Apple Aperture 2.1

Adjustment settings can be saved and quickly applied to new photos.  We have thousands of digital photos, but still feel nostalgia for the days of leafing through prints crammed willy-nilly into dented shoeboxes. Wouldn’t it be nice to get your jumble of digital images out of their virtual shoeboxes? Blow up that favorite, or frame that one from last year’s family reunion and send it to your sister in St. Paul. Aperture 2 handles these tasks and more without the nagging clutter—or sneeze-inducing dust clouds—of those old shoeboxes. Meanwhile, it lets you nudge exposure levels and retouch problems. It essentially manages your photo library from import to export, keeping track of your changes and making the daunting task of cataloging hundreds or thousands of photos much easier than you ever thought it could be.

The Tuttles Madcap Misadventures

Barbara Tuttle, voiced by Jamie Lee Curtis, jumps through one of the colorful levels.  The Tuttles Madcap Misadventures has a lot going for it: big-name character voices, gorgeous graphics, several top awards. Plus, half the retail proceeds are donated to charity. But if you strip all of that away, you’re left with a pretty standard side-scrolling platform game. Then again, why would you strip all of that away? 

Ableton Live 7

Live's interface is a single-window affair, clear and uncluttered despite its depth.  The market for audio recording software is vast, ranging from GarageBand to Pro Tools, with a lot of stuff in between. Now in its seventh iteration, Ableton Live started as a tool designed primarily for—surprise—live performances, but over the years, has morphed into a popular tool for studio and recording work as well. Ableton Live 7 is not revolutionary but evolutionary. With this latest version, Live has matured into a well-rounded, integrated environment with extensive automation and a unique approach to the musical process.

Eschalon: Book I

Twelve hours of rest? Your character must be a teenager.  Eschalon: Book I, the first title from indie developer Basilisk Games, is branded as a traditional RPG, a stereotype fulfilled here with a vengeance. Unfortunately, problems with skill choices and movement, and an uninspiring story line may turn that vengeance into slaughter for anyone who might not be a hardcore RPG fan.

Avernum 5

Its looks are basic, but its story and crazy amount of options will keep you coming back for more.  Avernum 5 is like a steaming plate of diner meat loaf—the presentation ain’t pretty, but it fills you up and leaves you satisfied. With an intense and engaging story smothered in traditional RPG gameplay gravy, it will thrill role-playing fans, as long as they don’t expect fine-dining flourishes like 3D graphics or multiplayer modes.

Susie Ochs's picture

Master Kick

Foosball Rules!Haven’t you always wanted to play foosball on your Mac? Come on, sure you have. Foosball rules. And this is a light, practically brainless, stress-relieving, palate-cleanser of a foosball game, perfect for breaking up long stretches of...whatever it is you do all day. 

Zack Stern's picture

The Sims DJ

Stereotypical, shallow DJs have more depth than this iPod game.  Imagine you’re spinning turntables in the hottest nightclub in the city, keeping the party rocking until the fire marshal shuts you down. The role of the fire marshal will be played by The Sims DJ. This iPod game is spun around the winning idea of a DJ simulator, but the result is just a repetitive series of mini-games wrapped around boring rules.

Zack Stern's picture

iPod Monopoly

iPod game wins second prize in a beauty contest, collects $10  iPod Monopoly is just as fun as the capitalist board game, minus the joy of throwing houses and hotels at your sibling after a three-hour stalemate. For better or worse, almost nothing has changed from the physical game, with the iPod version sporting the same rules and play. You can even customize more than a dozen “house” rules; we never realized that putting tax money on Free Parking wasn’t in the official game, but iPod Monopoly let us add that jackpot to that space.

Anonymous's picture

First Look: Acrobat.com

  If you like a little eye candy with your online applications instead of minimalist geek-chic, have a look at Acrobat.com, a new collection of free collaborative tools and software from Adobe. Beta of online collaboration suite impresses.

Leslie Ayers's picture

First Look: Can You Hear Me Now?

Choose Music > Pop-H when you're rocking out to Abba with headphones. Sure, it's easy enough to do, but we were too lazy to change Hear's preset to Hip Hop / Rap-H when the song switched to Akon's Smack That.  Even nonaudiophiles can appreciate an app like JoeSoft's Hear, which, for $49.95, boosts the sound quality of your entire digital music library - and any other audio you care to listen to on your Mac. After an admittedly quick look at the app, however, we found ourselves wishing JoeSoft could build in a few more features that cater to lazy mousers like us. To wit: With its dozens of music presets - from Alternative / Punk to Hip Hop/Rap to Techno, all for both speakers and headphones, choosing the one you want quickly is, well, a challenge.