Linux has finally come of age and is now a legitimate gaming platform. The release of quality commercial titles such as Left 4 Dead 2, Portal, and Day of Defeat bring real credibility to Linux as a first-class gaming platform. The bid to lure gamers away from Microsoft’s platform has also been strengthened, in part, due to the official launch of Steam for the Linux operating system back on February 14. The fact that the Steam entertainment platform is available for Linux is testament to the demand for open systems from gamers and game developers. At the time of writing, the Steam Store lists 113 Linux gaming titles, with all but two requiring payment to download. A small selection compared with Windows, but still there are are some truly fantastic Linux games to purchase on Steam. Prices are quite reasonable, with the majority of the Linux games on Steam costing under 10 pounds.
Computer games grow larger, more sophisticated and increasingly complex. Traditional blockbusters continue to dominate the commercial gaming market. However, for many people who have time and budget constraints, small open source or freeware computer games still offer an attractive alternative.
The purpose of this article is to focus on free Linux games that garner very little attention, certainly far less than any of the commercial counterparts on Steam. All of the games featured here are worth trying out. Whilst many of them lack some of the polish and finesse of their commercial brethren, they are still good fun to play. This article is not restricted to any particular genre, so hopefully there will be something of interest here for any type of gamer.
To be eligible for inclusion in this list each game needed to meet the following requirements:
- Free to play (no download charge, no monthly charge)
- Does not require Wine to run. Wine is a compatibility layer for running Windows software
- Must be playable and great fun
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.
|Unvanquished||Futuristic sci-fi first-person shooter with RTS elements|
|One Late Night||Short immersive horror-game experience|
|Diaspora: Shattered Armistice||Fan-made game inspired by Battlestar Galactica|
|Vore Tournament||First person shooter based on the DarkSpace engine|
|Open Imperium Galactica||Open source reimplementation of Imperium Galactica|
|Annex: Conquer the World||Indie game that brings fast paced combat with a diverse arsenal|
|Return to our complete collection of recommended free and open source software including our latest additions.|