One of the things we really want to witness is Linux making a significant penetration in the desktop market share. Whilst most supercomputers use the Linux platform, it is lamentable that the vast majority of desktops continue to run Microsoft Windows. Current surveys put Linux’s desktop share at a miniscule 1-2%. Yet modern Linux distributions offer so much for the typical computer user with an unparalleled range of open source software, combined with shining desktop environments that make the operating system extremely user friendly.
There are a number of different reasons why Linux has not gained a greater market share. It is often put forward that there are too many different distributions with fragmented user bases, too many desktop environments to choose from, and that developers do not concentrate on normal everyday users. Yet Linux vendors have made momentus strides in improving the usability of the desktop, with the installation and operation of software often as seamless as in Windows.
If Linux is to achieve a prominent place on the desktop, we believe there needs to be commercial titles ported to this platform as a matter of routine. For example, many desktop users like to play games. There are thousands of free games available for Linux. Yet there is also a place for commercial games. However, one of the disappointments faced by Linux gaming enthusiasts is the promise of commercial titles from video game publishers that are never released or are continually being delayed. For example, we were particularly looking forward to the port of Unreal Tournament 3 to Linux. Yet this will never see the light of day.
However, indie games could help to turn the tide. Indie games are video games created by individuals or small teams. They are becoming more popular and successful, in part because they rely more on innovative ideas rather than large budgets. A good range of indie games could be an important element for Linux becoming mainstream on the desktop.
This article identifies commercial Linux games that are definitely worth the money, with the focus being on indie games in the main.
To be eligible for inclusion in this article each game needed to be:
- Released under a proprietary license with a fee required either to purchase the game, or a monthly charge
- Not require Wine to run. Wine is a compatibility layer for running Windows software
Now, let’s scrutinize the 6 games at hand. For each game we have compiled its own portal page, providing screenshots of the game in action, a full description of the game, with an in-depth analysis of the features of the game, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
|Minecraft||Sandbox construction indie video game|
|Family Farm||Innovative and fun tycoon game|
|SpaceChem||An addictive design-based indie puzzle game|
|Osmos||Captivating puzzle video game|
|Amnesia: The Dark Descent||Action adventure, survival horror game|
|Tiny & Big in: Grandpa’s Leftovers||Award winning innovative game|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.