$6
Apps

Big Blue Bubble Burn the Rope

It was hot on the iPhone, so naturally you’re going to dig Burn the Rope ($6) from Big Blue Bubble on the bigger screen of a Mac. The goal of the game is to burn away all the ropes using a flame—the catch is that the flame can only burn upwards. On the iOS version you actually rotated your iPhone or iPod touch around to keep the flame properly oriented. Rather than making you twist around your Mac, the developers were kind enough to include an on-screen hand to turn the puzzle.

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$5
Apps

Many Tricks Moom

Chances are your Mac’s virtual desktop is as messy as the physical desk it’s sitting on. Sure, OS X Lion is going to push users towards full-screen apps, and blending Dashboard, Exposé, and Spaces into Mission Control when it launches in July—a great way to move between windows. But Lion isn’t made for working with a bunch of them at once. That’s where Many Tricks’ Moom ($5) comes in. With one or two clicks, you can automatically resize, move, and snap windows together, shortcuts that let you quickly reference two or four apps at a time for simultaneous use.

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$10
Apps

Gaijin Games Bit.Trip Runner

If you like trippy independent games, drop what you’re doing and download Gaijin Games’ Bit.Trip Runner ($10) from the Mac App Store. The fourth game in the Bit.Trip series, Runner is a rhythm-platformer that has you running across the moon and fighting moon-slugs. Yeah, like we said, trippy.

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$29
Apps

Oomph Sidekick

Like Big Brother, your Mac always knows where you are. You might as well make the most of it. That’s just what Oomph’s Sidekick ($29) helps you do. It automatically updates the settings on your notebook based on where you are. Different actions will run automatically when you’re home, at the coffee shop, in the office, or wherever else you take your Mac.

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$25
Apps

Ubisoft Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction

The fifth game in its popular stealth series, Ubisoft has just released Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction ($25) in the Mac App Store. Like most console-quality games, it has some heavy spec requirements, so you’ll need a more recent iMac or MacBook Pro to really get the best experience. If you’re a gamer with one of those machines, there’s a good chance you’ll want to check this title out.

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$40
Apps

Feral Interactive Colin McRae: DiRT 2

Originally released two years ago for pretty much every other platform save the Mac, Feral Interactive’s Colin McRae: DiRT 2 ($40) has finally found its way on to Apple computers through the Mac App Store. This off-road racing title is another nail in the coffin for the “Macs don’t play games” argument: with beautiful graphics and plenty of tracks, racing fans are going to be pretty happy with this one.

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$8
Apps

Appnotix Ripped from Reality

There’s no shortage of speciality photo editing apps in the Mac App Store, allowing you to do everything from HDR to black and white effects, and of course much more. The newest addition to the pack is definitely a standout though, bringing an effect we haven’t seen in any of the others. Ripped from Reality ($8) by Appnotix juxtaposes photography and sketching, resulting in some genuinely cool pictures.

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$15/$30
Apps

The Mental Faculty Mental Case

Technology was supposed to improve education. Years ago, students took notes with pen and paper; these days, laptops are as likely being used for Facebook as for studying. A recently updated app called Mental Case ($15/$30) has a chance to change how students study with their computers, by reinventing the concept of flashcards. Instead of simple text notes and scribbled images on paper cards, The Mental Faculty’s app lets you create digital cards with images and videos—a multimedia experience, complete with structured study schedules.

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$3
Apps

Gameprom War Pinball HD

Pinball machines may have disappeared along with arcades, but they’re still awesome. And since it’s unlikely that you’ll have an actual machine in your house, Gameprom’s digital versions are as close to the shiny steel balls and flashing lights as you’re going to get. We liked the company’s standard Pinball HD for Mac, so it was cool to see the previously iOS-exclusive title War Pinball HD ($3) make the migration to the desktop, too. That’s right: Charlie Sheen and Chuck Norris are together in one pinball game.

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$25
Apps

Telltale Games The Walking Dead

Zombie lovers of the world, rejoice! Following the successful TV adaptation by AMC, Telltale Games is now bringing Richard Kirkman’s ultra-popular comic series The Walking Dead ($25) into the Mac gaming realm. Like many of the developer’s titles, this one is episodic: episode one is available right now, with four more set to be released on a monthly basis, with each additional episode included for the initial asking price. Telltale calls this an adventure horror game, though after playing through the first chapter, we’d say it’s better described as an interactive story. You’ll need a relatively recent Mac running Valve’s Steam to experience the impressively textured, cel-shaded 3-D world.

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$99 Upgrade/$199
Apps

Alien Skin Software Blow Up 3

Shrinking a photo is easy, but making it bigger is challenging. Stretching just resizes the pixels you have, so the result is blurry, pixelated images that don’t look too great. Alien Skin Software has been making Photoshop plugins for almost 20 years, and its Blow Up 3 ($99 Upgrade/$199) is a direct solution to this issue. It works with Photoshop CS4 or newer, Elements 8+, and now Lightroom 2+ as well.

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$100
Apps

MW3D-Solutions Cheetah3D

In the Apple world, there are plenty of things you can buy for a hundred bucks: an iPhone 4 or an Apple TV, for example. Believe it or not, 3D modeling software is on that list too. Cheetah3D ($100) from MW3D-Solutions costs the same as a pair of iPod shuffles, but it’s no slouch. This Mac App Store title, designed specifically for OS X, is made to be easy to learn and to use but is a full and powerful CGI solution.

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Free
Apps

Hexage Robotek

We almost passed by this little gem in the Mac App Store, but we’re happy we stopped to check it out. Hexage’s Robotek (Free) is a really neat game that combines elements of RPG, strategy, and pure luck. Set in a distopian future overrun by robots, it’s your job to fight through the bad guys one city at a time to take the world back. In-app purchases ranging from $1 to $3 make the game a bit easier, but they’re not necessary to complete it.

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$10
Apps

Telltale Games Hector: Episode 1 - We Negotiate with Terrorists

Telltale Games brought Sam and Max back to life, and it’s just released the first of a three-part series that feels like a spiritual successor. Hector: Episode 1 - We Negotiate with Terrorists ($10) is presented in the same style as those classic point-and-click adventure games: you control a British cop—known colloquially as the Fat Arse of the Law—who has to take over in a hostage negotiation and meet of all the terrorist’s demands.

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$2
Apps

The Growl Project Growl

The Growl Project’s Growl ($2) has long been worth installing early on almost any new power user’s Mac. Now, the notification tool has been updated to version 1.3, and there are some significant differences. First, it’s only available from the Mac App Store. And instead of being free, it now costs a couple of bucks. But there have been updates to the features, too, so you’ll probably want to shell out the couple of bucks for it.

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