Jan 052011

tux-gameOne thing I found very interesting about Linux is the ability to have a whole series of classic games already present on your distribution, and therefore easy to install.

What do I mean as classic game ?

Games released prior to 2000 on Amiga or perhaps on other operating systems and now ported to Linux.

Follow me in this series of old games (as a concept), but always enjoyable and funny.



LTris is a tetris clone: differently shaped blocks are falling down the rectangular playing field and can be moved sideways or rotated by 90 degree units with the aim of building lines without gaps which then disappear (causing any block above the deleted line to fall down). LTris has three game modes: In Classic you play until the stack of blocks reaches the top of the playing field and no new blocks can enter. In Figures the playing field is reset to a new figure each level and later on tiles and lines suddenly appear. In Multiplayer up to three players (either human or CPU) compete with each other sending removed lines to all opponents. And in Demo you can watch your CPU playing while enjoying a cup of tea!



OpenTTD is an open source simulation game based upon the popular Microprose game “Transport Tycoon Deluxe”, written by Chris Sawyer. It attempts to mimic the original game as closely as possible while extending it with new features.

OpenTTD is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2.0.

OpenTTD duplicates most of Transport Tycoon Deluxe’s features but also has many additions, including a range of map sizes, support for many languages, custom (user-made) AI, downloadable customizations, ports for several widely used operating systems, and a more user friendly interface. OpenTTD also supports LAN and Internet multiplayer, both co-operative and competitive, for up to 255 players.

OpenTTD is under ongoing development and is a popular open source game. According to a study of the 61,154 open source project activity on SourceForge in the period between 1999–2005, OpenTTD ranked 8th most active open source project to receive patches and contributions


FreeCol is a clone of Sid Meier’s Colonization. Released under the GNU General Public License, FreeCol is free and open source software.

FreeCol is mostly programmed in Java and should thus be platform-independent. In practice, it is known to run on Linux and Windows, as well as Mac OS X (with some limitations).

In February 2007 it was SourceForge.net’s Project of the Month.

While remaining faithful to the original in term of mechanics and gameplay, Freecol sports a new set of redesigned graphics. Moreover, with time it incorporated ideas that didn’t make it to the final version of Meier’s game, requests by fans and original concepts like new European players and race bonuses.

FreeCol starts in the year 1492. With a few settlers, the player builds up colonies in the New World, struggling for power with other colonies from rival Europeans. The player gradually builds up these colonies with help from the European king until no help from Europe is necessary, meaning that the colonies can stand alone without any exterior aid, and declares independence from the King and, if the colonies are able to resist the attacks of the royal expeditionary force, victory is obtained.

The player may trade with Europe using various natural resources which are collected by cities or acquired from trade with natives. In each city the player can also build up industrial buildings to convert raw materials into processed goods, which sell for more in Europe, providing a significant economic advance. Some industrial buildings will convert materials into goods useful for running the colony, such as converting wood into Hammers and ore into tools.


Freeciv is a multiplayer, turn-based strategy game for workstations and personal computers inspired by the commercial proprietary Sid Meier’s Civilization series. The game’s default settings are closest to Civilization II, both in gameplay and graphics (including the units and the isometric grid).

Players take the role of tribal leaders in 4000 B.C. who must guide their peoples through the centuries. Over time, new technologies are discovered, which allow the construction of new city buildings and the deployment of new units. Players can wage war on one another or form diplomatic relationships.

The game ends when one civilization has eradicated all others, accomplished the goal of space colonization, or at a given deadline. If more than one civilization remains at the deadline, the player with the highest score wins. Points are awarded for the size of a civilization, its wealth, and cultural and scientific advances.

Freeciv is based on the client/server model, so the server is started automatically when you start a new game. It provides two different client interfaces: GTK2 and SDL.


FreeOrion is a free, open source, turn-based space empire and galactic conquest computer game being designed and built by the FreeOrion project. FreeOrion is inspired by the tradition of the Master of Orion games, but is not a clone or remake of that series or any other game.

Players take the helm of a newly-spaceborne Empire to explore and colonize the stars. Sometimes thought of as “Civilization in space,” FreeOrion’s design also provides for a tactical combat engine along the lines of Homeworld and the Total War series.

While its modular, open-source design allows for a significant degree of customization of the game engine and the story elements by the community, the FreeOrion team is dedicated to the construction of a living, breathing universe in a ‘grand campaign’ model.

UFO: Alien Invasion

UFO: Alien Invasion is a squad-based strategy game featuring turn-based tactical combat against hostile alien forces (human or computer controlled) which are infiltrating earth at this very moment. You are in command of a small special unit which has been founded to face the alien strike force. To be successful in the long run, you must research the alien technology in order to build bigger and better weapons against your foes.

‘UFO: Alien Invasion’ is heavily inspired by the ‘X-COM’ series by Mythos and Microprose. The first game of the series, ‘UFO DEFENSE’, became a classic and is one of the best games ever made.

Like the original X-COM games, UFO:AI has two main modes of play: Geoscape mode and Tactical mode. In Geoscape mode, the game is about base management and strategy. In Tactical mode, the game is about taking command of your team in various missions to combat aliens wherever they might appear.


Frozen Bubble

Frozen Bubble is a free software Puzzle Bobble style computer game which is available on several operating systems including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, the Symbian Series 60, Windows Phone 7 and Android line of smartphones. There is also a single player Java applet version.

The original Frozen Bubble was written in Perl by Guillaume Cottenceau, and uses the Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) library.
The game features 100 levels and includes a level editor.
Like many popular free software/open source games, it features penguins a la Tux, who in this game shoot the coloured frozen bubbles to form groups of the same colour. Such groups disappear and the object is to clear the whole screen in this way before a bubble passes a line at the bottom.

Version 2.0 offers multiplayer play via LAN and Internet. Two players can also play on the same computer. This version is presently for Unix-like operating systems (such as Linux, Mac OS X, etc.) only.


I hope that with this article you did remember some good old classic game and perhaps you want to try (or replay) one of these great games..  and if you know others, leave a comment.

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  6 Responses to “7 Classic game on Linux”

  1. I would suggest also the strategy game Wesnoth.

  2. What is it about Frozen Bubble that it appears on every “Best Linux Games” list? This is really one of the best that we have to offer?

  3. I luvs frozen bubble 😉

  4. While Wesnoth does not fit your criteria for inclusion on this list (it was released in 2003) but I do have to second the notion that Wesnoth is one game that should make most of these “lists”

  5. What about these?

    Port of Star Control 2 (now named Ur-Quan Masters): http://sc2.sourceforge.net/
    Privateer Remake

  6. I’m also quite fond of Crimson Fields, a classic turn-based war game, and of Hex-a-Hop, and clever puzzle game with a multitude of levels.

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