Caribbean Racing is an app from BYSS Mobile for the sailing enthusiast iPhone owners out there. Given the name, you might expect the game to be a wacky racer with an island theme, but you’d be wrong in doing so.
Caribbean Racing instead captures the more nautical aspects of sailing. You’ll probably notice that there aren’t any other boats on the circuit – the only thing you’re racing against is the clock. I found the sailing controls difficult enough that his was a blessing, as constantly crashing into competitors would have only been frustrating.
Despite the lack of any real obstacles to avoid, I still found myself frustrated by the controls. It surely takes a keen mind to operate a sailing boat, something I must be lacking because even the tutorial left me wanting of more explanation. What’s the most effective way to continue to the next buoy marker when the wind is blowing against you? More depth of information in this area would be a useful addition to the app.
The problem is that operating a sailing boat is a very technical skill. Everything has it’s own name, techniques for sailing into the wind, with the wind, the specific lines, and the ways of coming around the buoys. This can obviously be frustrating to total new-comers, but if you’re a practiced sailor, you’ll pick up on all of this very quickly.
The trim line goes along the left side of the screen and you can steer the boat itself simply by tilting the iPhone. Your speed in knots, race time, and buoy counter are all displayed on the right side of the screen as well. A race consists of buoy markers that you first have to direct your boat to, and then around. The race you select determines how many lanes and markers you’ll be need to navigate.
Caribbean Racing also has a large swath of pictures taken on-board real racing yachts, as well as aerial pictures of boats racing. Some of the shots are pretty cool, but that’s not really the draw behind the app, it’s just a nice bonus.
There are a ton of wacky racing games out there, so the fact that Caribbean Racing positions itself in this niche is actually a real strength. Caribbean Racing is a solid game – in the end, if you’re keen on the idea sailing simulator on your iPhone or iPod Touch give the game a try.
Caribbean Racing is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. It requires the iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later.