The X Window System created a great oppor tunity for games in Linux/UNIX systems to become graphics-based rather than text-based, so that instead of having little character symbols representing robots and arrows, the games could actually show pictures of little robots and arrows.
A lot of entertaining games run in X. Unless otherwise noted, all of the X games described in this section are free. Also, the GNOME and KDE environments that come with most desktop Linux distributions (described in Chapter 3) each have a set of games associated with it.
GNOME games consist of some old card games and a bunch of games that look suspiciously like ones you would find on Windows systems. If you are afraid of losing your favorite desktop diversion (such as Solitaire, FreeCell, and Minesweeper) when you leave Windows, have no fear. You can find many of them under GNOME games.
AisleRiot (solitaire) Lets you select from among 28 different solitaire card games.
Gnuchess game in X. (Runs the xboard and gnuchess commands.)
Chromium Configuration Set options such as skill level, screen size, and sound for Chromium.
Chromium Deliver supplies to troops in battle in this action game.
FreeCell A popular solitaire card game.
Freeciv (Isometric tileset) In this strategy game, you try to lead your civilization to extinguish all others. (Uses Isometric tile set to represent cities, oceans, and other terrain.)
Freeciv Server (new game) Server program needed to play Freeciv.
Board game where you flip over circles to consume enemy pieces.
Match five colored balls in a row to score points.
Four-In-A-Row Drop balls to beat the game at making four in a row.
Steer a worm around the screen while avoiding walls.
Later version of Gnobots, which includes movable junk heaps.
Minesweeper clone. Click on safe spaces and avoid the bombs.
Move around a cave, collect diamonds, and avoid rocks.
Tetravex A clone of Tetravex from the GNOME project. Move blocks so that numbers on each side align.
Move pieces around to allow one piece to escape.
Yahtzee clone. Roll dice to fill in categories.
Flip black and white chips to maneuver past the opponent.
Maelstrom Navigate a spaceship through an asteroid field.
Mahjongg Classic Asian tile game.
Same GNOME Eliminate clusters of balls for high score.
PenguinPlanet Racer Steer a penguin as he races down a hill on his belly.
A bunch of games are available for the KDE desktop environment.
Games for the KDE Desktop
Kasteroids Destroy asteroids in the classic arcade game.
Kbounce Add walls to block in bouncing balls.
KFoul Eggs Squish eggs in this Tetris-like game.
Klickety Click color groups to erase blocks in this adaptation of
Play a round of virtual golf.
Ksirtet Tetris clone. Try to fill in lines of blocks as they drop down.
KsmileTris Tetris with smiley faces.
KsnakeRace Race your snake around a maze.
KspaceDuel Fire at another spaceship as you spin around a planet.
Ktron Snake-style race game.
Atlantik Play this Monopoly-like game against other players on the network.
KBackgammon Online version of backgammon.
Kbattleship Sink the opponent’s battleship in this online version of the board game.
KblackBox Find hidden balls by shooting rays.
Kenolaba Move game pieces to push opponents’ pieces off the board.
Kmahjongg Classic oriental stile game.
Kreversi Flip game pieces to outmaneuver the opponent.
Shisen-Sho Tile game similar to Mahjongg.
Kwin4 Drop colored pieces to get four pieces in a row.
Patience Choose from nine different solitaire card games.
Kpoker Video poker clone. Play five-card draw, choosing which cards to hold and which to throw.
Lieutenant Skat Play the card game Skat.
Megami Play four blackjack hands against a dealer.
Tactics and Strategy
KJumping Cube Click squares to increase numbers and take over adjacent squares.
Katomic Move pieces to create different chemical compounds.
Konquest Expand your interstellar empire in this multiplayer game.
Kolor Lines Move marbles to form five-in-a-row and score points.
Kmines Minesweeper clone. Click safe spaces and avoid the bombs.
Ksokoban The Japanese warehouse keeper game.
SameGame Erase game pieces to score points.
The games on the KDE menu range from amusing to quite challenging. If you are used to playing games in Windows, KMines and Patience will seem like old favorites. KAsteroids and KPoker are good for the mindless game category. For a mental challenge (it’s harder than it looks), try KSokoban. For a challenging
multiuser game on the GNOME menu, tr y Freeciv. And, of course, there is Chess (XBoard version of gnuchess).
Boson (http://bosun.eu.org) is a fun, real-time strategy that runs on KDE desktops. Although the game is still in its early stages of development (0.10 release), it’s a good way to try out the capabilities of your gaming hardware in Linux. You can download it from http://boson.eu.org/download.php.
The following sections describe a couple of the more interesting games distributed
with, or available for, common Linux distributions.