Treasures of Russia
Altnough it uses the same confusing interface as The Hermitage, the organization of Treasures of Russia (Cascade Marketing) is easier to follow. This discis almost exactly what you might expect from a Russian CD-ROM: a rather dour, somewhat cryptic, and ultimately utilitarian presentation of Russian art. It was co-published by a Russian company (it even has text available in Russian) and, like The Hermitage, it makes minimal use of the digital format. The strongest portions of the CD-ROM are the images (which are well photographed and digitized) and the stolid text, which does an adequate, if unexciting, job of explaining some of the finer details of the subject. Also adequate is the glossary and cross-referencing; better is the ability to click on links in the text to bring up detailed visuals of the artwork at hand. The problem is that there isn’t enough. Audio consists of a little orchestral opening music and pronunciations of artist names and titles, done in a voice so bland you can easily imagine that the narrator is describing one hundred ways to prepare beets, instead of art. Video, kept in its own little category, offers primarily touristy promos that look like they might have been produced by Aeroflot, and do little to illuminate the subject. Overall, we’ll have to say nyet.
– May 1996