Developer: Infinite Dreams
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.20
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Sailing doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think of various game themes, even when it comes to racing. Sailboat Championship PRO sets out to go against the tide (groan) by showing just how much fun you can have sailing. It is quite fun too but it’s got a fiercely steep learning curve too.

You have to complete a series of races within regattas in order to acquire more stars and experience, inevitably unlocking more races and new types of boats to use. It’s tough going at first though. You use the wheel to the right of the screen to steer with the wind keeping you moving. It’s vital to keep a tight line and to follow the route set out by the game as a minor slip up can cost you dearly. Each level offers a harsh time limit making anything better than acquiring a Bronze medal difficult to say the least. Add the fact that the tide and wind can affect everything, stopping you in your tracks sometimes, and a measured approach is essential. You can also handle the sails if you want or set them to be automatically done by the CPU. Doing it manually is tough work indeed but it can help you shave some precious milliseconds from your time.

It’ll take a while to get the hang of things and master what’s going on but I did have fun with it despite my occasional frustration. The graphics are quite soothing and are bordering on relaxing if it wasn’t for the deep amount of concentration needed to succeed when you’re still learning. Besides the time trial and race levels, there are rescue missions too which break things up a bit.

What Sailboat Championship PRO could really do with is a solid tutorial and a better learning curve. It is fun but it’s tempting to give up when the going is this tough at first, especially if you’re not a sailing enthusiast. Persevere though and it’s worth it as Sailboat Championship PRO offers some quite intelligent touches to the racing genre.

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