From the April 1996 issue of CD-ROM Today

Events That Changed the World

By David English

Imagine having to select the 60 events that had the greatest impact on world history. That's the challenge faced by the developers of Events That Changed the World—and, on the whole, they've succeeded. The program has a rich, textured look with innovative navigation tools. The events themselves are fascinating glimpses of who we are as separate cultures and as collective citizens of the world—from Asoka and the Mauryan Empire (321 BC) to Woodstock (1969 AD). In addition, the accompanying videos, photos, narration, games, puzzles, and quiz bring excellent value to the well-written descriptions of the events.

There's only one problem—the disc doesn't hold that much material. Why stop at 60 events when you have an entire CD-ROM to fill? Certainly, the 18th century had more than four significant events. And if there are to be only 60 events, each could include much more information. More the rule than the exception is the Founding of the United Nations, which merits only a main text of 14 paragraphs, a rough map that points to the U.N.'s headquarters in New York, five paragraph-long descriptions of its agencies, a four-paragraph news story, and a one-paragraph "Did You Know?" And while the search engine lets you group the events under seven headings, with only 60 events, you can't help but think, why bother?

That said, what is there, both in content and form, is first rate—especially the materials associated with Einstein's Theories of Relativity. I only wish there were more it.

Events That Changed the World
Integrated Communications & Entertainment
(416) 868-6423
PROS: Intriguing content; innovative interface; excellent use of sound
CONS: Does not contain enough material for a $50 reference CD-ROM
Rating: 3 discs

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