Although not recommended for those prone to motion sickness, Virtual Safari is filled withinteresting animal facts, fun to explore 3D environments, and an impressive array of reactive ‘virtual’ animals. Users travel to “Three Trees Lodge” where they will join the Colonel, their guide, as the photographer on a virtual safari. Users drive a Land Rover into the African wild where they encounter and attempt to photograph animals in their natural habitats.
Before embarkation, the user must explore the Lodge, and resources needed for the trip must be collected. In the Lodge are rooms for viewing live-action animal films and slide-shows, journals containing animal information gleaned from the Survival Magazine library, and even an ‘eat me’ pill that enables users to shrink to the size of an insect and explore from a different perspective.
Navigation concerns aside, Virtual Safari includes plenty of action, information and authenticsights and sounds to intrigue and enthuse young animal lovers.
Ease of Use / Install
Virtual Safari installed without difficulty on our reviewers' Windows95 test machines. Movement in this program is very difficult, and frustrated even our older-child and adult reviewers.Users begin with the right mouse button depressed in the middle of the screen, and then drag tomove around in any direction. As the cursor is moved farther from its original, central location,speed increases. This technique is incredibly hard to control, and slight variances can haveenormous results. Beginning users found themselves spinning in the room, crashing into wallsand over-shooting doorways. As one parent reviewer put it: "My daughter and I worked on theprogram for an hour and ended up with whopping headaches and upset-stomachs. At thisdifficulty level, I don’t think many kids would stick with it, even if it is interesting." Similarly, ateacher-reviewer commented, "I encouraged my students to experiment with the program, but ittakes such precise control--the kind most young students don’t have. . ."