September 2003

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


Rescue Heroes Mission Select from Fisher-Price and Vivendi Universal and FrontLook Effects for Microsoft FrontPage from DPA Software

By Howard Berenbon

Rescue Heroes Mission Select from Fisher-Price and Vivendi Universal

If your kids are interested in learning a little bit about disaster rescuing, then Rescue Heroes Mission Select from Fisher-Price and Vivendi Universal is a title you should consider.  And although it’s recommended for boys, girls could love this title too.  With great graphics and realistic sound effects, kids, ages 4 to 7 will have some fun saving the world.  It also includes a Rescue Heroes DVD with 3 episodes from the TV show.

After a quick installation from a single CD, and signing in, you’ll find an exiting set of adventures awaiting their every move with one goal: to assist the Rescue Heroes on land, under the sea and in the air.  After selecting the difficulty level, either the easier Silver or the more challenging Gold, kids will enter the disaster zone where they’ll start their rescuing.  Three areas are available, and all must be completed to complete the mission.  Select Burning Blackout to save people (okay cartoon characters) trapped in a burning building, select Flood Force save people in a rain ravaged town, and select Volcano Fury to save campers and wild animals trapped by rivers of lava and massive mudslides.  Boys will definitely love this action adventure, but girls could too.  Although this title is boy specific, I wouldn’t rule out a good number of girls joining the Rescue Heroes and going boldly where mainly boys go.

Fisher-Price Rescue Heroes Mission Select sells for $17.99 and will run on any multimedia PC, Pentium 266 MHz or faster, 64 MB RAM with Windows 98/ME/2000/XP and a 12x CD-ROM drive. It also runs on a Power Mac G3 266 MHz or faster with 64 MB RAM and a 16x CD-ROM drive.

FrontLook Effects for Microsoft FrontPage from DPA Software

Last month I reviewed FrontLook Chameleon, used to modify the color schemes of the FrontLook Super Themes form DPA Software.  This month had a chance to sample three more Web site design utilities from DPA Software:  Java Effects, Page Effects and Component Effects offering a little more pizzaz to your Web designs including graphics effects, animation and sounds for every occasion.  Add text and image effects for banners and logos, create cursor effects, slide shows, scrolling messages and splash pages (animated pages)  to improve the look and feel of your site designs. 

Java Effects

Includes four applets: Scroller, Slideshow, Image Effects and Text Effects.  This is an action packed package of Java applets, and it also includes over 60 FrontPage themes to boot (no pun intended).  The scroller supports 1 or 2 columns of text, line pauses and sound trigger.  The slideshow applet allows 30 transition effects, linking, status bar messages and sound triggers. The image applet effects include fireworks, water, bubbles, snow, over 40 background effects, and shadow effects and text effects.  And finally, the text applet offers 20 plus text motion effects, shadow effects and color animation.

Page Effects

Contains three sub-products: Page Effects, Cursor Effects and Splash Pages.  The programs are used to create animated Web page environments.  Also included is an animation template to create page and cursor effects.  Here’s the rundown: 9 Page Effects, 7 Cursor Effects, 15 animation templates and 11 personal and business oriented splash pages. You’ll find fish in a tank, outer space scenes, winter, fall and more. 

Component Effects

This is a collection of three DHTML components and includes over 180 professional sound effects.

Slide Show

Allows text and image captions with 9 transition effects, linking, status bar messages and sound triggers.

Text and Image Scroller

Allows continuous scrolling text and images, character by character font, font size, styles, colors, linking and sound triggering.

Page Scroller

Allows scrolling of pages with text and images, character by character control of font, font size, styles, colors and linking.

Button Bar Helper

Creates JavaScript buttons with lots of buttons styles and layouts to select.  Also supports hover animation.

All the above programs may be downloaded as demos and purchased online.

FrontLook Java Effects sells for $59.95, FrontLook Page Effects is $69.95 and FrontLook Component Effects is $29.95 and require a multimedia PC, Pentium 200 MHz or faster processor running Windows 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP and Microsoft FrontPage 2000 or 2002.  For more information, or to order, click to visit DPA Software.

Software Companies Mentioned

DPA Software
W327 S4150 Spring Ridge Court
Waukesha, WI 53189
Phone:   262-968-1940
Fax: 262-968-1942

Vivendi Universal Games
4247 S. Minnewawa Ave.
Fresno, CA 93725
Phone:   310-649-8004