Cyberlink YouCam is webcam effects software aimed at making YouTube and video chat a lot more fun.

As all the main messenger software titles now support video chat, it’s about time there were more ways to make it more fun. This is where YouCam steps in. This clever little utility from Cyberlink is aimed squarely at YouTube and chat fans who want a way to enhance chatting online and share videos.

Cyberlink YouCam consists of two modes: one to be used to pep up live chats, and the other to add a little extra to your video chats before you share them with friends online.

The first mode allows you to apply effects while you are chatting to your friends. Most of these are, admittedly pretty cheesy but, given the market of teens and tweens to whom this is most likely to appeal, perhaps this is no bad thing.

Frankly, we struggle to see quite how chatting would be enhanced by the addition of a swirly pink heart or a red rose frame. If, like us, you don’t like the effects supplied with Cyberlink YouCam, there are more to be downloaded from the Cyberlink website.

You can also add distortion effects to make yourself look, bigger, thinner or just plain weirder. Then there are animated ‘emotion’ effects which are a bit like cartoon captions. For the full effect these can be applied along with any of Cyberlink YouCam's other features.

Cyberlink YouCam's second, standalone, mode allows you to use your webcam to capture video and still images and add effects to them instead.

If you create a video you are particularly proud of you can upload directly from YouCam to YouTube. Or, if your film is of a more private nature you can email it directly from Cyberlink YouCam instead.

In either mode you can preview your masterpiece in real time to see whether or not you are happy with the effects and filters you have added.

For the latest games and home entertainment news and reviews visit Digital World.

Cyberlink YouCam: Specs

  • Windows XP/Vista
  • 4.3GHz Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • minimum 300MB of hard disk space
  • 1024x768, web cam, Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger
  • Windows XP/Vista
  • 4.3GHz Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • minimum 300MB of hard disk space
  • 1024x768, web cam, Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger

OUR VERDICT

While Cyberlink YouCam is rather fun, it’s hard to see a big market of people who would want to pay even £16 for something quite so superfluous. It might appeal to kids who enjoy the novelty value of the effects, but Cyberlink YouCam has the air of something that really should be a free add on, not paid-for software.

Find the best price