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Mindstorms NXT

Currently patrolling our editorial offices, pestering late editors. LEGO's Mindstorms NXT is 577 pieces of the LEGO goodness that you grew up with, but it's now designed for digitally influenced imaginations.Mindstorms NXT is a robot-building kit. You can build robots with arms, legs, claws, wheels, and more, but the core of the Mindstorms NXT kit is the Intelligent Brick, which holds programs that are used to make your robot perform. The Brick has connectors so you can attach robot parts to it, four sensors (light, sound, touch, and ultrasonic) to help your robot react, and three servomotors for movement. 

The Sims 2: Nightlife

Sim dates are timed minigames. Come to think of it, it's not that much different than reality. Nightlife, the latest expansion pack to the Sims 2 series, is all about being a social butterfly. It adds a booming downtown area with tons of destinations, including bowling alleys, restaurants, art museums, and nightclubs. There's plenty to keep you occupied; you can enjoy a long dinner, find a poker game, sing karaoke, or even take over DJ duty at the local disco.

Quake 4

Never ever tell a cybernetic beast his legs look like Martian toothpicks. Quake 4 picks up mere seconds after Quake II (no, we didn't miscount - the multiplayer-only Quake III: Arena wasn't part of the Quake storyline). You play as Matthew Kane, a soldier in an invasion force that breaks through the hole in the defenses of humanity's greatest interstellar enemy, the Strogg. It's up to you to take down remaining enemy munitions, penetrate the heart of the Strogg empire, and teach your alien adversaries that two can play at genocide.  

It's important to keep your city folk happy, or they might revolt - and no, you can't slip anything into the water supply. In Sid Meier's Civilization III: Complete, you plant the seeds of a new civilization and guide it turn by turn toward world domination through brute force, economics, technology, cultural influence, or by fulfilling scenario objectives. Civilization III: Complete has tons of enhancements and features, but it's too bad that it took a while for it to be released - PC gamers have been playing Civilization IV for months. 

Zoo Tycoon 2

Don't feed the animals - but blowing bubbles at them is OK. The latest version of Zoo Tycoon has new play modes, enhanced environment-editing tools, more park objects, and more animals to choose from - all great additions that boost replay value and challenge you to build bigger and better zoos. 

The Sims 2 University

We're geeks, so writing our semester term paper takes priority over partying. The Sims 2 University expansion lets you take your Sim through four Sims-years of college, attending classes, doing assignments, and taking exams, all while making new friends, adjusting to dorm life, and (if you wish) rushing a Greek house - but by the time graduation day rolls around, this school has become a bit of a grind. 

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3

You can experience any of the rides from the perspective of the CoasterCam. Despite the fact that RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 is the third game of the series, it's the first to appear on the Mac. From building rides to controlling finances, you get to play Michael Eisner (oops, we mean Robert Iger) and manage every aspect of an amusement park. Your goal? Build thriving parks that make lots of money so you can move up the entrepreneurial ladder. 

Comic Life Deluxe Edition

Comic Life provides the easy-to-use tools; you provide the creativity. For many of us, life seems to imitate art, so wouldn't it be cool to meld the two? With Comic Life Deluxe Edition, you can transform your personal photos into colorful comics - and it's fun, easy, and extremely addicting. 

Myst V

Some puzzles are as complicated as they look - and even those that don't look complicated usually are. In the beginning, a weird book fell through a rip in the sky and transported us to a mysterious island filled with abstract puzzle after abstract puzzle - that's how millions of gamers fell in love with (and plenty of others learned to loathe) the puzzle-laden world of Myst over a dozen years ago. For fans of the series, Myst V: End of Ages ends the saga triumphantly, but if you've ever tried and hated a Myst game before, you'll find nothing here to make you want to open this book again.