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                  Review: The Global Amiga Experience CD
                            By:  Jason Compton 
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I had to laugh recently.  I was flipping through a 2-year old Amiga
magazine, roughly when the CD32 was released, and reading an article about
CD-ROMs.  It essentially said that there wasn't a very good market for
CD-ROMs on the Amiga, except for what looked like a lucrative CD32 game
market.

Oh, how the times have changed.

CD32 games trickle out, due to artificially low sales of the machine (since
Commodore couldn't afford to build them).  At the same time, the
general-purpose CD-ROM market has been gaining momentum, thanks to a great
deal of available material and low production costs.

The Global Amiga Experience does something that's actually a really good
idea.  It compiles over 200 demo versions of Amiga software along with 8
full commercial titles (aging versions, but hey, free is free.)  The likes
of Imagine 2.0, Scala 1.13, Vista Pro 1.0, Distant Suns 4.0, Clarissa 1.1,
and Edge 1.721 are nothing to sniff at, and upgrade offers are included for
all six.  (We use Edge 1.721 for Amiga Report, in fact.) X-Copy and
Steuerfuchs '93 are included as well, the latter being some sort of German
tax program. 

The demo versions are by and large of commercial software packages, most of
which are still readily available.  This is an excellent thing for the
market and something that lends itself very well to a pack-in with CD-ROM
drives from dealers and Amiga + CD-ROM bundles.  Oh, you mean we don't have
official CD-ROM packages from Amiga Technologies?  It's time to start.

The CD doesn't have what I'd call a pretty layout--there isn't enough
indexing, and an AmigaGuide interface to the CD would have been
appreciated.  As it is, you get a whole mess of assigns that should make
anything runnable from CD-ROM, if you so choose.

The only real problem with this CD is that you're not informed ahead of
time that a great deal of the content will be in German only (including,
very unfortunately, the Edge text editor you're getting the full version
of), and others will be PAL-only (such as Imagine 2.0).  This may not be
the compiler's FAULT, but I do think it would have been nice to let
everyone know.

The CD is pretty recent, only released a few months ago.  There have been
some changes and updates to versions in that time, of course, and the
rather important fact that VRLI has dropped Distant Suns and sold it to
Chaocity, and the fact that Imagine 3.0 is about to become a CU Amiga
coverdisk are pretty important to potential upgraders of their commercial
versions.

The bottom line?  DM39, or US$29.  True, you could get the vast majority of
these demos from Aminet, but unless you already have Aminet Sets 1 and 2,
it'll take you quite some time.  You also won't snag 8 free commercial
software packages.  If you're shopping for Amiga software but don't know
what you like, this CD will be a great tool.

Logic Creations
Rankic & Schneider GbR
Prof. - Druck - Str. 38
72666 Neckartailfingen
Phone: ++49 7127 22608
Fax:   ++49 7127 3760