Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
by Chris Taylor
remember having a mid-80's computer with a monochrome
green screen and a permanently burned-in image of Lotus
1-2-3? Back then screensavers were designed
save your screen. While screensavers
quickly became unnecessary due to advances in monitor
technology, they live on to this day for their
I was recently offered a review copy of Rixane
Interactive's Water Life v2.44, a 3-D underwater
screensaver. I downloaded the 3.5MB installation file and
ran it. I entered the registration number I was given.
Didn't work. After checking with the company, I was told
to download v2.45 which fixed the problem. Anyone get the
feeling nobody tests anything anymore because it is so
easy to roll out a new version?
The setting dialog box for Water Life allows considerable
customization. You can choose resolutions from 640x480 to
1600x1200. You can adjust the numbers for plants, fish
and flotsam & jetsam on the bottom. There are toggles
for soothing music and bubble sounds and you can adjust
There are a large number of fish species available,
although you can't choose specific ones. The fish, at a
distance, look quite realistic, but any that swim very
close start to suffer from jaggies. Light plays quite
realistically through the water and creates shifting
shadows on the bottom.
The scene drifts around. When going slowly forward,
movement is quite smooth. But when it pans sideways,
things are a bit jerky at any resolution higher than
1024x768 on my 2.4GHz P4 with 1GB RAM and 64MB 3-D video
card. You can use the mouse to pan, but not move forwards
Water Life is a very nice screensaver. My only problem is
the cost - CAN$23.41. I am not sure I would pay that much
for any screensaver.
You can download a fully-functional 30-day eval copy from
the web at www.rixane.com.
Windows 98 or better,
PII 1.4GHz, 128MB RAM,
32MB video card with DirectX 8.1
from Rixane Interactive
Web site: www.rixane.com
Click here to view the
full OPCUG website with frames.
Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.
comments or suggestions to the .