Q-Games' PixelJunk series has always strived for simplicity in both its mechanics and monikers, but the title assigned to PixelJunk Shooter has long seemed a bit off. First released on PlayStation 3 in 2009, the methodical, puzzle-tinged adventure lacks the kind of frantic, intense edge you might expect based on its branding, but the freshly-ported Mac experience still quietly captivates with its smart challenges and offbeat presentation.
Created by one of the designers of the mesmerizing and atmospheric Limbo, the pint-sized 140 strikes a much different image. Gone are the gloomy, shadow-centric backdrops and the eerie happenings, replaced by vivid pixel graphics and thumping electronic beats, which sync up well with the rhythmic obstacles and platform movements in the world of this ultra-minimalist side-scroller. Yet despite the many differences, 140 is very much cut from the same cloth as its pseudo-predecessor, as both drop you into an alluring world without a trace of explanation, yet impart their rules and mechanics with ease. And neither lingers for longer than is needed.
Like predecessors Anomaly: Warzone Earth and Anomaly Korea, 11 Bit Studios’ Anomaly 2 turns classic tower defense upside down. Instead of fortifying a base with turrets, cannons, and soldiers, Anomaly 2 places you in command of the incoming horde. Armed with a combat suit capable of setting up decoys, detonating EMP pulses, and healing units, you'll be tasked with leading a convoy of tanks, armored mechs, drones, and mobile labs through hostile territory, blasting through metallic alien defenses to clear roads or liberate important objectives.
You awake surrounded by water, with only a faint glimmer of land on the horizon. Slowly wading in that direction, you then find yourself on an island inhabited by vibrant trees and small animals, all of which look like they were spawned by some mythical pairing of an Apple II with a modern 3D graphics card. As you wander the terrain, each nearby element adds to the overall soundscape, creating fractured electronic music from your exploration. After some time, night falls and the trees start to dance, while a large swirl of lights in one location heralds the unknown. Do you dare step in and see what happens?
With Microsoft’s Internet Explorer long out of the picture, Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome have been left to duke it out in recent years, each one hoping to become the favored web browser of Mac users everywhere. Into this passionate combat comes Maxthon, which serves up a Chromium-based browser with a handful of unique features -- but are they enough for Mac users to abandon their favorites?
Just hours ahead of Wednesday's release of OS X Mountain Lion, a new Mac trojan has been discovered -- and you'll have good reason to upgrade, since the dormant OSX/Crisis only runs on Snow Leopard or OS X Lion.