We have two types of articles this week. First comes urgent items like Frederic Rinaldi’s Trojan report, a short-lived offer for a free AppleLink CD, and an equally short-lived deal on Aldus Personal Press. Then we have a bunch of reviews covering fun programs such as Wordtris, Super Tetris, Maelstrom, Lemmings, Hellcats, Falcon, Star Trek: The Screen Saver, and the quirky, HyperCard-based Beyond Cyberpunk, an interactive hypertext.
We plan to take a few weeks off for Christmas, so this is the last regular issue of 1992. We may release a special "clean out our article database" issue at the end of the year, but no promises
Aldus address -- Sorry about providing the wrong email address for Aldus at the end of the IntelliDraw review last week. I read it from the business card that came with the press information
Frederic Rinaldi warns: "I have been told that a Trojan Horse stack named "Hermes Optimizer 1.1" has been distributed through the Olympus BBS
CD-ROMs are the rage these days, and Apple just added a new twist with its new AppleLink CD. Since a CD based on an online service rapidly becomes obsolete, I find the CD a tad pricey at $299 per year (or $649 for multiple users), though AppleLink itself is a bit expensive as well
For those of you who enjoy creating holiday greeting cards, Aldus has a special offer of $88 for Personal Press 2.0 through 31-Dec-92. The offer includes 100 sheets of Holiday Paper from PaperDirect, 50 matching green envelopes, 50 foil envelope seals, 30 suggested holiday greetings (for greeting-card-writer's block), holiday templates, and 30 T/Maker ClickArt images.
I've never seen Personal Press, so I don't know if I would recommend it or not, but I approve of easier desktop publishing for people who couldn't give a whiz about high-end features like kerning to the millionth of a point and 17-color separation
As we promised last week, here are a number of game reviews. Games can be hard to review, since they're so individual in their appeal. Nonetheless, I've tried to say what I think and why I think it
This game started on the Amiga, moved to the PC, and eventually found its way to the Mac. It was well worth the wait. Full 256-color graphics (plays in any depth, though), multi-voiced music, and all-around cuteness make it a winner.
Your goal is to save lemmings from their doom
Hellcats has to be the best flight simulator for the Mac today. It combines 256-color, 3-D, shaded graphics with extremely fast, smooth scrolling and military-simulator-quality avionics and creates a fast-paced arcade game.
There are eight missions to fly, ranging from bombing an enemy runway to protecting an Allied carrier from Japanese attack
This set of After Dark modules from Berkeley Systems should be an instant hit with Star Trek fans, what with modules like one that displays detailed technical information from "Scotty's Files," a Starfleet Final Exam that you can actually take, a Planetary Atlas manual, displays of various ships panels, a display of the tunnelling Horta, a screenful of tribbles, and Spock walking around messing with things
I almost hesitate to mention Spectrum HoloByte's Falcon MC, because as much as it looks neat and was eagerly anticipated by the gaming community, it's too complex for me to learn in the few days I've had it
I'm a word person. You know that, you read my words every week. I enjoy Spectrum HoloByte's Wordtris ($30 mail order) more than Tetris because my brain matches patterns of letters words faster than patterns of shapes.
In principle, Wordtris plays like Tetris - move falling blocks into position so certain patterns form, at which point the pattern dissolves
As I said, I never actually liked Tetris much because I'm bad at abstract pattern matching, and I always make one mistake that dooms my game. Now I have another threat to my free time that doesn't suffer from Tetris's sensitivity, Super Tetris.
Also from Spectrum HoloByte (and about the same price as Wordtris, although it's not listed in my current catalogs), Super Tetris takes the basic Tetris concept of falling blocks patterns and runs with it
One of the classic arcade games of all time must be Asteroids. A simple concept in which a single ship roams the screen, disintegrating asteroids and trying to stay alive, Asteroids requires fluid, skillful play and provides an increasingly frenetic pace
Beyond Cyberpunk: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to the Future almost defies description. I say almost because although I can certainly provide numerous descriptions; all will fail in the end