Explore your hard drive with Tactile 3D, an innovative program that lets you view and manage files in a virtual, gamelike world. In the first-person view, you float in space amid nested, polygonal spheres that represent drives and folders.
As in a first-person shooter, you use the mouse and the keyboard to zoom in and out of the spheres and around floating file icons. You can cut, paste, and rename files. Sort commands help you quickly find the file you're looking for. Program options allow you to determine objects' size and control the speed and rotation of your movement. You also can download other themed layouts from the publisher's Web site. Doppler sound effects raise the cool level even higher.
No doubt, Tactile 3D looks and sounds pretty awesome (and requires decent 3D hardware). But can it replace Windows Explorer? Doubtful. The movement commands either put you too far away from objects to distinguish them or too close to read their information. Even with sorting, it's tough to find files in crowded folders. You can't drag-select multiple files at once.
But one of our biggest problems is what you might call a gut feeling: after using the program a little while, we started feeling the queasy pangs of motion sickness. Tactile 3D probably isn't the most efficient way to navigate your hard drive, but it's a heck of a lot of fun for anyone who's ever had dreams of soaring through cyberspace.