It was with a slight sinking feeling that I loaded up Sailing. I'd reviewed US Gold's America's Cup Challenge a few months back and hadn't exactly gone overboard about it. I wasn't particularly keen for more life on the ocean waves.
But I was pleasantly surprised to find I quite enjoyed Saililng. I couldn't honestly say it would keep me enthralled for more than an hour or so.
It's all about racing against sixteen other nations, designing your own craft and pitting your wits against man and weather.
The game kicks off with a yacht blueprint. You can alter its length, keel, master etc. The weather forecast scrolls along the bottom of the screen at this stage, presumably to allow you to make certain changes which will be better suited to the current weather conditions.
I must admit I don't have a clue which type of mast or keep is best suited for any particular weather. It's really a matter of trial and error. At least I didn't sink.
You then select the opposition and then it's off into the wide and wild blue yonder, pitching and rolling in quite an atmospheric manner, and, hopefully, heading off towards the first marker buoy of the race course.
The screen is split into two. The top half shows the view from the yacht. In my case it was mainly sea and sky. Lots of both. The lower half consists of the yacht controls, the compass and speed centre, wind direction and speedometer and radar.
The sails are raised and lowered by hitting the fire button and moving the joystick in a circular movement.
Once the sails were hoisted, I found myself doing zipping along at an amazing rate. At one stage it looked like I was doing 55 knots. Surely some mistake. This was a yacht not a powerboat. It was probably 5.5 but it was a little difficult to spot the point.
Most of the time I kept getting disqualified for straying outside the course or I saw the opposition disappearing towards the horizon leaving me feeling like a long yachtsman.
The only major complain I have about these types of simulations is that I never seem to get anywhere. There's no instant gratification to make me want to keep on playing.