The fact that it's got 526 Mb of data stored away and uses a unique technique for loading quarter-
That 526 Mb is claimed to be the largest amount of data yet stored on a useable Amiga CD title, but it's what it's used for that's significant. Optonica have taken the time and trouble to produce a series of lavish illustrations - most of the work done in-house by their own artists - to come up with a disc that actually makes the most of the Amiga's strengths, rather than pointing out its weaknesses.
This is the first in a planned series under the 'Insight' name. It's a reference work very much in the Boys Own or Look and Learn tradition, which essentially means it's a kind of technical guidebook to the electrical and mechanical apparatus you might come across in daily life. It's not necessarily biased towards a younger viewer, but you can't help but feel it will appeal to the curious youngster.
The authors have picked out 262 'topics' (items for investigation) ranging alphabetically from the aerofoil to the X-ray machine via internal-
Each and every topic is covered by text describing how it works and has an animation illustrating the principles. There's also a slideshow of digitised photographs for each topic, accompanied by narrated background information such as history, and for 35 of the topics there is also a quarter-
Simple enough in itself. Where this disc scores massive points over those reference works that have come before it is in the thought that has gone into the concept and in the detail of the execution. The idea in itself is considerably more valid than most CD reference works.
Like the books of this type that are common among eager-
We've made the point before that you might as well use the strong points of the Amiga to good effect in the presentation of CD titles. Optonica have done this beautifully in option for Deluxe Paint animations to illustrate the workings of the various devices and gadgets that this disc covers.
Quite apart from looking better than digital photos, the animations have an appropriate style and feel, very reminiscent of the classic 'how it works' books of earlier generations.
The numerous photographs are well digitised and clear, the text and narration is for the most part informative and interesting. The video clips are still a little unsatisfying but, working within the limitations of the medium, they have made a decent job of integrating quarter-
When you're using the disc, you're quite aware that it's been sensibly and simply organised for ease of use, the topics for example, are selected from a straight
It's not a title that entirely lacks faults. Occasionally, the editorial direction wanders a little off the straight and narrow. But these lapses are few and are compensated for by the high quality and high information value of the disc as a whole.