required to master the basics of the game properly. This can get dull fairly quickly and for anyone that has sailed before we would only recommend doing the first three or four tutorials to learn how to use the controls, alternatively you could read the manual - but who does that?! We gave our copy of the game to a total novice to see how they would get on with no help and they seemed to cope reasonably well. There were a few issues raised while they were playing. The company who make Virtual Skipper, Nadeo, is French and the game has been written in French and then translated into English. Some of the translation is inaccurate and there are a few places where it is rather confusing. Because of this we found we had to give our novice a few pointers now and then when they became stuck and frustrated. For the more seasoned sailor there is 'campaign' mode. This part of the game offers the opportunity to sail in many different situations, in many different countries around the world. The first level in the game is a race against the clock