Old CD’s: Games, Encyclopedia, Apps.

Reviews About Old Software on CD-ROM from the 1990’s

Who Built America’ May 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — gamegoldies @ 1:20 am
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History & Mythology

Who Built America?

Who Built America? (The Voyager Co.) ports the book of the same name to CD-ROM, adding plenty of strong supplementary material in the bargain. The subject is America from 1876 (the Centennial) to 1914 (the War), covering such disparate topics as politics, saloons, organized labor, and suffragists. Although the basic text is undeniably lifeless – there’s no music, no color, and not much flair to the writing – the supplementary material is excellent, and saves the disc from reading like a mediocre high school textbook. Watch early movies (including The Great Train Robbery in its entirety), listen to ragtime and vaudeville sketches, or browse though hundreds of pages of articles that explore topics in greater depth than the main text. The photographs, which can be seen only as low-resolution samples in the text sections, become dazzling, sharp, black-and-white masterpieces when they’re clicked on. Just because the disc is ultimately saved from mediocrity, however, doesn’t mean it should have been flirting with it in the first place – we like discs that are vibrant all the way through, not just when they want to be. Our advice: skim the text and spend time exploring the other media to get the most out of Who Built America? (When we ran this program on computers with Number Nine video cards, we experienced some problems with text dropping out.)

– November 1996

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