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DVD Review - Eyes on Mars - Space Software/Avanquest
Like its companion DVD, Atlas of the Sky, this is a DVD to sit and watch, rather than interactive software. Unlike the other DVD, the majority of this one is a single feature, "Eyes on Mars" with six bonus features: "yesteryear's eyes on Mars", taking a look at earlier views of our nearer planetary neighbour, "building bots" on making Martian explorers, "experts on Mars" doing what it says on the can, "backstage on Mars", looking at the work to produced animated graphics on the look and feel of Mars, "artists' eyes on Mars" and "Social Martians" which rather bizarrely imagines how Mars might be in the future. That last section is effectively a 10 minute ad for the Mars Society (not a bad organization), although it's rather worrying that we're told that a debate at the society was literally explosive.
The bad news as far as the main feature goes is that the all-in-one approach doesn't work as well as the bite-sized chunks that appeared on Atlas of the Sky - few people will want to sit down and watch the whole at one go (2 1/2 hours with the bonus features). On the other hand, the graphics are noticeably better than those in the Atlas of the Sky, and it feels that little bit slicker (and less inclined to pomposity).
It's still a very interesting DVD that will go down well with any astronomy fan, and particularly the Mars enthusiasts, especially as it can go into a lot more detail on Mars than can an across-the-board DVD like Atlas.
The DVD is only available in region 1/NTSC format. This will work with most PCs with DVD players, and on multi-region and NTSC supporting DVD players (including more recent Playstation 2s), but will not work on quite a lot of European (PAL) DVD players. Check the compatibility of your player!
Reviewed by Brian Clegg
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Last update 05 June 2007