One of last year's hottest games on the Apple IIGS (or for that matter, on any other computer) was Taito's Arkanoid. Ported from the stand-up arcade machine, Arkanoid on the IIGS had crisp graphics and even crisper gameplay. More a grown-up version of Breakout than anything, Arkanoid was the perfect mouse-movement arcade game.
Now comes Arkanoid II, Revenge of DoH. The premise is as goofy as the original: You're supposedly saving lives by batting balls against bricks. Don't believe a word of it. Just keep the ball from getting past you. Bat it back up to remove bricks, set power pills in motion, and eventually (really) clear the screen so that you can move on to the next level.
Thirty-three levels try your patience (there are actually 67 different screens, though, since most levels have two separate patterns). Reach the end and you face DoH.
One welcome addition to this version is a Construction Set, which you use to create your own game screens.
Arkanoid II retails for $34.95. For more information, contact Taito at 267 West Esplanade, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V7M 1A5; (604) 984-3344.
One school subject that rarely raises a grin is geography. But MECC, long a prolific publisher of educational software, has managed to turn map-making into something both fascinating and fun.
World GeoGraph is an Apple IIGS-specific program that makes good use of the computer's graphics abilities. The package's highly detailed maps offer up views of the world, its continents, and even regions within those continents. Color is splashed across the maps to designate everything from climate to population density; you choose what to display.
Want to see how Zaire (in a former life, known as the Belgian Congo) compares to the rest of Africa in television ownership, infant mortality, or projected population? All it takes is a few clicks of the mouse button and some menu selections.
World GeoGraph also contains an extraordinary amount of information in its database, information which you can arrange and view in any number of ways. Each country's facts and figures are available and, if you want, can be compared to other nations' statistics. Informative and illustrative graphs can be created with this data, something that more than pays for the price of the program.
World GeoGraph can teach you more about geography in a few sittings than you ever remembered from a text book. If you're serious about using your IIGS as a learning tool, World GeoGraph is a must addition to your software library.
For more information about the program, contact MECC at 3490 Lexington Avenue North, St. Paul, Minnesota 55126; (612)481-3500. World GeoGraph requires an Apple IIGS with at least 768K of RAM and has a suggested retail price of $139.
If you're a teacher using Apple computers, you have a friend in Apple Computer Clubs.
Apple has sponsored the ACC every year since 1983. Aimed primarily at schools, it has also been welcomed in community computer programs. Essentially, ACC is a resource for educators wanting to further student interest in computer use. For a nominal fee, Apple Computer Clubs provides an idea-filled handbook, an activity-based planning book (complete with monthly activities to spark interest in computers), and a year's subscription to advisor and student newsletters.
Contact Dee Anne Dougherty at Apple Computer, 20525 Mariani Avenue, MS: 36A, Cupertino, California 95014 for more details on the Apple Computer Clubs program.