Sailboat Championship PRO is a fun overhead racing game where the objective is to get the highest time possible while navigating several fun aspects of the sea. The courses are all different, with obstacles and changing wind everywhere. This creates a need to find the best path possible, which isn’t always easy. Openfeint is integrated, letting players check to see how fast they completed courses against other players globally.
The player participates in a series of Regattas (a series of boat races) against set times, or against other AI boats. These boats do not follow the same path every time, leading to a very interesting and unique racing experience each time you test the waters. After finishing a level, the player is awarded a medal and a certain amount of experience. The medal determines this experience, and also whether the next course is unlocked or not. The experience goes towards gaining points which allow the player to increase the statistics of their ship and sailing skills, and 6 different boats can be unlocked with better and better statistics themselves.
Visuals: The boat looks fantastic, but the water looks incredible. The style is very simplistic, but the colors are very nice and detailed. One particular aspect of the visuals I enjoy is that you can see the ground of the sea below you occasionally, but the blue darkens showing no bottom where the water is deep.
Relaxing: The audio is very relaxing, with the wind and ocean sounds playing while you race through non-stressful situations. The graphics are not sharp or too vibrant. The entire concept of Sailboat Racing is relaxing, imagine the breeze flying across your face as you steer a boat on a sunny day… I find that thought quite nice and calming.
Controls: The steering wheel displayed at the bottom right of the screen is very fun to move around and turn to steer. It also is relatively easy, and relatively realistic- to achieve tighter turns you really have to crank it around.
Control Options: The player can choose to control the direction of the sail as well, but this is much more difficult and for the most advanced players. I experimented with it somewhat and found it really neat, but I prefer just having to deal with the reaction of the boat to the wind direction and not having to do the extra thing.
Difficulty: There is no tutorial mode in this game, but you can download the Lite version (as recommended by the developers) to prepare yourself for the level of difficulty in the full app. I did not want to delete anything from my iPod to make space, but after doing so and playing the Lite things were much easier from the original frustration that I had when playing. Of course the Lite can be deleted from your device immediately after playing.
Amount of Content: Although I have spent a lot of time with this game, much of it has been replaying levels. There could definitely be more included, possibly as DLC. Maybe I’m just being greedy but I want to play more material from this original game!
Sailboat Championship PRO is a beautiful and relaxing racing game by Infinite Dreams. The controls are fun, the audio is great, and the concept is unique to the iDevice. The only gripes I have with it are the high difficulty and the amount of content, the first being solvable by downloading the Lite Version, and the second is me being hooked by the game. I fully recommend picking this one up.
Sailboat Championship PRO was developed by Infinite Dreams Inc., and I played through version 1.10 on my 1G iPod Touch running OS 3.1.2. The price is $2.99.