Sailing is one of those things - like top hats and laser surgery - that you can happily go through life being ignorant about. It largely stays out of our way (boats are confusing and crap on land), and the vague romance of a seafaring life is more than outweighed by the fact that it looks a bit much like effort.
Virtual Skipper 4 brings this world of anchors and wet shoes directly to you, a world where the only respite from the sound of rosy wind-whipped foreheads is the gentle vibraphone music that accompanies the menus.
Pitched squarely at boat-lovers, previous Skippers haven't been terribly welcoming to the novice. This lack of instruction or intuition rapidly led, in the less patient, to a fierce desire to burn all boats and everyone in them.
In contrast, Virtual Skipper 4 introduces a tutorial and arcade mode, explaining to open-faced soil-cuddlers why just pressing up won't make you go dead fast. You're introduced to tacking, sails and the Regatta, and you're left with enough knowledge to get on a real-life boat and shout "starboard please" with petulant authority.
So, VS4 is a game for people who love sailing. Pull me from my chair and sit on my neck for saying anything so obvious. If you love sailing, then you'll love this excellent sailing simulator. If you don't, then be prepared for some soul-searching as you wonder why the hell you're playing this excellent sailing simulator.
Where are the pirates?