Mad Max Goes To Toon Town

Is it real, or is it the latest in computer games? Players of Critical Path, a CD-ROM from Media Vision Inc., may well ask that question as they immerse themselves in the first multimedia computer game to allow a filmed human character to interact with an animated world. Other games have video and graphic components, but the two do not intermingle on the screen. Critical Path, though, has the look and feel of a movie in the making. It details the adventures of Kat, a helicopter pilot played by a human actress, whom the player must guide to safety through a post-apocalypse computer-generated factory, where she is pursued by thugs and a dictator also played by humans. Players must help Kat survive through 15 game levels; if they make a mistake, she dies. And Kat is not always easy to help. She talks back to the player in clearly audible dialogue and sometimes gets so frustrated with her guide that she decides her own course--usually a fatal one. The game, priced at $79.95, can run on IBM-compatible PCs equipped with a CD-ROM player.

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