(Xbox 360/Playstation 3)

How do you not love a game called “Mayhem,” especially when it looks the way it does, with comic book flourishes and a Sin City-esque palette of black and white with splashes of red. “Mayhem” combines the demolition derby with a standard racer for a high-octane, high-impact fight to the finish. Add to the mix optional 3D viewing and you’ve got one visceral gaming experience.

“Mayhem” features four game modes: Demolition Derby, a last-man-standing destruction contest; Banger Racing, a cutthroat fight for pole position; Domination, in which you attempt to ram your enemies into a pit; and Eliminator, in which your racing life is on the line. Finish at the front of the pack or be eliminated.

Customize your ride, choosing from 120 vehicles in six classes: muscle, sedan, wagon, coupe, truck and, of course, monster truck. Take on up to eight players for a big, messy brawl or go head-to-head with a local opponent in splitscreen. Over 20 levels across five arenas, you try to score “Mayhem Points” by smashing into opponents and inflicting some damage. Collect their loose parts to boost your ramming speed and work toward unlocking new levels.

The game also features bonus minigame challenges: Pit Pusher, Duck Shoot, Rear Wrecker and Part Collector.

Cardette Ultra: For all your memory card needs, there is Moshi’s newly redesigned Cardette Ultra. This is an ingeniously conceived card reader, which supports all existing memory card types other than Sony’s SxS/KxS and Panasonic’s P2. The Cardette has only three slots, so there isn’t any confusion of what type of card goes where.

It has an integrated USB 2.0 cable, with an optional extension chord, which powers the Cardette, so an external power supply is not necessary. It also has two USB ports on the other end, so you actually gain a USB port when you’re using the Cardette. It draws enough power from the computer to plug in flash drives, mp3 players, mice, keyboards and cameras.

Because of its wide support of memory card formats, the Cardette is a good future-proof investment. It supports all series of CompactFlash (CF) and MicroDrive cards, all series of Memory Stick (MS, MS Duo, MS PRO Duo), M2, MultiMediaCard (MMC), SecureDigital (SD), micro SD/TF, eXtremeDigital (xD-Picture) and SecureDigital High Capacity (SDHC).

The Cardette Ultra is compatible with Macs and PCs, but it is designed to look good with Macs, coming in silver, graphite or red aluminum to match the new iMacs and MacBooks. moshimonde.com

Moshi iLynx 800: Whether you don’t have enough computer ports for all of your toys or you just want to keep all of your peripherals tucked tidily out of the way, you need the iLynx 800. With the iLynx, you can plug in two FireWire 800 devices (backward compatible with FireWire 400) and Four USB 2.0 devices (backward compatible with USB 1.1).

This sleek hub gives you full 800 mbps transfer speeds, which makes it indispensable for multimedia projects involving cameras, recording interfaces and external disc or hard drives. Best of all, the iLynx is the only FireWire/USB hub that can support all of these high power gizmos at the same time without having to rely on external power. Its low profile design and color matching with your Mac mean you won’t have another eyesore on your desk either.

Zippy BL-741: Type in style with Zippy’s backlight keyboard (zippy.com). The BL-741 is a USB 2.0 keyboard featuring illuminated keys, customizable through 512 color gradations. It’s a fun feature that puts a little originality in your keyboard, but it also has practical applications. If your roommate is sleeping or you’re watching a movie on your computer and need to pause it or check your email, you won’t have to hunt and peck around the keyboard. Of course, if you need a break from the lights, there’s also an on/off switch.

The keyboard has a nice, slim design with quiet keys, which your roommate will also appreciate. Rubber-padded foot stands raise the keyboard to a more ergonomic angle. There are 104 keys with customizable hotkeys featuring icons for mail, search, documents folder, music and home.