Aviation & Space
The Space Race(Flagtower Multimedia) is what Flagtower calls an “Interactive Documentary” – a filmstrip that is mostly still photos with ongoing narration, and a few video clips scattered throughout. Although the content is high-quality and thoughtful, there’s something about filmstrips on CD-ROMs that rubs us the wrong way. The effort behind these glorified slideshows is obvious, and if you want to sit down and watch something passively for a few hours, you’ll be thrilled with the high-resolution photos and articulate exposition. Actual interactivity, however, is very limited. Hotspot icons appear (and disappear, without warning) across the bottom of the screen. If you click on one you’ll receive a little supplementary information and maybe a picture, but the only place to go from there is right back to the filmstrip; the “Interactive Documentary” experience is in fact very linear. The narrator is certainly competent, but he lacks the flair of Stephen Rea, who did the voice-over forWorld War I, another Flagtower product. The disc also lacks the comprehensive enormity of Flagtower’s World War II, which makes it perhaps the least impressive installment of the series to date (War In the Pacific, the fourth disc, is distractingly grisly). Consider it the equal of For All Mankind: an intelligent examination of an interesting subject, but not terribly well-suited to the medium of CD-ROM.
– January 1996