First Look: Age of Empires 3

 It’s been a while since the Mac has seen a new Age of Empires game, but the wait is over. MacSoft has finally completed its conversion, bringing the latest installment of the series to us - the strategy-starved Mac users. Age of Empires III takes you back to the conflict between the European powers fighting for their fair (or unfair) piece of the New World pie (North and South America for the historically disadvantaged reader). In this setting, you’ll have access to the magic of gunpowder from the get go - in stark contrast to its advanced technological status in the earlier games. Despite this shift in backdrop, the game plays very similarly to previous titles in the AoE series.

Ambrosia DEFCON

Think you have what it takes to survive a thermonuclear apocalypse? Find out with this great piece of software.

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Chocolate Castle: First Look

This yummy puzzle game is almost as addictive as chocolate -- but won't cause cavities.

Sweetopia

Shoot candies from the launcher to create strings of three. It's bad enough that we're addicted to sweets. Now we're addicted to Sweetopia too. In this fast-paced casual game, you pop different types of candy before quick-moving chains of confections hit each other and explode. If you've ever played the popular Zuma, you'll feel right at home.

The Sims Life Stories

Like sands through an hourglass, these are the chapters of your Sims' lives.  Sims fanatics finally get a break from the continuous barrage of expansion packs in the form of The Sims Life Stories, a new stand-alone game for the Sims franchise. While the premise is the same as in other Sims games - you micromanage the lives of virtual people by making sure they eat, sleep, shower, and so on - it also features several changes that give new life to an aging premise. 

Star Wars: Empire at War

If you're a dyed-in-the-wookie-wool Star Wars fanatic, get ready for real-time strategy fun. If not, well...

31 Top Kids' Software Titles

These children's apps are guaranteed to make your kids smarter and more creative while keeping them entertained.

FizzBall

You can't miss in FizzBall, especially in kids' mode. FizzBall successfully puts new spin on the Breakout style of game, where the object is to eliminate brick walls with a bouncing ball. As Professor Fizzwizzle, you use a fizzball to capture and save cute little animals that have been abandoned on an island. Using a steampunk-style paddle, the professor swats the fizzball at animals, food, and more, but capturing the animals isn't easy -- numerous obstacles block the fizzball's path.

SketchFighter 4000 Alpha

We can't get enough of the graphic style. Explosions and dead enemies leave eraser scuffs on the background. SketchFighter 4000 Alpha brings so much style to an arcade shooter that it almost forgets to pack the substance. Instead of the latest glossy 3D graphics, SketchFighter animates scribbles from a teenager's math homework into a top-down, 2D arcade shooter - and the uneven, scribbled lines are as stunning as they are simple.

Smack Mahjong

In Smack Mahjong, you click matching pairs of tiles to make them disappear. Solitaire and killing time go hand in hand, but we're looking for a new game to help pass those last minutes before quittin' time. We think we found it with Smack Mahjong. The goal is to click on pairs of matching tiles and eliminate them from the board, but you can only select tiles that are free on the left or right. A clock keeps track of your time, so you'll want to work as quickly as possible, but the game doesn't have any sort of leaderboard for bragging rights.