A lot of things have been said about the linux operating system. It's not ready for the desktop. It's hard to install, programs are scarce and few. Some are reasonable enough, others seem like a blind person touching an elephant's trunk and saying that an elephant is long and slender like a snake...Well, some say that Linux is for nerds only. Is that right? Wrong. Actually, linux has gone quite a long way from being a hobbyist tool to a good server and desktop solution, even a free gaming pc! And what better way to make a tired system admin relax is to let him put off some steam by playing games!Now let's party!Here's a few of my recommended
games, with the corresponding sections:Game - Name of the game, along with it's description.How to install -This shows how to install the game. This is biased towards debian and slackware users (I'm basically a debian, slackware and pclinuxos user), although most of these games can be installed on any linux distro.Playability, Impressions - This impression is based on the author's experiences with it, or through the impressions of other people playing it. I discovered most of these games by going around the pclinuxos forums (If you're a gamer, check out the supergamer livedvd remaster of pclos, it includes lots of games, including America's Army, FlightGear and lots lots more!)1.
Graalonline (http://graalonline.com/) - This is one of the few games for linux that offers mmorpg type gaming. This is an anime-style rpg (actually more zelda like), where you collect stuff, meet new friends and battle enemies. Of course, for the free version, you can not save your states in the 3d version, but for the classic graal games, you can do just fine!How
to Install:Graalonline is available in an autopackage format. Simply download the package (http://graalonline.com/downloads/graal4setup), set permissions to 777, then run the program. Program installs automatically. To uninstall it, simply type in package remove graal.Playability, Impressions:Graalonline is a wonderful mmorpg that simply works. This is not a beta, this actually is a full-featured game with lots of quests and missions that you can play online. You can even join a guild if you want and be part of a team that collects stuff and do battles. Paid services let you use Graal3d (3d version of graalonline) and allow you to save states of your progress (free services only allow save states on graal classic).2. Stratagus (http://stratagus.sourceforge.net/) - This is an RTS style of game that used to be called Freecraft (it's because it used to use warcraft data files to run the engine). This has morphed to a standalone rts engine and is has lots of features that make you enjoy gaming for hours and hours, either by yourself or with competition with other people in the net.How to Install: There are different games available for the stratagus engine. One of my favorites is the Battle of Survival game, which is set in some fictional future and plays somewhat like Starcraft and offers LAN play.To use this game mod, simply download the latest stable binary (with the stratagus engine) at http://bos.seul.org/files/bos_1_1.tar.gz. If you're a debian user, this is located at the unstable repository and can be installed using the bos package.Playability, Impressions:The game is very playable. Although some missions are not yet available (this is actually being developed in the development version through the svn repository), the game has good, high quality graphics and sound. It also feels like starcraft (for the BOS package), and you should be at home with it if you're familiar with the Blizzard counterpart. LAN play should make it more interesting to play as well as you compete with different teams. If you've got the original warcraft II cds, then you can use the data and play like the original game too,3. Glest (http://www.glest.org/en/index.html) - This is another rts game, which is practically OpenGl oriented. This is fully playable, and has won the First Prize in "PlayStation ArtFutura Video Game Design Award", sponsored by Sony.How
to install:For the linux version, download the loki installer
version at http://liflg.org/?what=dl&catid=6&gameid=58&filename=glest_126.96.36.199-multilanguage.run.
As such, since this is a loki type installer package, simply set the permissions to executable, then type in ./glest_188.8.131.52-multilanguage.runFor Debian users, please
download the package here (http://apt.linex.org/dists/cl/juegalinex/binary-i386/). Hint: Lots of games abound here in this folder :) Playability,
Impressions:Glest is fully playable and can be considered a 3d version of warcraft-like play. The graphics are outstanding for a GPL program and it shows great flair and promise. The only thing lacking is online/lan play. Hopefully they'll add that in future versions of the program.4. UFO: Alien Invasion (http://www.ufoai.net/) - UFO: ALIEN INVASION is a strategy game featuring tactical combat against hostile alien forces which are about to infiltrate earth at this very moment. You are in command of a small special unit which has been founded to face the alien strike force. To be successful on the long run, you will also have to have a research team study the aliens and their technologies in order to learn as much as possible about their technology, their goals and the aliens themselves. If you played X-COM during your high school/college days, you'll simply love this, because this game is heavilly inspired by the Micropose game. It's also fully 3d, and uses a modified quake2 engine to render graphics.How to install:UFO: Alien Invasion is available as a loki type installer package. Download at http://liflg.0wnitsch.de/files/testing/ufo.ai_0.12beta1-multilanguage.run, change permissions of the file then run it.Playability, Impressions:Although considered to be a work in progress, the game in itself is very playable and can be enjoyed pretty well. It even feels like the X-COM game from which it is inspired (which is, like the series, single player based). If you're a fan of the Micropose UFO series, then this program is just for you.5. Manaworld (http://themanaworld.org) - The Mana World (TMW) is
a serious effort to create an innovative free and open source MMORPG. TMW uses 2D graphics and aims to create a large and diverse interactive world. It is licensed under the GPL, making sure this game can't ever run away from you. This is a quite unique game because the server used is the eAthena open source online Ragnarok server.How to install:Slackware (10.2) - installer is located at http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/themanaworld/tmw-0.0.19-i686-1.tgz?download.
Simply use installpkg to install this one.Debian - Place the following lines in your /etc/apt/sources.list file:deb
http://bertram.ifrance.com ./deb-src http://bertram.ifrance.com
./ Then type in the following commands:apt-get
updateapt-get install tmwPlayability, Impressions:Well, to tell you... from the impressions I got from other people (the author hasn't tested this yet), this game is
similar to a ragnarok type of gameplay (what do you expect?), and of all the six programs stated here, it is the least mature. However, don't let that one fool you. The world is actually developing at a nice rate, and you can now at least change clothes in the newest version. Overall, a very promising mmorpg!6. Globulation2 (http://globulation2.org) - Globulation 2 is an innovative Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game which reduces micro-management by automatically assigning tasks to units.How to install:Debian/Ubuntu: Download the .deb package at http://globulation2.org/releases/0.8.19/glob2_alpha19_i386.debMandriva:
Download it at
packages: Download it at http://www.nu6.org/_/pak/globulation2/0.8.19/Use dpkg to
install the debian packages, rpm to install rpms. Slackware users can use rpm included with the distro to install, or convert the rpm to tgz using rpm2tgz, then using installpkg to install the game.Playability, Impressions:Like #5 (the author
has not tested it yet, but relied on other linux gamers trying it), the game's approach can be likened to a strategy game like Age of Empires with a simulation type game similar to sim games. Add online/lan capability, and you'll enjoy this game for quite some
time! Until then!Clint Canada