Trophy Bass

Surely you've seen them. Those guys on cable TV. sitting in a boat, reeling in a big one, saying stuff to each other like, "Oh, he's got a lot of fight in him there, Jim."

At last count, there were 50 million people in this country like Jim who love to feel the tug on a rod. And now they've got their own computer game: Trophy Bass.

There are three sides to Trophy Bass. You can choose tackle, pick your bait, read the water, set the weather conditions, and then finesse your casting technique on one of five virtual lakes. Option two is to play in Tournament Mode and try your luck against conditions and competitors dished out by the computer.

Or you can get even more serious and watch the full motion video "how-to" section and pick up more than 100 nuggets of solid advice from America's top tournament bass fishermen.

Now, obviously, the Jims of the world are going to love this game, because playing can bring you more success out on the water. But, surprisingly, you don't have to know what a lunker bucketmouth is to get a charge out of Trophy Bass. As Jim would say, "It's a keeper."

Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within

The top two computer gaming magazines both named the first Gabriel Knight mystery the best adventure game of the year. Creator Jane Jensen might want to start dusting off her awards shelf again, as The Beast Within mixes a strange, new brew of mutilation murders, a centuries-old curse, and criminal misdeeds on multiple CDs.

Gabriel Knight, a detective of the supernatural, is summoned to Munich to investigate a series of murders blamed on werewolves. The edge-of-your-seat tale unfolds to implicate the mad King Ludwig II, a lost Wagner opera, and Gabriel’s own dark past.

Shrewd thinking and paying attention to details are rewarded as players unravel clues while taking on the role of Gabriel and his partner, Grace Nakimura. Shot on location in Germany and the U.S. with more than 40 surprisingly talented actors, The Beast Within is possibly the most visually stunning, realistic adventure game to come out on CD this year. Even the photo on the box is enough to induce a minor heart palpitation.

INTERACTIVE CINEMA The rich, realistic movie-like look of The Beast Within came from shooting more than 1,000 backgrounds here and in Germany.

Endorfun Review

If you don't manage to tag the colored square before your time is up, you will receive a supportive message.

"You are good and you do good things. You don't have to please others. You deserve love, happiness and prosperity. You are free." These are some of the "Endoisms" you'll experience in this subliminal, nurturing demo by Time Warner Interactive.

The gameplay is simple. You move a cube around an arena, and your goal is to roll the cube over the colored square with the symbol inside of it. The trick is, you have to match the color of the square on the top of the cube when in rolls into the colored squares' spot.

That's not all there is to this unique title, though. Throughout the game you will be subjected to subliminal messages meant to make you feel better and believe in yourself. Stuart Smalley would love it...

You can use the mouse or the keyboard to move the cube, but it's easiest to use the keyboard. In this demo, only one type of game is available — Kaleidoscope. You can toggle music, sound effects, and animations through the Options menu. To reach the menu after gameplay has started, simply click with the left mouse button.

As you move further on in the game, the boards will change shape to pose more of a challenge. Also, colored squares that block your way will slowly appear. You can get rid of them the same way you vanish the target square — roll over them with the matching color on the top of the cube.

This game takes practice, and if you feel yourself getting frustrated, don't push it. The purpose of the game is, after all, to make you feel better about yourself.

Silent Steel Ad

I found an old ad for a cool game I used to play back in the day.

A rogue submarine, a traitorous plot, and they said the Cold War was over ...

"This all-video strategy adventure is the most advanced cinematic game ever released."