The mere packaging of Oldfield's 'The Songs Of Distant Earth' - liner notes by Arthur C. Clarke, writer of the 1986 book by the same title (Welcome back into space, Mike"); cover art redolent of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here - suggests a Rancid fan's worst nightmare, and the contents do not dissappoint.
The music tracks, as usual, combine European art-music flourishes and folk-derived melodic devices with ambient whooshes and wahs. On the interactive portion, the 'Tubular Bells' composer regales us with spacey images of interplanetary craft that look like streamlined sea creatures, then puts us in a room where we have to crack a code in order to proceed to the next screen. Making you guess a password is just trivial snobbery.
Overall grade: D
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