There are not many people that are immune from the charms of computer games at some stage of their life. Even the father of Linux, Linus Torvalds, is reported to have been hooked on playing a single game for a month.
In some circles games are regarded as a distraction and a time waster. However, there are many benefits to playing computer games other than the obvious simple unadulterated fun that they offer. Games can help break up the monotony of the daily grind, offering an escape from the harsh reality of real life. Some games offer cooperative gameplay, which focus on fun and interaction with others, encouraging participation and working as a team solving task-oriented goals. Other sorts of games help to exercise the grey matter instead. These are just a few examples of the positive attributes of computer games.
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 computer games can offer an attractive alternative.
The purpose of this article is to focus on open source games that are currently in an early stage of development. Many of them receive little or no prominence in the computing press. Whilst the games have great potential for improvement, all are highly playable and great fun. A few of the games are not being actively developed, but they represent an excellent base for budding programmers to wield their talents, or for creatively minded individuals to produce new levels and visuals.
The 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.
|Up-and-Coming Linux Games|
|Bitfighter||Multi-player 2D space combat game with Robotron-like controls|
|Warlock's Gauntlet||Dynamic, top down action spellcaster game|
|Gigalomania||2D real time strategy game that is a clone of Mega-Lo-Mania|
|Zero Ballistics||Unique blend of first person shooter and tank combat|
|StuntRally||Fun rally racing game with stunt elements|
|Tux Football||Arcade-style 2D football game|
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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.