First introduced in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg, and still in use by enthusiasts today, letterpress printing uses raised blocks of reversed, reusable letters and graphics laid out in a frame, which are then inked and pressed onto a sheet of paper to produce a right-reading image. Those born after the advent of desktop publishing can now experience such old- world craftsmanship right on their Mac, thanks to the $9.99 LetterMpress app.
Considered by many to be one of the best 2D platform adventure games of all time, Cave Story first hit the scene as freeware back in 2004, and has since seen play on the Wii and Nintendo DSi. However, the latest and most complete iteration of the title—Cave Story+—recently hit the Mac and is available exclusively in the Mac App Store at the very reasonable price of $9.99. If you can’t get enough of classic titles like Castlevania or Metroid, you’ll definitely want to pick up this bad boy.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the calculations you scribbled on scrap paper were interactive, or if spreadsheets were easy enough to use at the drop of a hat? Soulver is a calculator that aims to combine these tools into something that’s both easy to use and powerful enough to crunch data in useful ways. Soulver lets you enter problems from simple arithmetic to trigonometry in natural language—using words as well as numbers and symbols—and combine the answers in flexible “math-processor” documents.
OS X Lion 10.7.2 recently added the ability to drag-and-drop files between desktop spaces, but it’s not particularly intuitive, and downright awkward for users with multiple displays. Thankfully, hardcore Mission Control fans now have a better option called Yoink.
Do you back up your Mac? If a disaster takes out your hardware, will one of those polite guys from an insurance commercial appear, honoring your policy with a snap? Since that’s pure pipe dream, you’ll need to provide proof that you owned that computer—and any other items in your claim. Home Inventory provides the framework for you to catalog everything, even helping you keep track of the value of your items versus the maximum coverage of your policy. The software misses a few important options, but its simple interface and invaluable iPhone helper app make the giant task of inventorying your home manageable.
Before iCloud commits our DVDs to a life of protecting tabletops from tasty beverages, DVD Ripper HD aims to help us shift their contents to our hard drives to mix with our purchases from iTunes. The app provides numerous options to convert the content of your DVDs to formats compatible with popular devices, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, and many others. Advanced features include the option to trim the original movie to a smaller section before it’s ripped and also to adjust the aspect ratio.
Take a classic arcade game premise, expand upon it the right way, and you’ve got something good. That’s what Gameloft did with Tank Battles, a top-down tank simulator that puts you in the cockpit of a World War II tank. You’ll fight through 50 campaign levels, battle against the computer in assorted random levels, play cooperatively with a second player, or get down and dirty online in Death Match, Team Death Match, or Capture the Flag. Like the arcade tank games you loved, Tank Battles sports an array of power-ups such as speed boosts, homing missiles, invisibility, flamethrowers, rockets, short-term invincibility shields, and land mines.
Gameloft’s slick-looking real-time strategy game Starfront: Collision sure was a hit in the iOS App Store -- the majority of user reviews are for the full five stars. But when we played the Mac App Store port, it was full of bugs and hampered by a weak AI, though the solid multiplayer mode redeems it at least a little.