An often mentioned complaint about Linux is the lack of games. If you’re looking for the latest blockbuster from EA, sure, chances are, it won’t work with Linux out of the box. That doesn’t mean there aren’t great games out there for you to waste your time on though! I’m the type of person who really appreciates the 2d side-scroller/puzzle games though, so I’m going to limit this article to talking about my favorite 2d games on Linux. As I only recently discovered, the Debian/Ubuntu repositories have tons of sweet little 2d games. Here are some of the favorite ones I’ve found so far…
In these games, you’re a little biplane, capable of going up, down, and flipping over. You can also shoot bullets forward at targets, and launch bombs down that fall in a parabolic trajectory. Sopwith has very “retro” graphics, but that doesn’t discredit it in my book. Airstrike has modern SDL based graphics, but only has a dogfight mode, not a ‘campaign’ mode, which I also really enjoy.
Pingus is pretty much just a clone of lemmings, but I love it just the same. Great graphics, and a small community of level-creators makes this game pretty much a lot of fun, that can take you a while to get to the bottom of.
This game is a lot like some “pipes” or “railroad” games, where you have to construct a network of linked objects by rotating connector tiles on a grid. The twist to this game is that you’re hooking up computers by rotating the little ethernet cable tiles around. The Easy mode is pretty trivial, you can solve it in a few seconds, but the Expert mode is pretty tough, requiring you to think about connections that go off the left edge and come back on the corresponding row on the right edge (for instance).
If you’re running a Gnome system, there’s a decent chance that this little game is already on your computer. It is, in my humble opinion, by far the best game that comes in the default Gnome game pack. Its what the name says, a classic nibbles clone, but its still a great way to get through a boring lecture… 😀
- Visualboy Advance
Alright, you sticklers out there may point out that this is not a 2d game. I grant you that. It is, however a gateway to tons of amazing 2d games. I also have a lot of fun with it, so it gets a mention. Grab a rom of your favorite old school to GBA game, and get gaming! (FZero shown)
So I hope this article has introduced you to a few novel games that are ready to go (on a Debian/Ubuntu system). The debian repository of games like this is pretty big, and there are a lot of games out there that I’ve yet to try out. Poke around the “Games and Amusement” section in Synaptic, and leave comments if you find anything good! 😀