January 08, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

What to play

Star Trek: Starship Creator (Simon & Schuster Interactive, for PC and Mac)
A.k.a. Star Trek: The Next Permutation, in which you get to build your own spaceship. For those who can’t tell a warp drive from a flux capacitor, there’s ”easy” mode, in which all of the components needed for a space-worthy vessel are automatically chosen. Hardcore Trekkers will opt for the ”advanced” mode, in which every component — right down to the ”matter-antimatter reactor” — must be correctly configured in order to avert disaster. Sure, this takes geekdom to where no man has gone before, but no one says you have to play it in public. B

Trespasser (DreamWorks Interactive, for PC)
Just when you thought it was safe to play with DNA again, along comes this cybersequel to The Lost World. During a Costa Rican vacation, your plane ends up on the infamous Site B, where you, in the guise of tough heroine Anne (voiced by a less-than-enthused Minnie Driver), must make it off the island alive by pumping lead into an occasional raptor and solving incredibly lame puzzles. Without a trace of suspense, this game’s an evolutionary failure all by itself. D

Bust a Groove (989 Studios, for PlayStation)
Think Mortal Kombat meets Solid Gold. After picking from a posse of ostentatiously dressed guys and gals — Hiro, in the Saturday Night Fever getup, and catsuited Kitty-N steal the show — you out-boogie your opponent by pressing the appropriate button combinations that are listed in rapid-fire succession on the screen. The splendid animation and original techno-generic tunes make it worth the effort — but where’s the mosh pit? B+

Rugrats: Search for Reptar (THQ, for PlayStation)
As always, there’s trouble brewing in the Pickles household: Tommy (he’s the bald one), with the help of usual suspects Angelica, Chuckie, et al., must search high and low for the missing pieces to his Reptar (he’s the dinosaur) puzzle. It’s highly doubtful your own collection of rugrats will get bored anytime soon thanks to the mother lode of mini-activities, which range from chasing down a goose that has stolen Grandpa’s dentures to an outer-space adventure in which Angelica laser-zaps aliens with her Stuvon 2000 remote control. And if you want to play after the kids are in bed — well, we won’t tell. B+

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