March 10, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

Like so many CD-ROMs nowadays, this sci-adventure aspires to redefine the word movie. You can advance the serpentine plot according to your mood, your curiosity, or even your impatience. But it all serves to demonstrate how much bad multimedia movies have in common with bad traditional movies. With The Vortex: Quantum Gate II, you get heaps of pedestrian dialogue, amateurish performances, and chintzy costumes and sets. There’s also an overambitious, mouse-driven interface that’s more distracting than useful. But what torpedoes the entire venture is your unseen but oft-heard soldier alter ego, Drew, whose affectless delivery of lines like ”Oh, man, what is going on here?” conjures up images of Pauly Shore and Garfield. C

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