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1996 Readers' Choice Awards: Diversions

Best Game

(editor's note : The number of votes separating the top two companies in the "Best Game" category was very small. There was a difference of only 4 votes between the two.)

Winner Galactic Civilizations
by Stardock Systems
download demo from Stardock (ZIP, 3.3meg)

Galactic Civilizations started as a runaway hit and launched Stardock into orbit as one of the most successful OS/2 software vendors ever. Since then, this product has continued for over two years as one of the most successful games ever.

The latest incarnation, Galactic Civilizations II, has high-quality color artwork, addictive game-play and fiendishly intelligent computer opponents that have probably claimed a few thousand hours of productivity from offices and homes everywhere. More than just Stardock's original claim to fame, GalCiv is the strategy game against which all others are measured.

Runner-up Trials of Battle
by ShadowSoft Entertainment Software
(published by Stardock Systems)
download demo from Stardock (ZIP, 4.2meg)

Following extremely closely on the heels of Galactic Civilizations is a second awesome game published by Stardock: Trials of Battle by ShadowSoft.

TOB is the action game OS/2 users have been waiting for. Combining elements of Doom, Wing Commander and other popular all-out, kill or be killed action games, TOB was an instant hit when introduced late in '96. Its ability to play network games over a wide range of connections (including modem or the Internet) keeps phone lines jammed and players busy rebuilding their ships worldwide.

Best Edutainment or Multimedia Application

(editor's note : The number of votes separating the top two companies in the "Best Edutainment or Multimedia Application" category was very small. There was a difference of only 2 votes between the two.)

Winner QuickMotion for OS/2
by Practice Corporation
download demo from the OS/2 Supersite (ZIP, 413k)

QuickMotion brought an ability to OS/2 that had been sorely missed by many: the power to play QuickTime movies (.MOV files). QuickMotion accomplished this not by creating a new application for users to install on their systems, but by seamlessly integrating QuickTime support into existing OS/2 multimedia software.

QuickMotion contains a complete QuickTime engine, with support for all QuickTime 1.0 video decompressors and the engine is completely transparent, so it allows the latest movie players, such as IBM's multimedia video plug-in for Netscape Navigator, to play QuickTime movies. QuickMotion also provides seamless support for Windows-style AVI movies because it includes a free registration of AnPoCODEC.

Runner-up MainActor/2
by MainConcept
download from the OS/2 Supersite (ZIP, 1.8meg)

MainConcept's modular animation and multimedia application, MainActor, is a steadily evolving port of the product that was originally introduced on the Amiga. It has support for almost all known animation formats, including AVI, FLI, MPEG and QuickTime. With MainActor, video files can be split into a list of separate frames that can then be edited separately, allowing users to incorporate soundtracks and additional frames, or convert from one format to another.

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