The “coming soon” signs are up for Viewz (Viewz, published bimonthly), billed as a “Multimedia Consumer’s Guide to Home Computing.” The preview (read: beta) version we saw shows definite promise, but also points up some potential problems. The highlight of the premier issue was an interactive interview with David Macauley, author of The Way Things Work (now on CD-ROM from DK Mulimedia), Cathedral, Pyramid, and Underground, the latest in this series. Without question, this was the best interview we’ve seen in any digizine. Obviously culled from a more lengthy interview, the piece offers many more than the five or six questions typical of most interactive interviews – even intelligent follow-up questions are available for the asking. The interview is coupled with samples from Macauley’s books. Our only complaint is that there is no video of the interview – just a few still photos of Macauley – although this may change in the final release version. More problematic are software reviews that seem way too friendly, and a “make your own scavenger hunt” feature for kids that’s little more than low-quality filler. We experienced problems with slow navigation and an interface that often left us clueless as to where we were in an article – clunky at best. But considering this was a beta of a premier issue, Viewz shows a good deal of promise.
– January 1996