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Need for Speed Carbon

 Need for Speed Carbon dumps drivers into a city full of tuner cars and racing crews that owe as much to West Side Story as to The Fast and the Furious. (Oh, how we wish rival crews would dance and snap their way through the plot.) If you can stomach the quirky premise, the game has a deep range of races and fun driving sequences—we never get tired of high-speed police getaways. Just be sure to ditch your keyboard and mouse, because accurate driving controls practically require a gamepad or racing wheel.

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iPod Game Goodness

  The iPod game catalog has evolved from an eye-rolling list of classic videogame clones to a wide array of options. I played the latest batch over a sailing vacation, testing them on my iPod Video during lazy tacks. While nostalgic cash-in games make appearances—Sonic and Bomberman—I found a new favorite iPod game.

Equinux CoverScout

CoverScout can search Amazon’s music library for covers, but it doesn’t match the song with the correct album.

 

iTunes’ ability to display album artwork adds a visual element to your music collection, but its ability to actually get that artwork doesn’t always work. CoverScout can help fill those holes in your music collection, if you can work around some of its shortcomings.

Audio Ease Altiverb 6

Altiverb 67 offers a simple, but effective, floating panel for mastering with precision.  Altiverb 6 is a plug-in for music production that creates reverb based on real samples of real spaces. Put simply, you can record your mumblings and guitar noodling, then apply an effect that makes it sound like you recorded them in the Sydney Opera House. For anyone mastering music for specific settings - studio or nightclub engineers, for example - Altiverb 6 is a formidable tool to have on your Mac.

Roxio Crunch 1.0

Compresses video and lightens wallets. I'd buy that for a dollar!

Vertus Fluid Mask 3

A Photoshopper's secret weapon.

IRISPen Executive 6

I'll take the pen is mightier for $500, Trebek.

The moving staircase and hidden passages behind paintings are the central corridors of the game.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix earns high grades with creative spellcasting and exploration, but most of the time you feel like you’re like an errand-running intern in the world of wizards - the game is mostly about performing chores tangential to the story line. This magical hoop-jumping prevents the game from being as entertaining as the book and movie.

Cake Mania

The cakes, they are a flyin'! Like every other business-sim game, Cake Mania is all about making money and satisfying your customers. But this game adds some sugar. You play Jill, who’s taking on the big Mega-Mart with her own business and hopes to reopen her grandparents’ bakery. Each level starts with Jill’s goals for the month and an opportunity for her to purchase items for her kitchen. Ovens, decoration units, even her shoes can be upgraded. Customers drop by to buy cakes, and the orders stack up quickly. Jill must bake, frost, and decorate the cakes to receive payment and points. A less-than-five-star performance results in Jill not making her budget and losing a “life.” And of course, once Jill’s five lives are gone, the game is over.

Even the pitcher's mound doesn't provide solace from Lucy's criticism. Why do so many people love the Peanuts gang? It’s probably because unlike so many other cartoons of its time, the Peanuts stories always had a sense of poignancy to them. Charlie Brown never gets the red-haired girl. The Great Pumpkin continues to evade Linus. Snoopy loses another dogfight with the Red Baron. But through it all, the Peanuts gang, this bunch of kids with big aspirations and letdowns, seems to roll with the punches. Life goes on, and you revel in the little victories.