Acorn offers a very simple, uncluttered interface that lets you focus on the image. iPhoto comes with some decent tools to tweak an image, and even add basic effects. However, if you want to design a montage, add text, or create artwork from scratch, you’re out of luck. You could resort to Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, but both are giant leaps on the learning curve, especially for anyone used to iPhoto. This is where Acorn comes in—it’s not only a good value, but also easy to use.
In a word, Spore is overwhelming. This ultimate simulation is coming to Macs and PCs simultaneously on September 7, 2008. But somehow, this simulation of early life, evolution, tribal interactions, rise of civilizations, and interplanetary colonization makes “overwhelming” a good thing. On top of that, players create their own automatically animated creatures, vehicles, buildings, and more. (Check out our exclusive screenshots and deeper impressions in the April issue of Mac|Life magazine.) We recently stopped by EA’s Maxis office to try the game and speak with its developers. Spore Chief Designer Will Wright created SimCity, The Sims, and founded the original Maxis. Spore Executive Producer Lucy Bradshaw previously helped develop several The Sims games, most recently as Executive Producer. Both spoke with us about planetary phases, potential expansion packs, iPod and iPhone plans, and your personal Brian Eno.