4 of the Best Economy Games for Linux

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you just crave a particular kind of game. Maybe it’s an FPS, maybe a puzzle game, maybe a new Real Time Strategy. Lately for me, it’s been games of economy. SimCity and Tycoon type games – where you build up your business/city to greatness through clever monetary strategy. As a Linux user that naturally left the question “Are there any good economic games for Linux?” The following should be a helpful (though certainly not exhaustive) guide to a few of the best economic games for Linux.

OpenTTD is a clone of the commercial game Transport Tycoon Deluxe. It’s extremely detailed, and has remained one of the highest rated Linux games of this type for years. You’re given a world that’s populated by several small towns, mines, factories, etc. Each of them is a source of supply or demand, and your job is to build an efficient and profitable transportation system to keep everyone happy.


The only thing that makes me reluctant to recommend OpenTTD is that it’s got a very high learning curve. Don’t expect to sit down the first time and just figure it out. Even a simple thing like connecting a mine to a factory with a rail line involves half a dozen steps involving multiple menus. The website does provide some info for help get started, and YouTube has a few helper videos as well.

This is a great game that so far hasn’t received much attention. This is probably due to the fact that it’s still in Alpha status, and while its quite fun, it is still lacking some features, and comes with a very limited supply of game maps. As a player in Unknown Horizons, you try to colonize various pieces of land to produce new resources like wool, lumber, and liquor.


The downside here is that to the best of my knowledge, they have not yet implemented a “smart” AI to play against. Because of this, the game is fun, but only for a limited time. At some point, you’ve built and colonized all you want, and there’s essentially nothing left to do.

I mention this game because it’s got great potential, and I’m hoping some code-savvy readers might try it out and enjoy it enough to pitch in with development.

CorsixTH is somewhere between a clone and a port of the commercial game Theme Hospital. In fact, to get the game running, you need at least some of the game files from Theme Hospital itself. Don’t let that stop you though, as most of those files can be acquired from the free demo, which is linked from the same page as the CorsixTH download.


The demo does not include ALL the files found in the normal game, so you may eventually come across something you can’t do without the original game files.

In spite of the name, this is not actually a clone of SimCity, but it is certainly inspired by that game. The idea is quite similar, you build up a small villiage into a thriving metropolis. As your city grows, you unlock new ways to improve it. Even those unfamiliar with SimCity should be able to pick it up without much trouble, but learning to efficiently satisfy your citizens and your wallet can take a lot of practice.