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Porting a physical board game to a digital platform is far from an easy task. The essence of the original game can sometimes be lost in translation as the very fabric the game lies with the board itself. Most major boardgames have been drawn in by the touchscreen revolution to largely tepid reviews. So, how do classic board games translate on traditional point and click devices? Conquist 2 has it nailed.

Strategy games, both digital and physical, have always been my favourite from childhood right through to adulthood. Risk, Command & Conquer, Age of Empires—you name it, I own it. Conquist 2 takes its inspiration directly from Risk whilst daring to best the classic at its own game. Adding its fair share of original content, Conquist has the potential to upstage its ancestor, but how does it fair on OS X?


We reviewed an app called Characters back in August. It gives you quick access to a large number of special characters, making it an indispensable tool for web developers, technical writers, and anyone else who needs to go beyond the standard ASCII fare on a regular basis.

But I think the best tool for the job is PopChar X, not Characters, nor OS X’s built-in character viewer (and not any of the many web-based alternatives, either). It nestles itself in the top-left (or right) corner of your menubar, and it has everything you could need. Allow me to explain.

It’s hard to throw a stone without hitting a new to-do list app for the Mac. From Apple’s Reminders app to the new, iPhone inspired apps like Clear to the old, trusty workhorse apps like Omnifocus and Things, there’s a million ways to get things done on your Mac.

The thing is, we all need different things from to-do list apps. I personally used a plain text file (with TaskPaper or any plain text editor) for the longest time to keep track of everything I needed to do, before it became too hard to keep up with the tasks that have deadlines. I then switched to Omnifocus, and rely on it to make sure I don’t miss anything I need to do. I still like using plain text files for to-dos, though, and also have taken to using Clear to keep up with lists of random things that don’t matter as much (say, apps I want to try or movies I want to watch).

There’s far too many to-do list apps to list in a poll, so I thought instead we’d just ask what apps you use to keep up with your todos. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Our sponsor this week is MailTab Pro for Gmail, the ideal app for instantly accessing your Gmail account without having to open your web browser. It lets you do everything you’d need to do in Gmail right from your Mac’s menubar.

Logging into Gmail in your browser every time you want to check your email can get annoying, and you end up missing out on the great integration native apps have with notifications and more. But, if you’re already used to using Gmail online, using it in a native app can feel strange. MailTab Pro for Gmail is designed to give you the best of both worlds. It lets you access Gmail from your menubar, letting you see the mobile version of Gmail to quickly check and send emails, and also lets you switch to the full Gmail experience if you want.

MailTab Pro for Gmail has been designed to fit in perfectly with your Mac. It runs right from your menubar, sends native desktop notifications when you get new emails, and has retina display-ready icons in its toolbar. It even supports standard OS X keyboard shortcuts and multi-touch gestures. You can pick notification sounds and set the menubar icon to change when you get new emails. You’ll get the best of Gmail with the best of OS X in MailTab Pro for Gmail.

Go Get It!

MailTab Pro for Gmail usually costs $3, but is currently on sell for just $1.99 in the App Store. That includes all of MailTab Pro’s features, including full Gmail mobile and desktop support, notifications, chat, and more. If you’ve been wanting a simpler way to access your Gmail web app from your Mac, now’s the time to grab a copy of MailTab Pro.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

For those that may have missed it, Running with Crayons, the dedicated team behind Alfred released the much anticipated version 2 on Saturday. I along with many other eager beta testers quickly downloaded and installed the latest version and gave it a test run.


Point-and-click adventure games pretty much come in two varieties: comedy or serious. There are exceptions of course, like The Longest Journey or Police Quest, but the two seldom mix. You either laugh your way through absurdity and silliness or puzzle out a story of mystery and intrigue where the only irony on show is of the dramatic variety.

A New Beginning – The Final Cut falls squarely into the latter camp. It has a few laughs and some clever witticisms, but its core plot points, characters, and underlying themes are deadly serious — concerned as they are with the very ground on which we walk. If you can see beyond some rough touches and needless melodrama, it convincingly portrays a world with a bleak future — our own — that needs radical action to save its inhabitants from devastating climate change. It’s a journey worth taking, but you’ll need a lot of patience to reach the end.

As someone who writes about software (or apps, as we’re apt to say these days) daily for work and fun, I always enjoy reading the story behind the software we use. is one of the most fun sites online, in my opinion, simply because it tells the story behind the early days of Apple and the Mac (as well as a few interesting stories about Microsoft).

If there’s any company we’d be interested in the story behind its apps, it’d be Apple. Over the past month, that’s started happening, to a degree, thanks to Don Melton, a former Apple employee who started the Safari and Webkit projects. He’s quite an interesting guy, having first worked as a member of the Netscape team, then after releasing Safari worked on Calendar, Contacts, Messages, and FaceTime for Mac in Apple. He’s started writing since his retirement from Apple, and has started out with three fascinating short peeks at Safari’s development in Apple. (more…)

Our giveaway is now closed, and congrats to our winners: Kevin Kirchner, Luigi, b-0-m, Austin, Dan Oanta, Rudolph, THL, Chris W., Marc Simons, and Paul Dunahoo!

Have you ever been frustrated by your Mac’s display dimming, then going to sleep, right while you were in the middle of reading an article or waiting for a task to finish? Your Mac will usually keep the screen running while you’re watching a movie, but otherwise, it’s up to you to move the mouse or tap a key every so often to keep your Mac awake.

Our own Heather Weaver recently reviewed the new Mac app Should I Sleep, and found that it was a great solution to this problem. It’ll monitor almost everything on your Mac, detecting everything from your face to currently active downloads, to keep your Mac from going to sleep when you’ve got work to be done.

Should I Sleep is a free download with in-app purchases for the extra sensors beyond the free included face detection. Getting all of the sensors usually costs $2.99, but this week, we’ve got 10 copies of Should I Sleep with all of the sensors included to giveaway to our readers. Just comment below and let us know what you’re usually doing when your Mac goes to sleep but you don’t want it to, and we’ll enter you in our giveaway. Better yet, share the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or and share the link below, and you’ll get an extra bonus entry.

Hurry and get your entry in; we’ll close the giveaway on January 17th, 2013!

Envato staff or those who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.

The new year is here, and with it should come a ton of exciting new apps and app updates. A number of our favorite app developers have already announced major updates coming this year. Throw in the countless new apps that will come out, and perhaps an as-yet-unannounced app upgrade from Apple or Adobe, and it should be yet another exciting year for apps on the Mac.

Here’s some of the apps we’re most excited about in 2013.


The holidays have come and passed and here we are again with those trusty deals for the week. You would think that cheap prices didn’t live through the end of the winter holidays, but they have. We’ve got some utilities, text editors, and music players waiting for you after the break. (more…)

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