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ZOOM Connections
$19.95 (Win95/Win98/Mac Only!) (Retail) (CONNECTDR)

Discovery Channel Multimedia

Game

Ratings:

from The Adrenaline Vault

3 1/2 stars from CD-ROM Today

3 stars from PC Entertainment

Silver - Strategy/Puzzle Game Title from New Media's 1996 Invision Awards

3½ from Adventure Gamer

It's a Mind Game

Enter a world of spectacular, lushly detailed 3D environments that render you unable to leave. Lose yourself in mind-twisting gaming situations that will both entice and exasperate you. Capture your entire imagination in perplexing, reality-based situations. Submit to hours and hours of irresistible game play. Allow the immersive environments to pique your interest and curiosity. Encounter James Burke and other live-action characters who add vitality and realism to the experience.

Based on the award-winning work of James Burke, Connections, as seen on The Learning Channel, provides the ultimate challenge for the quizzical mind. You travel from one environment to the next, looking for the clues that will explain how you entered this world - and how you can escape. Spectacular, engrossing 3D environments create an immersive virtual environment that draws you into a time and space you cannot leave without the answers.

Requirements

For Windows: Win 3.1 or Win 95/98 Only, 486/33 or higher processor, 8 MB RAM, double-speed CD-ROM, hard drive, Windows compatible sound card, mouse, VGA display (256 colors).

For Macintosh: Macintosh Performa, Centris, Quadra, or Power Mac series computer with a 68040 processor or better, System 7.0 or later, double-speed CD-ROM drive, 8 MB RAM, 640 x 480 display color monitor with at least 256 colors.

Reviews:

The Adrenaline Vault by Brain Clair

"Connections is one of the first games to come from The Discovery Channel. Based on the critically acclaimed television series with host James Burke, Connections gives players not only an in-depth learning experience but an involving game as well. In Connections, you enter a world where someone has begun to create chaos in the timeline by breaking down the connections between historical events. So for instance, you appear in what appears to be Europe in the 1400's but because the timeline is mixing together there are telephones, electric lights, matches, pencils, televisions, etc.

"Don't think that the mixing of items is totally chaotic, it's not and James Burke knows it. Through the game he'll appear to help you on your way, in the above example, the connection is graphite. When you find items that make up a historical connection, they appear in your Connection chain. This chain is what allows you to repair the timeline and make it stable enough for you to escape the chaotic whirlwind of the timeline. Of course, Connections isn't just about finding items, there's also quite a lot of puzzle solving to be done in order to progress through the storyline.

"Also in true Discovery Channel style, learning is a major part of Connections. As you add items to your chain, you can click on them and see James Burke give you a history lesson and overview of the item in question. This is done, as is most of the game, using Quicktime movies. This helps to make Connections a real learning tool that people can play and discover new things about, just like the Discovery Channel itself."

Computer Shopper, August 1996

"Connections is a thought-provoking first-person adventure and puzzle game that plays much like Activision's Return to Zork. Here you explore medieval castles, Egyptian temples, and Western towns; talk with various live-action characters; locate key objects; and solve puzzles. Ultimately you'll discover seemingly disparate objects that range from pencils to lacquered furniture to oscilloscopes, and you'll learn how they influenced history and somehow relate to each other."

"As a game, Connections is entertaining, and its puzzles are quite challenging (a few are down-right mind-bending). Some of the logic puzzles stand by themselves; others follow the classic adventure game tradition that requires you to talk with characters, look for clues, and find and use objects to accomplish something. To allow everyone to experience the game, Connections has a hint feature that provides clues to solving puzzles.

"The game's surreal, 3-D-rendered graphics are first rate; it also makes excellent use of video footage from the TV series. The interface is intuitive and easy to use. The only downside is that the game doesn't label items in your inventory, which makes it difficult at times to identify them. For instance, how many players would recognize a steam engine's condenser coil?"

CD-ROM Today, June 1996

"Burke doesn't take the usual chronological approach to teaching history. Instead, he emphasizes the connectivity between concepts and events, such as the correlation between science and social movements or accidental discovery and deliberate invention. His goal is to point out the relationship between elements widely separated by time, distance, or culture."

"Making the connection between seemingly unrelated concept is what you have to do in the Connections CD-ROM. The web of time and space has somehow been distorted, and it's your task to repair the broken links in history and restore natural order."

"As in other graphic adventure games, game play consists of: navigating through 3D-rendered worlds, looking for clues, listening to what denizens of a particular time tell you, picking up objects, and stashing useful items away for future use."

PC Entertainment, May 1996

"Discovery Channel Multimedia's first foray into gaming presents you with the challenge of preventing chaos by solving a set of puzzles. Oh, and you end up learning a fair bit about science along the way."

Computer Games Strategy Plus, May 1996

"...Connections is a puzzle/adventure game which has been very cleverly designed to appeal to a wide range of players. Burke stars as himself in the role of a sort of Ghost in the Machine, aiding the player in saving the universe from the powers of chaos which have thrown a virtual world known as The Web into a state of instability."

"...If you want edutainment, it's there, Just click on any of the significant items and you will be treated to a detailed film clip of James Burke's complete historical perspective about it. But, ('somethimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't...') you may choose not to ever look at these clips, and the game is still a very intriguing straight adventure."

"Families who game together will find this a worthwhile addition to their collection. A bit too challenging for younger children alone, Connections is a great vehicle for communication with parents, friends and siblings. It's nice to look at, and in spite of its tendency toward edutainment it's downright, well...fun."

Adventure Gamer by Ray Ivey (7/6/99)

"...sometimes I feel like having a light, breezy time playing a game that creates a lovely mood with lovely pictures, driven by a lovely premise and containing lovely puzzles that entertain me without making my brains pour out of my ears. And for that mood, I can’t think of a better title than James Burke’s Connections."

"This premise works well for an entertaining game for two reasons. First, if you have any interest in science and history, it’s fun playing a game where those subjects take center stage. Second, since you are in this strange cyberworld, anything can happen. You can be in a medieval castle one moment, a 50s diner the next, and a wild west saloon the next. The crazy variety of locations and settings create a daffy atmosphere that’s really fun."

"I would compare this game to Qin and The Cassandra Galleries for its breezy, unthreatening, appealing quality. Since the puzzles are never too hard, Connections is a good choice for novice gamers, but compelling enough for experienced players as well."



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