on 26 July 2000
This excellent interactive CD has the same quality visuals of all Dorling Kindersley products, only with the added dimensions of animation, video clips, and sound. From the moment you access this CD you know it's something a bit special.
Initially, faced with what appears to be a cross between a fifties jukebox and something from an H.G.Wells setting, you find yourself spending some minutes admiring what is the main interface to the other areas. Moving the mouse pointer around the screen activates many of the objects and starts changing them in exciting ways.
Mounted centrally, is a large glass sphere which seems to randomly generate new topics for exploration each time it's revisited, and there's a rather satisfying but mysterious sound track. Clicking on this and other areas activates either a subject or a series of additional menus, leading to specialist topics. The topics themselves are generally read out aloud (unless you choose to click on the mute sound button) and further choices can be made to explore related subjects or activate animations or video clips to illustrate points more clearly.
And don't worry if you visit several areas and then can't remember where something was that you want to go back to. There is a handy history menu that lists the order of all the locations you have visited, allowing you to re-track instantly.
And whenever you start feeling knowledgeable, you can test yourself, individually or against others, by selecting the quiz section.
There are many topics and features to discover on this CD (I think I even found a link to take me Online if connected to the Internet) and plenty of stimulation to generate an interest in science.
Although the CD is perhaps aimed at children of Secondary School age, adults can also enjoy its contents and learn much from the information it contains.