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Need Cool Games on Linux?

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Jason Jones

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Posted: 8 Nov 2004

If I could get a new piece of computer hardware for every hour my parents spent playing solitaire or free-cell or one of those other ?comes with Windows? games, I'm sure I'd have the biggest cluster of super-computers in existence. Now, I bet you're wondering if Linux has as many cool ?comes with Linux? games as Windows has ?comes with Windows? games, right? Well, I'm here to tell ya they have more!

Along with the usual card games, Linux has access to more graphically based games.

One of my personal favorites is called Frozen Bubble. It may already be installed on your system, but an easy way to find out is to open the run dialog box by pressing ALT-F2, and entering frozen-bubble. If you have it installed, when you press enter, you should see something like this pop up.

Frozen bubble is a tetris-like game of accuracy and speed. You bring down ?bubbles? as you shoot same-colored bubbles at pre-existing bubbles. It's pretty addicting. The beginning levels are very easy and gradually get harder as the game goes on. You can play single player against just the clock, or you can play with one other player and see who can knock each other out. Enabling ?chain reactions? is even funner. I highly recommend this one.


Another fun one is called ?Penguin Command?. If you miss the good old days of video games, this one should do ya good. Penguin Command is a clone of the old ?Missile Command? game. It's basically the exact same thing, but it's free, and it runs on Linux. Quite fun indeed.

To run this game you open the run dialog by pressing ALT-F2 and entering penguin-command -w into the field. The ?-w? sets it up for windowed mode. It defaults to full-screen and when I tried to run it in full-screen mode, it caused a little trouble with my computer.

If the game starts then you're ready to rock! If it doesn't you'll have to install it through YAST. Simply start YAST, click Install and Remove Software and enter penguin-command into the search field and press enter. When it's done, run it and you're off saving digital cities and blowing up representational missiles.

The ?Normal? mode is easier than the ?Arcade? mode. So if you want to play it safe, I'd go normal mode. If you're feeling saucy, then I'd definitely opt for the Arcade mode.

It's great fun.

One of my personal favorites that isn't available in YAST at the time of this writing is ?Power Manga?. This one provides hours of fun to almost anyone who is into fast-paced 2-D shooter type games. By the time you read this, it might be in YAST, but since it isn't now, I'll tell you how to install this gem like they did back in the day. The following instructions are made for SUSE 9.x versions of Linux.

  1. Browse to this website, and click on the following link, and save the file to disk.
  2. Open a terminal and navigate to the directory where you downloaded the file.
  3. Type: rpm -i
  4. Type powermanga into the terminal
  5. You should see the game up and running.

Power Manga isn't just your basic shoot-em-up game. There are 8 types of weapons, 5 different ships, and over 40 levels. This one will keep you occupied for quite a while. To play the game, you simply choose ?PLAY? and then shoot em' up!

The arrow keys move your ship around, the space-bar shoots the weapon, and ctrl controls your power-ups.

Linux does make a great workstation for developers and office personnel, but let's not forget that it has plenty of games for just about all ages.

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