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Do you remember being fascinated by Mattel's Viewmaster released in the 50's? I myself did not discover these funny contraptions until the mid 70's while shopping with my parents, begging them to buy me one. It was fascinating to perceive the wonders of the world through those gadgets. Oh well, it has been quite some time since I have seen one.
Fortunately, Magic Eye, developed by MEX Multimedia and published by Mindscape, have fulfilled this gap. Magic Eye is a tiny genuine encyclopedia with mysterious images called stereograms and is equally a tool to create them.
When we run the program (which operates under Windows), we discover many possibilities. In the "Gallery", you will discover over a 100 stereograms with screen resolutions from 640x480 to 800x600. This idea is welcomed because more and more people own a monitor which is larger than the classic 14 inch, and therefore, it is easy to understand that these people prefer to use a superior mode than SVGA 640x480.
The Academy is the educational part of the program with a bibliography, a vocabulary and a reading room. In this room, you can choose between different subjects: A history of the making of 3D images (from prehistoric times to the present); a chapter on the perception of these images; another on the different types of stereograms in existence; and finally a section to help you visualize them.
In the laboratory, you can construct your own images thanks to the numerous selection of tridimensional objects and textures. The other option allows you to consult a data base on the existing programs which serve to produce stereograms.
If, in spite of everything, you lose yourself in the maze of options and menus, rest assured, an On-Line Manual (very well designed) is available at all times to help you out.
In the reading room, visualization help will show you that there exists two methods to view the images: The "parallel method" and the "cross method". The differences are explained in the program, hence we will not go into the details. Let me assure you that learning to view these images is something that comes with practice, just like riding a bicycle or even swimming. Once you have learnt the method, you will be able to immerse yourself into the world of stereograms for hours on end.
Mindscape. GRAPHICS ------ 90% Priority House, Charles Avenue, SOUND ------ 91% Maltings Park, Burgess Hill, MUSIC ------ 94% West Sussex RH15 9PQ, England. GAMEPLAY ------ -- Tel: +44-(0)444-246-333 INTEREST ------ 90% Mindscape Inc. 60 Leveroni Ct., OVERALL ------ 91% Novato, CA 94949 Tel: 415-883-3000