It is often mentioned that many games are not available on Linux. While several big titles are indeed missing such Linux ports, the Open Source community itself produced some impressive titles. Here is a short list together with some promo videos.
Most of the Linux Distributions out there are shipped with the set of games included in GNOME or KDE. These games are nice for short breaks, but not comparable with big, hour consuming games sold by the big publishers. However, the Open Source community stepped up there to deliver its own products, and many of them are not only interesting, but simply impressive. Also, there is a game for almost every taste available.
First of all the games where I also found a promo video:
The first person shooter Nexuiz speaks for itself:
The same is true for the first person shooter Tremulous:
In case you loved the UFO-XCOM series, you will find yourself at home at UFO: Alien Invasion:
Glest, a real time strategy game with wizards, trolls and the like:
In case you love classical Jump’n'Run games, Secret Maryo Chronicles is the way to go:
Next a set of games which might be a bit calmer (and don’t have a promo video), but are nevertheless exciting:
- Freeciv is the game of choice for everyone who loves to crush and rebuild entire civilizations.
- Wormux is – as the name suggests – a Worms clone.
- FlightGear gives you a fuzzy feeling if you love to fly from one airport to another with different types of machines.
All of these entries above have three things in common: they are all actively developed by a healthy community, they are all very appealing and have high quality graphics, and they are all comparable to the proprietary competitors of the corresponding game type. Some of them are better, some of them are as good as, some of them fall a bit behind – but not much. And they definitely meet the requirements of the occasional player and are a way to spend hours and hours.
Of course I’m well aware that there are many more Free Software games – but I’ve kept my focus on the games which at least released one full working (feature complete, playable) version and are in active development. And of course I only listed games I know of. Although I think I covered all the shooting stars of the Free Software games genre I am open to any other suggestion!
But while these games are great, the Open Source community sometimes fails to advertise them. For example, many of these games are included in the distributions – but did you ever see a Linux distribution review featuring the included games? It should be included in the release notes and reviews that a Linux distribution most often is not only a nice set of Office software but also comes along with a rich set of high quality games.
Fedora for example has a dedicated project for games, the Fedora Special Interest Group Games which helped to bring many games to Fedora. Except Secret Maryo Chronicles all games above are available on Fedora and just a click away. It takes more than 1 GB to install all these games – but that is definitely worth the space. And if you like them: promote them!
There is btw. only one genre which I personally miss badly: MMORPG. Of course there are projects dealing with it, but none of them has released a full, stable version yet. But that might be not too bad for my person because I still have to finish and hand in my final thesis these days, and a free MMORPG would give me quite some time problems.