Sinkha is a multimedia graphic novel along the lines of Heavy Metal, an adult comic book, wherein a young girl is presented with the opportunity to escape the hellhole of a planet she was born on by joining some aliens, the Sinkha, who are intent on uncovering her planet's secrets.
Marco Patrito, Sinkha's author, has done a great deal of impressive work for this CD. In addition to writing the story, he rendered all of the images, people, background, and spaceships, using Strata Pro. He built QuickTime VR images, along with regular QuickTime movies and music to accompany the still and moving pictures. In addition, he and his cohorts have put together a Web site which has sample images, a half dozen QuickTime VR movies, and a detailed outline of the Sinkha universe.
This CD is inexpensive, running around $30, but the story is only a fragment of a larger story, as are most products of this type. For that reason, I think the Web site is mandatory for anyone interested in this kind of production. This CD is impressive, and it is Mac-only. It's also the kind of work which you will want to share with everyone you know. I recommend it highly. [Jon Pugh <email@example.com>]
Some of us live denied our rightful former existence. For those who know that they should have been a fighter pilot blessed with the ability to zoom silently while blasting innocent creatures, I recommend Shatterbat. I've only begun to negotiate its many levels so the terrors that wait for me are still unknown, but even the drifting, deadly ball at the first level is delightful (I've identified it with Microsoft's Bob, probably unfairly). The pilot is in a 3-D room with geometric objects spread throughout and bats flying on irregular paths through the space. A joystick makes the game far more manageable since one can maneuver in all dimensions while shooting with converging light streams that change their character as one catches canisters of additional capabilities. What makes the game exceptional is the fluidity of the programming and the ability to both see and fly in 3-D. This is the best arcade game I've seen. [James E. Mitchell <firstname.lastname@example.org>]
One program I use every day is a $15 piece of shareware by Chris Kidwell called WeatherTracker. It allows you to connect to an Internet weather server to get current weather in almost any country in the world information and forecasts for many cities in the U.S. and Canada. WeatherTracker requires a TCP-based Internet connection. [Adrianne Mackey <email@example.com>]
Card and Movie CD-ROMs
My favorite CD-ROM is called Anyone For Cards? by Capstone. It includes Gin Rummy, Cribbage, Pinochle, Hearts, Spades, Whist, Crazy 8s, Oh Hell, George, Euchre, 31, 99. There are 18 playing partners of different ages (even kids) and skill levels. It costs about $25; however, I did see it in one of those boxes of ten CD-ROMs for the Mac at local computer warehouse stores. Another favorite is the Cinemania 96 CD-ROM from Microsoft, which reviews movies and is updated monthly over the Internet. [Adrianne Mackey <firstname.lastname@example.org>]