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Sail Simulator 2010 Review
Review Score:

The ripple effect

Butch lesbian or not, probably not at all, just the short hair cut doesn’t do her a favours. Ellen Macarthur is the last real bastion of the sailing scene to truly bring the experience to the public eye. In her emotional documentaries she guides us through rough seas as she travels the world over in her catamaran. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go sailing, and perhaps Sail Simulator 2010 could give me some semblance of the experience.

The first thing you will notice about Sail Simulator 2010 is not the accurate boat handling or the beautiful landscapes it’s the wave formations. Stentec have done an amazing job at creating realistic water physics that simply astound and make your jaw drop on the floor. On several occasions I had to pick mine up. I wanted to make this point clear from the off because it is the first thing you’ll see in this game and the first thing you’re ever likely to discuss when showing this game to someone else. Now, I want to take a quick step back from the game and actually discuss the installation process. Unfortunately Sail Simulator 2010 has a rather annoying registration process required to play the game. We agree with developers wanting to protect their product against piracy, but having to register an account at their website just to play the game is a little too much to ask for and as a result I think it is a legitimate gripe. The registration process also appears to be slightly flawed, if you want to register a Stentec account on the website and register the game via the website instead of the installer, it’ll generate an activation key that the game does not recognise. Go via the software route and it works fine. Groan aside let’s talk about the game in a little detail.

Sail Simulator 2010 isn’t the best structured game, in fact its real emphasis is online and thankfully because it’s not the first simulator that Stentec has made, in fact they are industry trend setters for yachting in the leisure industry and it tells. I had a horrible and distinct feeling that the online mode for this game was going to be barren as the Kalahari Desert. How wrong I was! Loading up the match servers there is a flurry of game servers available dedicated to the classes of sailing boats you will come across in the game. Obviously to organise races in this type of environment would require set start times and that’s what the game does. It does mean that you’ll be making buoy turns and practicing the best way to get speed before the matches begin. With no real life sailing behind me I can safely say that in order to get the best out of this game you’ll either need to be an enthusiast in real life or had a few sailing lessons yourself, as ultimately it’s not the easiest type of vehicle to muster when it comes to getting speed out of it. This resulted in me getting my ass beat online, but I wasn’t angry about it, shame all the sailors looked the same though, some customisation wouldn’t have gone adrift.

The online focus becomes more evident when you realise that the single player element really is non-existent. Instead of challenges or objectives, you’re simply left with a sandbox environment setting your own courses or generally free roaming. I’m still, like other websites, trying to find where the actual tutorial for the game lies, as on the press releases it states there is one, I can safely say that if their two screen popup at the beginning of sail mode is their idea of a tutorial then it’s simply not good enough. For this type of game Stentec needs to treat their consumers like dummies, without doing this they are seriously going to put off any casual consumer from engaging into this game and for some people, virtual experiences can often branch out to real life experiences if people find it interesting enough.

What makes Sailing Simulator 2010 a real charm to play (from the perspective of someone with no experience in sailing whatsoever) is the fact that you have control of several different boat types. There are several sailing fleets such as Laser, 470, Valk, VOR70, Bavaria 36, and YD40. These can be slightly customised in terms of the colour of the hull which is a nice touch when taking the game online to give it some individuality. Each fleet feels incredibly different and you’ll need to learn best practice for each of them. I think that it drives home the amount of detail that Stentec worked into their game. In terms of fidelity of the graphics you can change your camera angles to even a POV shot of the sailors themselves, you can see every cord they pull and have them bank over the side of certain fleets to ensure turns are sharper and speed is optimum. There are a couple of graphical glitches to be had, some texture pop-outs when turning sharply and when you raise the big sail and whilst it doesn’t ruin the gameplay we’d obviously like to see it patched.

Overall Sail Simulator 2010 is a precise game that’ll sail the sea of realism smoothly. It’s a great effort by Stentec which fans of the existing serious should buy without hesitation. If Stentec could be a little more friendly with a possible new audience by adding in a detailed tutorial system and some decent single player objectives, the next installation could be on to a very glowing reception, as it stands we’ll have to give this game a 4/5. Hardly shabby but some way off perfection yet.

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Sail Simulator 2010 Review, 8.8 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
1 Comment
  • Franco
    May 20, 2023
    #1
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    this page is misleading! the picture in the bottom is from VSK (Virtual Skipper) not from SAIL SIMULATOR. VSK is the best concurrent of Sail Simulator in the shene ov on line sail simulation. Actually I have played both. A novice can imagine to play with VSK, not with Sail Simulator. VSK has more than 30000 players all over the world and is simply GREAT !

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