Soothing screensaver

Go to your happy place with this relaxing screensaver that adds music and nature sounds to beautiful graphics.

The Koi Fish 3D Screensaver is a highly customizable way to add bit of Asian flair to your computer. Some of its options, however, seem a bit esoteric and contrary to the relaxing simplicity the screensaver tries to inspire.

The graphics are lovely, with not-quite-photo-realistic renderings of koi swimming in shallow water. The scene is framed with leaves, as though users are peering down through trees into a tranquil stream. The water surface ripples and occasionally a dragonfly buzzes past. However, the trial version plays only briefly before being interrupted by a large text box encouraging users to buy the program; this nag screen remains until the screensaver is purchased.

The configuration menu is easily accessed and intuitive. Users can enjoy the gentle Japanese-inspired music that comes with the screensaver or easily select songs of their own. Or turn off the music entirely to listen to the splashing water and birdsong, sounds that are also easily disabled. The volume of both the music and sounds can be adjusted independently.

Somewhat less helpfully, users are offered the options of "high water quality," "shadows," and "caustic" video settings that result in nearly imperceptible changes in the graphics. Likewise, the "gamma control" setting allows users to adjust the brightness of the screensaver, but it seems to be at its best when left at the default setting.

As long as you're not the type to obsessively fiddle with pointless settings, the Koi Fish 3D Screensaver makes an attractive and relaxing addition to any computer.

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