So you’ve installed one of the popular Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, and you’ve activated your graphics drivers; now what? While mainstream gaming has not quite found it’s way onto Ubuntu there are a number of worthy titles to keep you from booting up that old Windows partition. This article was written with Ubuntu users in mind, but it may be possible to get these games running under other Linux distros. All prices displayed below are approximate conversions from other currencies. All the games (and crossover) can be bought online and downloaded.
Minecraft – Cost: R200 (R150 promotion ends 11 November 2011)
Being a Java application Minecraft runs on pretty much anything. At the moment only Windows, Linux and Mac are officially supported but, XBox 360 and Android ports are apparently in the works. Whatever the platform, this addictive little gem is a sound purchase.
Heroes of Newerth – Cost: R210
Based closely on the WarCraft III custom map Defense of the Ancients (DotA), this multiplayer game is highly competitive. It has stunning visuals with stylised heroes and great attention to detail.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent – Cost: R140
One of the scariest survival horrors of all time; Doom 3 is a jack-in-the-box compared to this. The game slowly builds up fear from what goes unseen rather than using cheap shock-horror tricks.
MyGaming’s Amnesia review.
Oil Rush – Cost: R140
Using the state-of-the-art Unigine engine, Oil Rush delivers a rich visual experience and incorporates some new concepts in strategy gameplay. Taking place in a post icecap-melt waterworld, the goal is to secure all the oil reserves and destroy anyone who gets in your way.
Quake Live – Cost: Free
The same old Quake 3 Arena with some modern touches. Getting the game installed is very bandwidth intensive, thereafter it’s a fairly standard online game. Can be quite laggy if you’re playing on an international server.
World of Goo – Cost: R140
The stylistic physics-based puzzle game is now available through the Ubuntu Software Centre.
Darwinia – Cost: R70
One of the first indie games to gain popularity through Steam, now available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
Ubuntu Software Centre Games
Steel Storm – Cost: R70 – (R20 promotion ends 5 July 2011)
Incredible value for money, even at the original price, if you only get one game for Ubuntu this is the one I recommend.
Braid – Cost: R70
The painterly style, time manipulation platform game.
Family Farm – Cost: R105
A family friendly, farm simulation game similar to Farmville but with a 3D engine.
Other Gaming Stuff
Crossover Games – Cost: R280
If you’re bent on playing mainstream games but don’t want to sacrifice the advantages of Ubuntu then Crossover Games is what you want. Built on the tested Wine compatibility layer, Crossover does a pretty decent job of running Windows based games such as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty under Ubuntu.
XBox 360 Controller – ±R300
Ironically, unlike Windows, Ubuntu comes standard with XBox 360 controller drivers. However, games that make use of the controller are not very common but there are a few, such as Steel Storm mentioned above. There are also some apps floating around the web which allow you to convert controller input into keyboard/mouse input which can breathe new life into some titles.
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