Terminal Phase

Terminal Phase – space shooting game in your terminal

Last Updated on April 12, 2020

Text-based games are often forgotten and neglected. However, there are many ASCII gems out there waiting to be explored which are immensely addictive and great fun to play.

The idiom ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ can be extended to ‘don’t judge a computer game by its graphics’. While the game featured in this article offers extremely basic graphics, it has many redeeming qualities beyond evoking fond memories of the early days of computer gaming.

Many of the text games we’re covered on LinuxLinks have focused on the roguelike genre. But how about a real-time terminal-based game? And a space shooter to boot? Interested? If so, why not check out Terminal Phase, a fast paced, action-packed game.


Terminal Phase is coded in Racket, a general-purpose, multi-paradigm programming language based on the Scheme dialect of Lisp. You’ll need Racket 7.3 installed. One of my Arch boxes didn’t have Racket. To install:

$ sudo pacman -S racket

Then install the game with the command:

$ raco pkg install terminal-phase

The command pulls in various packages that are listed as dependencies of the game. I installed it on a PC with an extremely weedy processor. The installation/compilation took about 5 minutes.

Here’s a video showing the process. Your install will likely go much quicker as the test machine I’m using for this review only sports a Celeron J1900 processor.

Start the game with the command:

raco terminal-phase

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

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