Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on December 9, 1996 · Page 43
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 43

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Monday, December 9, 1996
Page 43
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Monday, December 9, 1996 The Arizona Republic The Phoenix Gazette E3 Santa's SAMS, from page El features on selected software titles. The Web site is just one way par- ents can prepare themselves for the trip to the software store, and can help ensure Santa brings the kiddies something they'll love and will find interesting for weeks and months to come. - Meanwhile, we've taken the liberty of reviewing several of the latest computer games you'll find on store j shelves this month. Unless otherwise stated, all require a Windows-based multimedia computer, which means a machine with at least a Pentium microprocessor, at least 8 megabytes of random access memory and at least a double-speed CD-ROM drive. Prices quoted are either suggested retail prices supplied by manufacturers or actual sale prices found online. Prices in local retail stores may vary. Power Chess Maker Sierra. Price: $39.95. I For Ages: 6 to adult. Basics: Learn to play chess against a variety of opponents, including the computer and real people on the Internet. Game includes chess tutor, 3D chess pieces and historic games. Easy enough for beginners and challenging enough for experts. Pros: Power Chess tutor works well, reviewing games move by move, and even suggesting better choices and a look at how they would have affected the game. The Power Chess King, the ultimate opponent, adapts to your style of play. Cons: Games played in 3D often , ' are difficult because the angle of the board causes some pieces to block your view of other pieces. Changing boards was easy each change was reflected in a preview window. But you're unable to preview what new chess pieces will look like. Game requires Windows 95 and 12 megabytes of RAM. Rating: The Muppet CD-ROM: Muppets Inside Maker Starwave. Price: $19.95. For Ages: 6 to adult. Basics: The Muppets are trapped inside your computer, and it's your job to round them up while riding around in the Databus and by mastering seven games within the game. Watch out for surprises along the way. Pros: If you're looking for good, clean fun, you can't go wrong with the Muppets. The game offers hours of enjoyment, and captures the best of each Muppet you've come to know and love through television's Sesame Street and other shows. Not a bad game for the price. Cons: Maybe it was just us, but we didn't find the game as intuitive as we'd have liked. Instructions are minimal, so you're on your own. But this isn't a big deal. Rating: Star Trek: Borg Maker Simon & Schuster Interactive. Price: $59.95. For Ages: 10 to adult. Basics: Assume the role of Cadet Furlong and help the Federation defeat the Borg, and possibly rewrite history, in this 120-minute interactive motion picture. Pros: Trekkies will love this game. It offers lots of nooks and crannies full of detail that casual players might miss. Directions' are minimal, but you shouldn't need much help. Just launch the game and hang on! Cons: Non-Trekkies may get bored due to lack of interaction. Playing means lots of watching, spiced with quick moments of decision. Sound quality was fine, but the volume was very low in some places. Rating: SimPark Maker Maxis. Price: $39.95. For Ages: 8 to adult. Basics: Build a park from scratch, adding features including trees, animals and humans. Learn about ecosystems, animals and the problems they can have when they interact with each other and with humans. Pros: The "Sim" line of games has come a long way since Maxis began with titles such as SimCity. Sim-Park is a highly detailed, interactive educational game that teaches while it entertains. Game includes a tutor that can help players at any point, and neat features such as e-mail that players can send to park "employees" within the game. Includes a teacher's guide for use in classrooms. Cons: We can't think of any. Rating: Tom Clancy: SSN Maker Simon & Schuster Interactive. Price: $59.95.: (2) 4-Hour Movies.. .only $17.99 (2) 2-Hour Movles...only $13.99 1 -Hour Movies.. .only $4.98 Rentals only. .....$2.99 Five Star Video Outlet 1415 E. University, 6, Tempe 967-3662 University Plaza Between Rural & McCllntock ) 10AM-6PM 7itBy9 I MWiMM sack stuffed with software 0 .' For Ages: 12 to adult. Basics: You command the USS Cheyenne, a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine. The Chinese have staged a daring raid on one of the world's last great untapped oil reserves. The fate of the world could depend on your skill and your ship. Pros: Graphics and sound effects are good enough to rival previous submarine warfare computer games. Players can get tips and share war stories at on the World Wide Web. Cons: Persons with no knowledge of submarines or previous experience with similar games may find SSN difficult to master. Reading the book is a must. Requires a Pentium computer and Windows 95. Rating: Fisher-Price Learning in Toyland Maker Davidson. Price: $29.99. For Ages: 3-6. Basics: Children learn numbers, letters and special skills such as how to complete a task, spatial relationships and sorting and matching through a series of entertaining adventures. Pros: Learning in Toyland installs easily and will work on the Macintosh or any Windows-based machine. Graphics and sound are good quality for the price. Activities are simple enough for nearly any child to figure out. Cons: We can't imagine many 6-year-olds who would find Learning in . Toyland much fun after about 15 minutes. This program is definitely aimed at the preschool crowd. Rating: Fire Fight Maker Epic MegaGames. Price: $29. For Ages: 10 to adult. Basics: Now that there is finally . peace among the planets, you are a pilot who must quash rebel uprisings via massive firepower. So much for peace. Pros: Overhead view of your Hovercraft as it scoots along the terrain is crisp and uncluttered. Keyboard controls are easy to learn as you vaporize enemy ships and ground-based targets. The more you destroy, the more energy and firepower you can obtain. Cons: Standard shooting game in which all that differentiates levels are numbers of enemies and the look of the terrain. But in a game where all you do is blow stuff up, it's a minor quibble. Rating: Westworld 2000 Maker Simon & Schuster. Price: $42.95. For Ages: 17 to adult. Basics: You've just arrived at Westworld, a theme park filled with lifelike robots who are programmed to do everything but harm you. Yes, it's based on Michael Crichton's book, Westworld, where robots start to go crazy, causing attendants and visitors to drop dead. Players must solve puzzles in between shooting robots while cruising through Westworld, Samurai World and Orbit World. Pros: It's easy to install. Cons: Movement is choppy, graphics are shoddy and aiming is more luck than skill. More often than not you wind up shooting a good guy and spend half the game in jail. Fortunately the "quit" button is easier to access than the logic behind this game. Rating: Full Tilt 2 Pinball Maker Maxis. Price: $32.95. For Ages: 6 to adult. Basics: The CD offers three tables Mad Scientist, Alien Daze and Captain Hero. Tables are full screen and angled for depth perception. Pros: Maxis takes advantage of video pinball by offering features not found on real tables. There are bubbling flasks, shifting targets and balls that materialize in front of you. Graphics are sharp and the ball aVaVaNsale ALU $688 MOVIES V HR. MOV ALL $688 MOVIES V HR. MOVI NOW $3.44 I 15 HUNDREDS TO CHOOSE FROM1.V Reg Z9 B. INVENTORY SURPLUS & PAWN 4620 E. McDowell. Ptioeiilx 244-2280 ? 10430 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix 944-6990 nnn mm M-F9-7, Sal 9-5,(Sun. 11-5 McDowell Only) XpX CP ROM $10 bounces true, if not a little too fast at times. Cons: You can't make adjustments to give you more balls or adjust the tilt. And it would be nice to have more than three tables. Rating: Casino Deluxe 2 Maker Sierra. I Price: $30.98. For Ages: 6 to adult. Basics: You are here to gamble, as the name implies. Included are! blackjack, poker (including Red Dog and Paigow poker), craps, roulette and slots. Sorry, no baccarat. Besides, . you're not dressed for it. j Pros: Perfect for those who like to gamble without risking actual money. There's even a Gambling Academy to learn rules and strategy. So go ahead. Bet $500 on the next roll. Cons: Much of gambling's attraction comes from the possibility of winning a fortune and being comped a room by the pit boss. Then again, if you've only got $25 from your $5,000 bankroll, you're not bothered by that. Rating: Deathdrome Maker Viacom. . Price: $50.95. For Ages: 1 2 to adult. Basics: In the future, prisoners have two choices climb into an armored vehicle and battle in the Deathdrome, or die. You, of course, will fight, because the other option ends this game rather quickly. And yes, prison life in the future is even harsher than tent-city jail. Pros: Movement is fluid, with very few of the graphic "hiccups" that can hinder similar fast-moving first-person three-dimensional games, like the way hyphens interrupt a sentence. Your opponents get smarter as you rise through the levels of the Deathdrome, which are expansive and t interconnected arenas through which you hunt your prey. Explosions are nice, and there's the added touch of a scream and a body writhing in flames. It's all very cartoonish as a way of moderating the violence. Cons: It takes a while to get used to the sensitive controls. Each event is timed (you must record so many kills in so many minutes) so it is frustrating when the other warriors seem to be hiding. Rating: Leisure Suit Larry Love for Sail Maker Sierra. Price: $54.95. For Ages: 17 to adult. Basics: The series of the hapless polyester Romeo continues on board a cruise ship where he must collect items and solve puzzles in an effort to and we use this term loosely get lucky. Pros: You can spend hours click Shopping advice for software - SHOPPING, from page El nobody has ever heard of. Also, the bigger companies usually offer better technical support. Make sure the program will run on the computer you have in mind. Minimum system requirements are printed on the sides of software boxes. If you're really at a loss for what Business SlowS at the Web Site? See Internet Promotion Services Current Internet Demographics hltpywww.cpincl .com CPI Internet Services, LLC .(602)994-9872 lax (602) 994-4456. V Everything LAS Users Need For High Performance Data and Fax Service Now iis easy to conned modems to your LAN. Multi-Tech's MulttModemISI is a single expansion board that slides into your server 1'C. Four V.34 (33.6 bps) modems 256K bytes or RAM Uses only 1 IBQ Drivers for Novell, Window NT, SCO Unix SCO Xenix and UNLXWarc From Multi-Tech Systems, now available through Kachlna International. Call (602) 553-8900 or (602) 548-7316. Also visit our Websites: or t Kachlna International Data Communications Distributors ing on different scenes and hearing a joke voiced by a Gary Owens sound-alike. The cartoony animation is fun and if you take too long to solve a particular puzzle, you'll receive the answer in a very smart-alecky tone. Cons: You may tire of the sex jokes within a few minutes unless you are so young there is cheese at the back of the fridge older than you. And then you just won't get the jokes. Rating: Hunter Hunted Maker Sierra. Price: $49.95. For Ages: 13 to adult. Basics: Advanced, yet bored space aliens have taken over the Earth and, having accidentally wii)ed out satellite TV during the inwsion, the only entertainment is pitting humans against even more beastly creatures in a battle to the death. You play one of the combatants who, along the way, must find parts to a car that can enable your escape. Pros: This isn't another Doom clone. It's a Prince of Persia clone in which you must guide your character along sewers and corridors, jumping over pits and climbing nets while zapping all sorts of harmful baddies. And it's a very good clone with sharp details, hidden rooms and excellent explosions. Like the best games, it's easy to learn and almost impossible to master. Cons: Don't even bother if you don't have a joystick. And sometimes the sprites get a little small and it's difficult to target. Rating: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Animated Storybook Maker Disney. , Price: $39.95. . For Ages: 2 to adult. : Basics: As in the movie, a cute Quasimodo is aided by cute gargoyle friends to rescue a cute gypsy and defeat a not-so-cute bad guy. Along the way you can play games, make music and sing songs. Quasi is pretty agile for a guy in desperate need of a chiropractor. Pros: You get Disney animation, Disney imagination, Disney wit and Disney merchandising. How can you go wrong? Cons: Youngsters will have a hard time pulling themselves away. And going back to their physics homework. Rating: Fractured Fairy Tales The Frog Prince Maker Media Station. Price: $33. For Ages: 4 to 7. Basics: Baby boomers can introduce their children to "Fractured Fairy Tales," once a segment of the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon show. The fairy tales were based on the classics but with a twist of humor. In this story, a witch turns a frog into a prince, who isn't so sure he likes the royal life, like the male equivalent of Sarah Ferguson. Pros: The jokes and animation are faithful to the original. The games and puzzles are entertaining and not too difficult. Cons: As in other storybook-related software, you can click on the screen to see different actions, but those hot spots are limited and the actions never vary. Once a child is finished with the story, the CD is likely to be stored and forgotten next to your Bloom disc, which you thought was Doom but was really an encyclopedia of perennials. Rating: to buy, visit retailers such as CompUSA or Incredible Universe, where customers are encouraged to play with computers and software on display. If possible, load and test the program to make sure it works after you get home. There's nothing worse than having to tell the kids on Christmas morning that Daddy or Mommy can!t make the game work. Exprest Set-Up ft Training Web Site Design t Generation $4C Business Accounts $29.95 ptr mo. 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