media and technology

Games without frontiers

Games . Web Sites . (ID-ROMS


Uploaded, with its Platinum Rogues, Swearing Archives and Crumpct Clash. is the online son of the now infamous ladrag. Editorial content is consistent with the site‘s paper-based parent. although the punters’ contributions seem to lack the sense of irony that the journos proper assure us they strive for. Despite this, the site is smartly put together and makes use of some nifty technological trickery. If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a DJ you can mix on some virtual decks, or you can just lie back and listen to the various shows on Monkey Radio. Surprisingly, it‘s not all a bunch of arse. mate.


Phantasrnagoria 2 (PC CD-ROM £44.99)

Despite huge success in the States, the first Phantasmagoria flopped in the UK. British adventurers are a little more sophisticated than those simpletons across the pond, and rightly demand more than a collage of full-motion video to play with. Plumrasmagoria 2 has paid attention to such criticism and provides a greater degree of puzzling, though the emphasis is still on gruesome imagery. This is hardly surprising. however, considering its main character has been lobotomised and now hears satanic voices. Not something Mary Whitehouse will be recommending so there might be something in it.

Cool Boarders (PlayStation £44.99) It would be easy to introduce this game with a joke about being board stupid during the long winter nights, and why not? Cool Boarders lets Playstation owners get 'goofy' on the _ side of a mountain without the need for excessive health insurance. The graphics as you slide and trick your way down snowy slopes are stunning, and would look at home in the most alpine of arcades. The gameplay is a little limited, but won’t diminish your enjoyment of this slick release. Unfortunately there’s no two player Option, but perhaps one Normski per household is enough. (John Henderson)

92 The List 24 Jan-6 Feb I997

Want to see small 3D creatures jumping around in front of your eyes? Don‘t take acid, says Alastair Mabbott, try Edinburgh’s new-style cybercafe

Reality-X where Netsurfin reality are the order of the day.

Down near the foot of Edinburgh's Broughton Street. you’ll find an example of what founder Paul Younger believes will be

the next

generation of cybercafes. A computer gaming fanatic for years.

he felt staff in

regular Internet

cafes were

ignorant about

games and failed to cater for players of what are. alter all. most people‘s first point of contact with

The result was the

original Reality-X:

as far as he knows. the first of its kind in Europe and a ‘test project' for the current enterprise. Works by both famous and up-and- coming comic book artists and illustrators adorn the walls of the front room. looking down on a dozen computers. Through the back are four virtual reality stalls. almost like little pens so that goggles-wearers don't stumble blindly into the walls or each other.

The plan is that ultimately Reality-X will become a one-stop shop comprising games emporium. software retail outlet and Internet service provider. offering such services as Net training and Web site design and management. Try a game around 30 are loaded onto each machine at the cost of £2.50 for

software on the way out.

., ) computers.

means that players from different continents can compete in the same games as easily as they could with the person at the next

g, games and even Virtual machine. And. in the case of

games played with virtual reality goggles. can actually ‘see‘ and interact with representations of other players.

Reality-X has already caught the eye of London-based cable/satellite station The Sci-Fi Channel. which credits the cafe in its games reviews. And perhaps one of its biggest attractions is that software companies are planning to use it as a testing ground for work-in-progress. so that punters will be able to play games tip to six months before they're commercially released. Of course. you’ll still be able to walk in off the street and trawl the Internet as you would in a regular cybercafe. but Younger reckons that once you‘ve sampled a game like Quake or Red A fun. you might never want to go back again.

Enter the war/d (ngt'a/ily-x‘f u! 54 BIYHIgliIUH Street, Edinburgh, 0/3] 478 7099. If-mail: infoGt‘realit_\' Web site: http://www. reality-.t‘. co. uk

thirty minutes and. if you like it. buy the competitively-priced

'lf you walk into l)i.\on's or PC Worlth says Younger. ‘their machines are geared towards business users. What we want to do and it‘s not been done before is to sell PC systems that are designed for the game player.‘ In the last eight months. the landscape of computer games has altered dramatically with a revolution in multi- player games. the most popular of which are the legendary Doom . and its follow- up Quukr'. Reality-X‘s technology

/ ' , nd above top) in the film Lawnmower Man II

Virtual world: Jobe shows of! his R headset (above a

See Competitions, page 96 for details of a free halt-hour at Reality-X

for every reader of The list.