IdleWild

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IdleWild menu.

IdleWild is a plug-in based screen saver program for Windows 3 developed by Bradford Christian and first published by Microsoft with in the Microsoft Entertainment Pack For Windows in 1990. Entertainment packs two and three each added several more screen savers. Bradford Christian and Tony Krueger wrote most of the screen savers, but a couple others were developed by other programmers. The program was no doubt meant to duplicate the success After Dark had on the Macintosh.

Because my family had the first Entertainment Pack on our 1991 family computer, I saw the screen savers from the first IdleWild, but I didn't see the others until many years later. I thought they were kind of neat, but pretty boring over all.

Review

Good

  • Unlike most Windows 3 programs, the program supports variable screen resolutions.
  • Impressively, the program is forward-compatible all the way up to Windows XP.
  • It has several features like password locking and hot spot activation.
  • With the first three Entertainment Packs, you get 21 total screen savers.

Bad

  • Most of the screensavers are pretty dull, especially compared to the creativity of After Dark.
  • The screen savers aren't nearly customizable enough.
  • None of the screen savers take advantage of more than 16 colors.
  • None of the screen savers take advantage of sound cards.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Screensavers

Example Name Pack Creator Description Opinion
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Blackness.png Blackness 1 Bradford Christian Just blacks out the screen. 1 - Pretty dull, but certainly effective.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Boat Race.png Boat Race 3 Tony Krueger Sailboats race around buoys. 2 - It's a nice attempt, but the boats look really weird rotating the way they do, and I would have liked to see water or waves.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Bricks.png Bricks 2 Ed Jalley Breaks the screen up into a grid and eliminates blocks, while the others fall into place. 1 - Pretty dull with clunky movement.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Chomp.png Chomp 3 Ed Jalley Bites are taken out of the screen starting at the corners. 1 - The bites occur at blocky even of intervals.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Dancing Lines.png Dancing Lines 1 Bradford Christian Color-shifting lines bounce around the screen and leave behind a trail. 3 - Pretty, zen-like, and effective.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Divide & Conquer.png Divide & Conquer 3 Tony Krueger Doubles the screen alternating horizontally and vertically. 2 - Interesting to watch, but not an effective screen saver.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Dropout.png Dropout 1 Tony Krueger Parts of the screen pop out and bounce away like the ending of Solitaire (Microsoft). 2 - Fun, but still kind of dull.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Fade Away.png Fade Away 3 Tony Krueger Slowly fades individual screen colors to black. 2 - A nice attempt at fading when stuck in 4-bit color, but only works with higher color depth on a very fast PC.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Fireworks.png Fireworks 1 Bradford Christian Fireworks shoot up into the black screen and explode while a fountain continually jets sparks. 3 - The fireworks are nice, but the unending fountain should have been randomized.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - IconBownz!.png IconBownz! 3 Doug Timpe Bounces a random icon across the screen. 1 - Boring.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Life.png Life 2 Bradford Christian Runs a random simulation of Conway's Game of Life. 3 - Fun to watch and bet on which color will be the victor. I wish it allowed file loading.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Mandelbrot.png Mandelbrot 2 Matthew Bellew Cycles through random sections of the Mandelbrot set. 3 - I enjoy seeing the set, I just wish it would have taken advantage of 8-bit color.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Oriental Rug.png Oriental Rug 3 Tony Krueger Draws repeating patterns in dots resembling a rug. 1 - The customization is nice, but the patterns are pretty dull.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Blackness.png Random 1 Bradford Christian Picks a random screensaver from the list. 1 - I wish you could blacklist unwanted screen savers from the random list.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Shuffle.png Shuffle 2 Tony Krueger Turns the screen into a number slider puzzle and plays forever. 1 - Too basic.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Spider Web.png Spider Web 2 Tony Krueger Draws line art spider webs. 2 - I wish the spiral would extend larger, and the width increase is too noticeable.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Spotlights.png Spotlights 2 Tony Krueger Dims the screen and spotlights randomly move around. 2 - Kind of neat to watch.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Stars.png Stars 1 Bradford Christian A basic star field simulator, a la Star Trek. 1 - The stars should increase in size as the near and vary in shade.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Stretch.png Stretch 2 Tony Krueger Randomly zooms and stretches the screen. 2 - Certainly interesting looking, but a poor screen saver.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Tinfoil.png Tinfoil 3 Ed Halley Embosses the screen in gray. 2 - Nice to see once or twice, but not that impressive.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Trails.png Trails 3 Michael Gates Colored worms slowly eat away at the screen. 3 - Fun to watch, I just wish the worms looked better.
IdleWild - WIN3 - Screenshot - Wipe Out.png Wipe Out 1 Bradford Christian Performs a basic wipe to black and then jumps to a random screen saver. 1 - The variation of wipes is nice, but it's a primitive screen saver.

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