Linux is not known for gaming, and when most people think of Linux games, they think of a few free and open source games that are good but not numerous. Nevertheless, there is a growing pool of free and commercial independent gaming developers who are pushing the envelope by offering their games on multiple platforms, including Linux.
They are available for purchase and download right over the Internet (often DRM-free), and some of them are pretty high quality. Here are five more you might not have played but are definitely worth giving a try.
There is something satisfying about playing a 2D game in a 3D world. If you missed the days of motocross games that required you to keep your balance or face a horrific, bone-crunching demise, you will love Mad Skills. But this game is more than just a retro motocross game. It adds simple, yet impressive visuals, 5 powerups, 50 tracks, and the ability to make your own tracks.
The next version of the game will also have multiplayer support, allowing head-to-head competition. The demo for the game is available for free download and gives a good taste of the game. You can purchase the game online for $19.95.
If you like puzzle games, Machinarium will captivate you. The setting is rich and visually appealing, complete with a likable robot protagonist. The background scenery looks hand- drawn and inert, but much of it is interactive and necessary to complete the puzzles.
Rather than provide a downloadable demo, the Machinarium demo is fully playable within a Flash-capable browser. The creators of the game recently announced that the game had been pirated so extensively that they are now offering an amnesty price of only $5 to all who have pirated versions, but even if you do not have the game yet, you can still get the $5 price.
A truly imaginative game, if ever there were one, And Yet It Moves involves a character who appears to be made out of paper, running through a topsy-turvy world that the player can rotate either clockwise or counter-clockwise. One wrong turn can leave your character in pieces, making the game a mix of platform action and strategy.
The demo of And Yet It Moves is available on the game’s website, and you can purchase the full version online for $9.99.
4. Tiny and Big
Granted, this game is weird and maybe even a little creepy, but it is surprisingly enjoyable. The world feels like a living graphic novel, complete with dialog balloons, and the playable character has an assortment of odd gadgets, including a grappling hook and a ray gun. With the grappling hook, he can pull in-game objects in any direction, and the ray gun can slice those same objects. In most cases, it is necessary to use a combination of both tools to manipulate the environment and advance forward in the game.
Tiny and Big uses a realistic physics engine and hand-drawn graphics for comic book authenticity. It has not yet been released, but gamers can find the demo on the game’s website.
5. OGS Mahjong
Mahjong is not a new game. Actually, it may be one of the oldest games in the world, but the appeal of strategically placing Chinese tiles on a table seems timeless. In the solitaire version of Mahjong, the player must match identical tiles that are not blocked by others.
There is no shortage of Mahjong games on any platform, but OGS Mahjong adds a 3D element that makes it more visually attractive and also easier to tell exactly how tiles are stacked. Best of all OGS Mahjong is free and open source, available for download from the game’s website. You can even download soothing music to accompany the relaxing gameplay.
The Indie game scene seems to be taking flight, thanks to the ability to sell them over the Internet and in online game stores that are willing to market them. Many developers are taking the opportunity to reach out to operating systems like Linux, which were previously ignored. The future for Linux gamers looks a little brighter.