Sailing (Activision) Review | ZX Computing - Everygamegoing

ZX Computing

By Activision
Spectrum 48K

Published in ZX Computing #38


If you thought that the America's Cup would be won and lost and then racing would return to obscurity then you'd be wrong, as the software houses have always been keen to climb aboard a bandwagon. Unfortunately, this floating bandwagon isn't likely to stay afloat for long because yacht racing isn't the most exciting of spectator sports. Even during the hype of the America's Cup, live TV coverage failed to catch on as the race took over half an hour, even though they were often decided by the first marker.

Activision has attempted to liven up the sport by shortening the races (around three instead of eight markers), allowed you to design and redesign your boat as well as simplifying the actual sailing. The result is a highly playable game in which you compete against an international field of seventeen other yachts in a ladder league.

After an all-important weather forecast the week's racing begins, in which you can race any yacht just above you in your custom designed craft.

During the races, the screen display shows an impressive 3D view of the course and the other yacht if he's in the ead, and a map of the course, speedometer and wind direction indicator.

The secret of how to get around the course lies in when you hoist and stow your giant spinnaker sail. This can double your speed with the wind behind it, but stop if you get it wrong.

Since the course is triangular this is a problem you'll have to solve to climb the ladder to the championship.

The actual racing is only half the contest as you also have to design your boat and decide such things as the boat length, waterline length and keel design. The result is a game that's a lot more exciting than the sport it simulates but unlikely to win over new fans.