Storm Raiders is the best entry yet in the Sky Gamblers aerial-combat franchise, sending you soaring through two separate World War II campaigns—the Battle of Britain and Asia-Pacific War—packed with diverse missions, intense action, and impressive visuals. Even more notable are the eight-player dogfights, which span a large number of play modes (like team deathmatch and capture the flag) and deliver ample competition whenever you want it. The Mac version doesn’t control quite as comfortably as the iOS version, but it’s still plenty enjoyable.
Finding your way through elaborate and impressively rendered mazes is the goal in each of Shardlands’ atmospheric stages, and you’ll do so by clicking to make heroine Dawn move to a location, as well as dragging movable panels into position and clicking buttons. There’s a nice puzzle-solving aspect to the navigation, as well as a bit of action, as you’ll have to avoid hazards plus dispatch enemy beasts using your surroundings. But the thankfully deliberate pace lets you consider each move before you make it.
Sharing links is easy. Send them with Messages or email. Use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other social network to share with your friends and colleagues. But what happens when you need to share a collection of stuff? Dropmark aims to simplify this process, allowing you to share not only links and images, but videos, files, music, and nearly anything else on your Mac.
Your digital reading pile can get as disorganized as that stack of magazines on the nightstand, especially if you use more than one service. ReadKit streamlines your reading with offline support for Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability, plus bookmarks from Pinboard and Delicious. (Pinboard and Instapaper require paid accounts.) ReadKit lists each account in the sidebar, including categories such as Delicious and Pinboard’s private folders, and the way Pocket splits your entries into Articles, Videos, and Images. Mouse over a service’s name and select Hide to collapse the lists.
In the world of password-management applications, the program that saves you time gets the glory. pwSafe serves as a secure repository for your various passwords. You can enter individual URLs with the site’s username and password, and optionally sort them into categories, like Finances or Social Networking. When you want to log on, select an entry and click the Open button. pwSafe will open the site in your browser and load the password in your clipboard—you just enter your username and paste in the password.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but why limit yourself to just one picture? Diptic lets you create square-formatted collages of up to six photos. This is a port from iOS (the universal iPhone/iPad app is also $0.99), and it’s just as easy to use here, with Multi-Touch trackpad gestures and easy-to-understand options and sliders. All the frames are adjustable, and you can drag in photos from the Finder, iPhoto, or Aperture, or access those libraries through the Open File dialog. (Scroll all the way down and click Media at the very bottom of the sidebar to see your iPhoto and Aperture albums and events—the Media browser is a little hidden.)
With a heavy emphasis on productivity and efficiency, Snail doesn’t overwhelm you with due dates; rather, it simply collects your tasks in a “stack” in your menu bar, until you’re ready to tackle them. Adding something to your stack is as easy as dragging and dropping, and Snail’s minimal, single-day interface makes sure you don’t get too far ahead of yourself.
Appointments go on the calendar, and tasks go on the to-do list, right? But when are you going to get these tasks finished, then? You could schedule them on your calendar, but if you don’t actually do them, the calendar keeps marching on, and your task could be forgotten. SmartDay links your iCal calendar with the tasks on your Reminders list, so open space in your day is filled up with tasks you have to do. But if you don’t do them, they don’t just vanish—SmartDay keeps moving those tasks into free moments until you check them off.
Mission Control debuted with OS X 10.7 Lion as a way to give you total control over what’s running on your Mac with the press of a single button (or motion of a single gesture, of course). It combined Expose and Spaces into one flashy interface, which some people found off-putting -- in many ways, it doesn’t seem to offer quite the same level of control as the older tools. Happily, this isn’t really the case. It’s just that some options are less obvious than they were, while other new options have been added that you won’t be able to live without once you start using them.