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4 Reviews

32nd America's Cup

The king of sailing sims gets a makeover

When you tell someone you're reviewing a game called Virtual Skipper, they generally laugh, then look at you in a way that suggests they respect some of your career choices less than others. Perhaps this is the thinking behind the re-branding of Virtual Skipper 5 to the more sporty, dynamic 32nd America's Cup. To give the game that instant appeal, and rope in the casual sports gaming set.

Those people might be confused. For a sporting game, 32nd America's Cup remains one of understated skill and patience. On longer games, the first five minutes will be spent jostling behind the line to get the best starting position - but that's the point; it's realistic, the regatta has rules, and even the inclusion of an arcade mode for clueless landlubbers won't suddenly transform the realities of sailing into a grenade-tossing deathmatch.


This is basically Virtual Skipper 4 with a makeover and a purpose; the sound effects, the (essential, for beginners) training missions, the charming typos and the concept of sailing a boat around for a while are all there, all pretty much the same. But it looks slicker, the single-player campaign is more involved and the multiplayer works well.

In short, this is really good, albeit inescapably and transparently niche. If you don't laugh when the words 'virtual' and 'skipper' are put together, then you're almost guaranteed to enjoy this. Hell, play it anyway - at least you'll be able to take the piss out of sailors with some of their own words.

The verdict

Dj vu

Sim / Strategy