1998 marks a historic first, as it is the first year that Galactic Civilizations did not even win Runner-Up status in our Readers' Choice Awards, despite having a new sequel available. But was it ever a close race! Hopkins:FBI took the early lead, followed rapidly by Entrepreneur and Galactic Civilizations neck and neck until the final deadline when Entrepreneur squeeked ahead by only one vote. That left the Winner and Runner-Up positions as:
Hopkins:FBI has made its way to OS/2 thanks to PolyEx software, a company already known for WordUp graphics toolkit and the game Vigilance on Talos V. Hopkins is a graphics intensive role-playing game (RPG) that puts the player in an FBI agent's shoes - charged with the job of solving a crime.
The graphics are all drawn by a professional comic book artist, plus they're also beautifully well animated. Some of the scenes can be shockingly bloody or violent, though. But since when did that matter when mom wasn't looking?
1997 Winner: Galactic Civilizations II
1996 Winner: Galactic Civilizations
This is the game that booted Galactic Civilizations out of its cozy position on our Readers Choice charts, but we doubt Stardock will be crying about it, because you see: Stardock made Entrepreneur too. Shaving off GalCiv by a single vote (and falling behind Hopkins:FBI by only two votes), Entrepreneur might have edged out by one simple fact: It gives you the opportunity to kick Bill Gates in the pants.
Economically, that is. Entrepreneur is a game about corporate warfare, domination of markets through sales and marketing prowess, plus research and development. Do you build a new factory, or seek to improve worker productivity? Do you develop a technological advantage, or run an advertising campaign? That's what it's all about.
1997 Runner-Up: Links for OS/2
1996 Runner-Up: Trials of Battle
MainActor used to be what you launched whenever you needed to convert a FLC into an AVI, or a MOV into an MPG. Sometimes it'd also do the unglamorous job of assembling an animated GIF for a web page. But not anymore, MainActor now comes with a full featured video sequencer, one that does more than merely string a series of frames together. MainActor can now mix and fade, combine and link multiple video and audio sources of multiple formats. If it's animated, then chances are MainActor can handle it. MainActor can even mix in audio from an MP3 file - rapidly becoming the default format for high-compression, CD quality sound.
1997 Winner: Practice QuickMotion
1996 Winner: QuickMotion for OS/2
Speaking of which, the hot new music distribution format, MP3, has driven a newcomer into the awards too; PM123. This is the luxury MP3 player for OS/2, the one with all the bells and whistles, the one that ends WinAMP envy. While PM123 is an excellent and low-CPU demanding MP3 player, it also has gadgets and features that must have pleased enough to rake in the votes. Skins support let you re-design the user interface the way you want to, or use any of the hundreds already developed for WinAMP. There's also a real-time spectrum analyzer that bumps and spikes visually with the beat and melody of the music you're playing.
1997 Runner-Up: WarpAMP
1996 Runner-Up: MainActor/2
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