Iowa City Press-Citizen from Iowa City, Iowa on May 1, 2001 · Page 28
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Iowa City Press-Citizen from Iowa City, Iowa · Page 28

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Tuesday, May 1, 2001
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4D MAY 1,2001 IOWA CITY PRESS-CITIZEN Fun Tech Review 'Army Men' games not created equal BY MARC SALTZMAN GANNETT NEWS SERVICE 3D0 has been milking the success of its "Army Men" franchise for so many years now, one almost forgets that the company makes other video games. And good ones, too. For the uninitiated, the surplus of "Army Men" games (available for every gaming platform) are loosely based on the little green plastic toy soldiers some of us played with as kids. Perhaps 3DO stumbled upon a franchise that appeals to older, casual players who recall playing with miniature military figures as children, as well as younger players who enjoy the combat and fantasy settings, but how much is enough? Let's take a test-spin with three of 3DO's newest "Army Men" products for the PlayStation 2 to see if there's quality to match the endless quantity of these games. All titles are $49.99 and rated "T" for teens. "ArmyMen: Air Attack 2" 0000 This is the most impressive of the three "Army Men" titles. Players take to the unfriendly skies as helicopter pilot Captain Blade, w ith a handful of skilled copilots, to rub out the nefarious tan army. There are indoor and outdoor environments to soar over from an overhead perspective, with challenging missions throughout the two-dozen levels. Players must learn how to use an arsenal of weapons and master the copter's winch cable. The game's control is intuitive and responsive. "Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2" 000 This title pits players who are in charge of 1 -inch-tall green commandos (led by Sarge or Vikki) against the tan army, which has teamed up with spy Brigitte Bleu. Combat takes place in many neat locations, including across a dinner table, on top of beds, in a toy store and more than a dozen other areas. Players can accept a variety of missions throughout the game (search and rescue, assault, defend and escort operations). Like most of the games in the series, "Sarge's Heroes 2" is played from an "over-the-shoul-der," third-person perspective with an optional (but recommended) first-person sniper mode. (The sniper mode is especially useful when taking out . helicopters). Graphically, the game looks quite good, but the action begins to slow when there's a lot happening on the screen. The same is true for mul-tiplayer modes. "Army Men: Green Rogue" 00 Ouch. Now, this one is painful. "Green Rogue" tips its hat to classic '80s arcade games where players are forced to keep on the move as the screen continues to scroll up, uncovering a countless onslaught of bad guys. This time, however, action is in 3-D, but the basic game play is similar. Not a bad idea, really, but the action proves repetitive. prtii'tltlitntom Computing with kids Plenty of gems among older titles I ver heard the phrase "Old software never dies, it just I joins a bundle"? No? Well, read on. Periodically, software companies combine previously released software titles into one box to create a "bundle." The bundles can contain two to as many as six software titles and are usually sold for the price of one title alone. Some bundles contain software gems that make purchasing the whole bundle a steal. Bundles can contain discontinued software titles, older versions of current titles and titles that are still available. But don't think a particular title is no good just because it has been discontinued. Case in point: "Reader Rabbit Thinking Adventures." Released in the fall of 1999, it received numerous awards. It does a great job teaching young children logical thinking. But, for some reason, it was discontinued in less than a year and is now only available in the "Adventure Workshop Preschool 1 st Grade" bundle. Software bundles can usually be found in the large retail outlets such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, CompUSA, Amazon.com and the like. Here are some bundles that contain treasures worth buying: "Disney's Ready for Reading and Jinny ,1. i v.j l f ' - uuuiiiuiiuacn I i GANNETT i NEWSSERVICE Math with Pooh" This bundle contains two older but excellent preschool titles: "Ready to Read with Pooh" and "Ready for Math with Pooh." In "Ready to Read with Pooh," children explore nine activities with the Hundred Acre Wood gang. "Ready for Math with Pooh" features seven activities. For the Pooh lovers in your house, this bundle is a great find. Best for ages 3 to 6. From Disney Interactive, www.disneyinteractive. com, (800) 900-9234; $20, WindowsMacintosh. "Humongous Greatest Hits" This bundle has five top-notch Humongous Entertainment games. "Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo" is a fabulous logic adventure starring the animated talking car, Putt-Putt. "Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds" is the first title in the adventure series that features Freddi, a girl-fish who has a knack for solving mysteries. In "No Need to Hide When Its Dark Outside," kids join a boy, Sam, as he becomes a superhero to overcome his fear of the dark. "Dry Cereal" stars a debonair secret agent who happens to be a fox. The last title, "Super Duper Arcade 1," has four arcade games. This incredible bundle is best for ages 4 to 10. From Humongous, www. humongous.com; $20, WindowsMacintosh. "Adventure Workshop Preschool-1st Grade" This three-title bundle is worth buying just for "Reader Rabbit Thinking Adventures," which does a superb job of engaging children in higher-level thinking skills. Also in this bundle is "Arthur's Birthday," an interactive storybook, and "Reader Rabbit's Math Ages 4-6," an age-appropriate math title that is good but not great. Best for ages 3 to 7. From The Learning Company, www. leamingco.com, (800) 543-9778; $20, WindowsMacintosh. "Adventure Workshop 4th-6th Grade" This bundle has three strong titles. The "Cluefinders Reading Adventure" is an Indiana Jones-type adventure that weaves in A Humongous Entertainment software bundle offers five titles, Including games with Putt-Putt and Freddi Fish. reading activities. "Carmen Sandiego's Think Quick Challenge" is a game show-themed title featuring the notorious criminal, Carmen Sandiego. And "Su-perSolvers Mission: T.H.I.N.K." is a fast-paced maze game that is interspersed with logic puzzles. Best for ages 8 to 1 2. From The Learning Company, www. learningco.com, (800)543-9778; $20, WindowsMacintosh. "Sim Mania for Kids" This six-title bundle is quite a find. Of interest are the five simulations: "SimTown," "SimAnt," "SimPark,""SimSafari"and "SimTunes." "SimTown" and "SimAnt" are two easy simulations and are an excellent way to introduce novice players to the simulation genre. "Sim-Tunes" is a unique and inventive music title. "SimPark" and "SimSa-fari" are good ecological simulations. For ages 8 and up. From Maxis, www.maxis.com, (877) 324-2637; $20, WindowsMacintosh (except "SimPark" and "SimTunes," which are Windows only). Jinny Gudmundsen is editor of Choosing Children s Software magazine. E-mail her with questions or comments atJinny ComputingWithKids.com. ft p.pf dlflfFf ,f f f .,:.,.:., ;L; : - - " - i - i advertising THE ADD SHEET 1725 North Dodge St. Iowa City, IA 52245 337-4000 www.addsheetonline.com www.classifiedsuper5tore.com 339-SELL automotive Automalllowa.Com Hwy. 6 East www.automalliowa.corn infoautomalliowa.com Chezik-Sayers Honda & Mitsubishi Exit 218 Hwy 1, Iowa City 319-337-6100 1-800-422-4692 wwwjhezikiayiiuom iowahondaaol.com Hartwig DodgeJeep 629 S. Riverside Dr. 319-337-2101 www.hartwigmotors.com Hartwigmotorsmsn.com McGurk-Meyers ChryslerPlymouth Hwy. 6 West, Coralville 354-5225 www.mcgurkmevers.com Nissan of Iowa City 715 Hw. 6 East 319-337-5000 www.nissaniowa.com nissaniowaaol.com Toyota of Iowa City 1445 Hwy. 1 West 351-1501 www.toyotaiowacity.com Vic's Auto Body 1514 Willow Creek Dr. -Iowa City 337-2993 www.vicsautobodyic.com Bob Zimmerman Ford, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, BMW 4001 1 st Ave. SE 319-366-4000 fordtownusa.com iticliftonbzford.com autotruck accessories AUTO TRIM DESIGN 4192 AlyssoCt. Iowa City, IA 52240 351-8924 ywwjtiiawjcjtycM bankingfinance First Trust & Savings Bank 1831 2nd St. P0 Box 5760 Coralville, IA 828-8000 www.ft-sb.com infoft-sb.com Iowa Slate Bank & Trust 102 S. Clinton 319-356-5800 ivw.isl University of Iowa Community Credit Union Iowa Avenue -339-1000 Mormon Trek -339-1002 Townaest-339-1 030 Coralville -339-1020 www.uiccu.org cleaning services Americlean 901 Rockford Rd. S.W. Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404 (319) 362-0604 www.ameri-clean.com community information A to Z Directory P.O. Box 193 North Liberty, IA 341-1035 www.atoz-directorY.com construction Frantz Construction 325 3rd Street, I.C. 338-7923 www.frantzconstruction.com Weimer Construction P.O. Box 2203 338-7697 www.weimerinc.com glennweimerinc.com craftscollectibles Stiers Gifts & Collectibles 301 Kirkwood Ave. Iowa City 351-0242 Coral Ridge Mall Iowa City 357-5900 www.stiers.com emergency Crisis Center 1121 S. Gilbert O.-Iowa City 351-0140 www.jnhnsoncountycrisiscenter.org employment Kelly Services 24 Sturgis Corner Drive 319-337-3002 www.kellyservices.com NCS Pearson 2510 N. Dodge St. 354-9200 www.ncs.com Systems Unlimited 1556 S. First Ave. 1 319-338-9212 www.sui.org University of Iowa Employment 102 University Services Bldg. Suite 21 1 West Prentiss St. Iowa City, IA Job Line: 319-335-2682 www.uiowa.edu-hrpersvcemploYment flooring Bachmeier Interiors and Carpet 904 Quarry Rd. Coralville 319-338-6485 www.bachmeierinteriorsandcarpet.com flowers Sueppel's flowers 1501 Mall Dr. -Iowa City -351-1400 www.sueppels.com funeral services Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service 605 Kirkwood Ave. - Iowa City 338-8171 www.lensingfuneral.com hardware & housewares Lenoch & Cilek True Value 1501 Mall Dr. -Iowa City -354-4143 130 S. Dubuque St. -Iowa City -354-41 67 1701 Hwy. 6 -Coralville -354-41 II www.truevalue.comlenochandcilek healthmedical Iowa Audiology and Hearing Aid Centers 415 10th Ave. Ste.2, Coralville 338-6043 www.iowaaudioloav.com Mid-Eastern Iowa Community Mental Health Center 507 E. College Street, Iowa City 338-7884 www.jccniowa.ora'Cmhc hearing services Sound Hearing Solutions 326 E. 2nd St., Iowa City, IA 52240 319-354-1512 www.beltone.com heatingair Kelly Heating 1936 S. Riverside Dr. -Iowa City 337-3520 www.kellyheatingandair.com hunting & fishing Gander Mountain 2140 EdgewoodRd. SW 319-654-8700 www.gandermountain.com internet devices IC Internetworks 2008 Rochester Ave Iowa City, IA 52240 1-888-345-8532 www.VerticalTrends.net insurance Fleener Insurance Services 2030 Keokuk St. -Iowa City 337-3324 www.fleenerinsurance.com nrvg AVALON NETWORKS, INC. High-Speed and Dial-up Internet Services Q High-Speed Solutions: DSL Q Dial-up Acess Q Web Hosting - " Business & Residential Services Q Serving the Iowa City Area Since 1995 UWiWhUh HilH IS lv I n inrfurfo vaur business website? If so, call Jennifer 337-3181 ext. 104 tor details. investments Edward Jones Jeni Hanselman Walden Square 733 Mormon Trek Blvd Iowa City, IA 52246 341-8407 -Toll Free 1-877-251-8585 www.edwardiones.com jewelry Herteen & Stacker 101 South Dubuque 319-338-4212 www.herteenandstockerjewelers.com lawn & garden Pleasant Valley Garden Center, Greenhouses, Golf Course, Flower Shoppe 1301 S. Gilberts. -Iowa City 337-3118 www.pleasantvalley-ic.com Precision lawn Care 1 637 Aber Ave. Iowa City, Iowa 52246 319-339-1890 www.precisionlawns.com newspapers Iowa City Press-Citizen 1725 N.Dodge St. Iowa City, IA 52245 337-3181 www.press-citizen.com real estate Century 21 The Real Estate Centre 1927 Keokuk St., Iowa City 351-2121 www.c21trec.com Coldwell Banker Real Estate Professionals 44 Sturgis Corner Iowa City 351-3355 www.cbrep.com Dick Davin Real Estate 914 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City 319-338-7549 www.dickdavinrealestate.com Grimm Real Estate 120 N. Main, North English 319-664-3000 509 Court St., Williamsburg 319-668-9282 www.arimmrealestate.com Iowa Realty 568 Hwy. 1 West 354-0581 www.iowarealty.comiowacitv ReMax Heartland, LC 31 14th Street : 800-761-5731 www.iowacity-ia.com cyndiia-home.com i i remodeling Nagle lumber Co. 1201 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City 338-1 1 13 www.nagledoitbestcom sporting World of Bikes 723 Gilbert St. -Iowa City 351-8337 www.worldofbike5.com sports web sites www.hawkcentral.com mm

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