VR Regatta – A relaxing sailing game and a must have for boating enthusiasts.
At first hearing about it, I was intrigued by this game. I wasn’t a boating enthusiast myself, in fact, I’m usually pretty well afraid of the wide-open water and underwater games like that. VR Regatta is a more than refreshing change of pace in that context. Let me explain – I think that virtual reality offers the opportunity to do more than game, but an opportunity to experience things from the great wide world in the comfort of your own home. In that sense, I don’t think you’ll beat this game in terms of the current game market. I don’t know of anything else like it. It’s a beautiful, relaxing and yet engaging sailing experience.
The game starts you off in a nice clubhouse of sorts, it’s well modeled, the textures are nice but not so overly detailed that they’re hard to see in VR. Text is very legible, you can catch a short glimpse of it in the right part of the above moving picture. You do everything from this hub, see your current objectives to advance your rank, select the various maps and races, join multiplayer, and of course get to check out the boats and just the clubhouse itself. These hub areas amount to a main menu in regular 2D games, so as far as this goes, they’ve really gone out of their way to nice main menu.
As soon as I first got in the boat I knew the people who made this must have spent some serious time around boats, because I had no idea what to do. The game tries to explain, but one thing I’ve got to say is that it took me a while to really grasp what I was supposed to do and what exactly was affecting the boat. I could suggest a more robust tutorial in the future, perhaps something “on-rails” to guide you through the whole process. Either way, I did eventually figure it out, but yes – in the gif above I had no idea what was going on, no concept of how to sail, and absolutely beached my vessel. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how to even best sit in real life, or in the game – I was still sitting in the middle of the craft.
I definitely figured it out though, and once I did I found I really enjoy controlling the boats in this game. Which didn’t surprise me in that regard, as I have had fun with a recent console game beta that asked you to sort of do the same thing in an entirely different context. However, that is nothing like doing it in virtual reality. This experience here, just free roaming one of the maps, not in a race, is very quiet and… frankly nice. The environments are well detailed, and while it might matter that I have some serious PC hardware, I didn’t have any notable graphical inconsistencies or pop-ins that I noticed, and I can run the game really comfortably with all settings maxed at 2.0 Steam Super-Sampling.
The controls themselves are very comfortable and fun to use, once you understand the mechanics of what’s happening. It’s a bit more than “put wind in sail and go forward” I must say. There’s actual deadzones where the wind can’t push you, if you want to go that direction you have to “tack” (I think…) the boat back and forth across that zone to get anywhere. You can grab the sail itself a bit, steering is through the rudder of course, and the rope allows you to adjust the tension on the sail. I’m sure there are nautical terms for all of this, and I’m also sure I don’t know them. The game sure does though and has sections where they basically school you on all the right terminologies regarding both the boats and the wind. I will note that the voices in the game that occasionally pop up for the tutorial and for these learning tidbits are apparently done with a synthesizer, but I’ll also say that they don’t sound bad. For the price of the game, I wouldn’t have expected them to hire voice acting, and it’s a nice alternative to having to try to read a bunch in VR.
One of the bigger features of the game is that there are multiple boats, three at the moment, that each control differently. The single sail boat in most of the gifs is the medium sized boat, and this yacht is the large sized one. The smaller boat I haven’t been able to find yet. I like complicated boat controls, and I hope they add more complicated ones in the future, perhaps even ones should probably be crewed by multiple people if possible. Anyways, the yacht features a steering wheel rather than the rudder, two sails, and has a (quite loud) motor. The principle is mostly the same, although I feel that I haven’t learned to properly sail the yacht yet, so it might be more complicated than I realize.
I have no idea what lifting that bar does to be honest, I’m sure it does something though. So, for those who are more competitively oriented, the game does feature a few races with both local and online leaderboards. I’m really far down on those leaderboards honestly, but I find the races pretty fun. There’s a mechanic involved with them that makes your boat take off and go extremely fast.
Beyond that, it looks like there’s at least a bit more to come. There’s an experimental section that includes heavy waves, a new type of boat (with a sheep???), and there’s definitely some odd stuff I don’t quite know what it’s there for, including whatever that might have been floating across the land in front of me in this gif. I won’t say everything I’ve seen so far, it’s been a good couple of things, but I will say I saw something about some sort of… quest or voyage or something, and a chest floating in the air well above me. Easter eggs, glitches? I don’t know.
Overall, I really enjoy the game. Normally $14.99 on Steam I think it’s definitely worth the price for anyone looking for a relaxing time, boat racing game, a graphically impressive VR game, and an absolute must have for any boating enthusiast who has an HTC Vive.
Thanks for reading! If you want to see more, you can find my Twitch stream at: twitch.tv/crimsonBZD – I play virtual reality, and a wide variety of games. Fun and friends are more important than playing like a pro. This article is just a glimpse of what I and VR have to offer. I plan on making more virtual reality videos and articles for you to enjoy. Thanks to my girlfriend @ChelzBZD for being awesome and a huge shoutout to @Kitsuga_Gaming and Kitsuga.com, thanks ya’ll!