We like traditional Scrabble for its physical feel almost as much as the crossword game itself. We carefully arrange letters between turns, sometimes petting a groove into a treasured tile like rubbing Buddha’s belly. Scrabble for the iPod loses that physical touch, but it brings the game to turbulent flights and the family truckster without the danger of losing tiles under the seat.
After a very public dissagreement concerning pricing, Apple and NBC Universal parted ways a few months back. NBC wanted to experiment with pricing, Apple didn't. In the wake of the break-up, NBC announced it was creating a video portal named, Hulu. Hulu would allow NBC to control its content and sell ads much the same way traditional television does. On the surface, Hulu seems like the knee-jerk reaction of a spoiled child who, when it couldn't get its way with Apple and the iTunes store, went off and created its own video site. In fact, Hulu is a good start at offering video on demand on the internet. Once you begin exploring the site you get sucked into watching television shows, film and TV clips and full length films. All for free.
Free-wheelin’ rally racing is way more fun with a gamepad or racing wheel. Most racing games are fun because you rub shoulders—and wheels—with other cars, trying to outmaneuver foes to the finish. Colin McRae Rally Mac instead pits you against times of other drivers, losing that in-the-moment thrill. Depending on the mode, a “ghost” car outline might represent another racer, but physical collisions are impossible. However, the game has so much else, it still places as one of our favorites. Tight controls, imaginative off-road tracks, and punishing but rewarding competitor times make this technical racer a winner.
We all know the value of education, but a trickier decision parents have to make is when to start formally educating their kids. It’s becoming more common to send toddlers for a year or two of preschool before they start kindergarten at age 5. And the structure is a lot different than in years past—even kindergartners get homework these days.
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.
Great game mechanics inspire decades of imitators, and Bubble Bash for the iPod clearly follows Bust-a Move. You might also remember the basic idea as remixed in Snood and many others: erase on-screen bubbles by firing new ones, matching three or more of the same color. Using a light touch to aim with the click wheel, Bubble Bash pulls off this core gameplay, adding a few of its own flourishes.
Path Finder has too many features to list here, but this screenshot shows the tabbed browsing, smart sorting of folders, invisible file viewing, the Favorites toolbar, and the drop stack in the upper-left corner.