The 24 best Mac App Store apps and games for your new MacBook

Photo editors, music apps, tools for writing, and games for playing. This is what to install first on your new Mac

Your brand new Mac has booted up and is sitting there, expecting something to happen. What next?

You could do something boring, like setting up email (yawn) or delving into Office-like iWork (bleh). Instead, have some fun, with Stuff’s pick of the Mac App Store’s best creative apps for photos, videos, music and writing, along with a selection of high-end games.

Pixelmator

Imagine a simplified Photoshop with some cool black threads and that’s Pixelmator in a nutshell. It’s simple to use, but feature-rich, with a great combination of drawing tools, editing options, and stunning visual effects.

Flare 2

Flare 2’s sneaky. Load a photo and it feels like a one-click iPhone filter app, albeit one with pretty amazing filters. But access the edit section and suddenly there are loads of sliders - you can fine-tune everything, creating every kind of custom photo effect imaginable.

Autodesk Sketchbook

One for the artists, this one’s all about digital doodling. For free, you get core features to experience natural drawing on your Mac. £1.99 gets you layers and swatches. £17.49 (annually) is for ‘Pro’ - a fully-fledged art tool with custom brushes, perspective guides and a flip-book mode.

Comic Life 3

ZOK! KAPOW! and BIF! your way to something a million times better than a Facebook album, by transforming pictures of family and friends into comic strips. Get your words straight in the script editor, before adding photos, comic filters, speech balloons and sound effects. VOOOOOM!

Final Cut Pro

iMovie? Pfft. A mere abacus next to the supercomputer that is Final Cut Pro. Fast and powerful, this is the app you want to be using to edit your home movies, even if it’s probably overkill in the same way you don’t really need that iPhone 6 Plus for playing Candy Crush.

DM1

UNCH! UNCH! UNCH! UNCH! 86 drum kits lurk within DM1, ready to assault your ears. But this is more than a mere noise-maker; with the step-sequencer and song composer, you can craft songs for export or just make a noise that happens to be a bit more coherent. UNCH! UNCH! UNCH! UNCH!

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