Nine Worlds uses recent NASA movies and pictures to show off the nine planets of the solar system. The only worlds not having any movies of its surface are Earth (which the makers of the CD-Rom assume the viewer already knows) and Pluto, which has never been visited by any NASA missions. Instead, Pluto can only be shown in pictures.
Most of the "movies" of the other planets are really only computer simulations developed by NASA during the Mariner and Voyager missions, showing the spacecraft or satellites approaching the planet and either dropping its payload or show the path it took on its flyby.
Music, mostly taken from Holst's "The Planets" is used as background music during the quicktime presentations and in the exploration sections of the program. Mostly beautiful, sometimes eerie, this music provides a wonderful backdrop as players explore.
Each planet has an physical characteristics section, where players can view the planet's interior and physical attributes, a section on any moons the planet may have, along with pictures taken from earth-bound telescopes and any satellite missions, an exploration section where players can find out more about the planet, presented in text and pictures, and a vacation planner.
The vacation planner pokes fun at the planets, presenting a comic picture postcard outlining the great sights of each planet, done in a 50's comics style. Clicking on the pictures brings up voices commenting on that aspect of the planet. For example, clicking on the cracks in Mercury might bring up a curmudgeonly voice commenting "Yeah, I've got cracks too, but I try not to show 'em to everybody!"
Clicking on the down arrow in the vacation planner takes the player to a imaginary view of the planet's surface, where players can explore the planet's temperature and weather, how long it would take to reach the planet from a jet taking off right now, how old they would be considered on the planet, how much they would weigh, and an interesting fact about the planet.
There are two additional screens in the planet view. Clicking on the screen showing Patrick Stewart's face bring up an additional movie and text and pictures about the planet. Clicking on the screen showing the satellite takes players to the Nine Worlds website, which has updated planetary info and even more information about the planet.
This program is an engaging, interesting CD with information about the planets presented in a way that will intrigue and inform players. While it may seem slow and boring occasionally, the addition of Patrick Stewart, who played Captain Picard on the TV series
Graphics: A bit grainy in the quicktime movies, but otherwise superb.
Sound: Patrick Stewart's voice is low, and you may have to increase the volume to hear it correctly.
Enjoyment: A bit boring to sit and listen to all at once, the CD is full of information presented in an interesting and informative way.
Replay Value: The ability to tie into the internet website makes it never grow inaccurate.
This is an interactive tour of the planets of our galaxy, narrated by Patrick Stewart. Each of the planets, save Earth, has a QuickTime overview and guided tour given by Patrick Stewart. Players are also able to view pictures of a planet's moons, if it has any, view the planet's physical characteristics and look at a vacation planner for the planet.
People who downloaded Nine Worlds have also downloaded:
Nile: Passage to Egypt, Microsoft Art Gallery, Microsoft Dinosaurs, Microsoft Explorapedia: The World of Nature, Mythology, Microsoft Dangerous Creatures, Qin: Tomb of the Middle Kingdom, Microsoft Oceans
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