Linux Gaming is Alive and Well

2011-Dec-6 -> from the entertainment-fun-and-games department Tags:

One of the biggest complaints I've heard from people about Linux is its lack of support for any decent games. I'd like to illustrate today how woefully wrong this myth is. I've been using Linux on my personal system for over four years now, and have picked out a number of fantastic games that have full Linux support, done by big name studios.

I'll start out with three big FOSS games, because I'm all about the free.


FreeCiv started as a project by some CS students that mimics the look, feel and game play of the wildly popular Civilization game. It has since continued to grow and prosper, and is a fairly well rounded fan variant of the mainstream game.


Id Software really deserves a huge kudos for making the entire Doom trilogy free and open source. This is really swell of them, and proves that even mainstream games can be ported to Linux without too much trouble. If the god of all 3D shooter games can run on Linux, anything can.

Urban Terror

This game was a personal favourite that started out as a full environment Quake 3 mod, and eventually moved on to its own engine to become a standalone game. This is another 3D shooter that is very entertaining in a LAN environment, and is fully functional on Linux.

What about non-FOSS games?

If you would rather have the commercial appeal, there are a number of titles currently available for sale that are functional on Linux as well. Here are some of the best ones I've heard of:


Hemisphere games did the Linux gaming scene a HUGE favor when they ported Osmos to Linux. I haven't played this myself, but I have it on good word that this game is great fun to play. If I was to simplify the game play to it's most basic level, I would say this is a game of absorption. You play an organism that must absorb smaller organisms in order to grow, and avoid larger organisms that can swallow you whole.

World of Goo

2D Boy really put together a great game here. I played through it, and talk about addictive. I couldn't stop until I'd beaten every level, and even after that, the replay value is in trying to beat levels faster, and by using fewer pieces. There is also a very cool mini game that involves you building the absolute tallest structure you can with the little goo balls that roam around.

Game play was easy to pick up, the music was fantastic, and the settings and artwork ranged from cute to downright demented. This is a real gem, and worth every penny to purchase.

Penumbra Trilogy

So you like horror games? This is the second scariest game I've seen yet. I bought it. I installed it, and I played through parts, and had other parts described to me through reviews. The game is absolutely terrifying.

Your only weapon? Light. And you go from level to petrifying level trying to keep your light going, no matter what. This game has a very unique physics engine that makes almost every aspect of the game movable and easily manipulated. It immerses you in game play by matching game actions with mouse actions. Want to open a drawer? Door? Grab the handle, and pull. This creates a much more real environment, and if you play with all the lights off, you'll catch yourself looking over your shoulder, expecting to see some monstrosity.

Buy it. You wont be disappointed.


Penumbra was the second scariest game I've seen, only because this is the scariest. The creators of Penumbra, Frictional games, really outdid themselves with this one.

You don't fight things in this game. You run, you hide, you use whatever you can grab to wedge the doors shut behind you and run some more. If you try to fight the horrors in this game, you will die. The point is not to beat them, it's to survive. The game is so well done, and so encompassing, that you'll forget that you're playing a game.

And so many more...

I could drag the list on for ages with all the great games that are available on Linux now. The fact that the major blockbuster games (Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, etc) are not currently supported on Linux, is just studio laziness. Is there a market for Linux games? Frictional Games thought so, as did 2D Boy, and a number of other big game studios.

So how long do you think it will take studios like EA to catch up with this growing trend?

Thanks for reading!

I'm always interested in hearing what you have to say. Contact Me, I'd love to hear from you.

Don't forget to join in on the conversation in the comments section below.

1 Comment(1 Pending Approval):

By Andrew Soltau on Sun 29 Jan 2012 05:36:22 am [ Reply ] Thanks for this excellent list. Daughter and I tried World of Goo demo, promptly got addicted and loving it. Bought the game. Hours of fun.

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