Review: Escape to a tropical paradise with this nerve-soothing screensaver | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: Escape to a tropical paradise with this nerve-soothing screensaver

Take a desktop vacation with this free 3D screensaver's realistic tropical scenes and sounds.

Isotope 244's Tropical Island Escape 3D Screensaver brings all-too-realistic views of, well, paradise, and its soothing wave sounds make for an instant vacation that's worth taking at any time, but most especially on a cold, dark, dreary morning when the cubicle walls seem to be closing in. Tropical Island 3D Screensaver has three gorgeous views to choose from, as well as a jaunty Caribbean music track as an alternative to the beach track. You can set it to play one of your own tunes, too. This formerly for-pay screensaver is now freeware that works in Windows versions NT to 8, though obviously it will display better in newer machines with more powerful 3D graphics.

Tropical Island Escape installs and configures like any screensaver (under Personalization). But it has its own Settings sheet, which let us set the display change frequency, fit images to our screen, specify either the wave sounds, the supplied music, or one of our own audio files, and even show the time and date and similar display options. Clicking "Preview" produced the first image, a small but oh-so-inviting tropical island viewed from the perspective of someone lying on an inflatable raft, holding a tall, cool...OK, so it's extremely easy to let the realistic rippling water effect and gentle wave and breeze sounds grab your imagination and run away with it when Tropical Island Escape kicks in; but then, that's the point.

Tropical Island Escape 3D Screensaver's laid-back perspective makes the realistically rendered views that much more appealing; and the gentle ocean sounds are almost enough on their own, though we like the idea of changing the background sounds, too. Just about everyone deals with stress, noise, and other things that can set you off. And when you're off, why not spend a few minutes on this little tropical island we heard about? You'll feel much more relaxed and refreshed when you get back!

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