Games on Linux

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One popular argument many people use for wanting to go with or stick with Windows is that Linux isn’t as good for games. Giving credit where credit is due, Windows is an excellent platform for gamers. Then again, so are consoles like the Playstation 4, XBox One, and Nintendo Switch. However, I’d like to make the case that Ubuntu Linux is also an excellent platform for games, so if your only reason for not switching to Linux is a lack of games, I think you should reconsider.

The standard Ubuntu install comes with four great desktop classics; Solitaire, Minesweeper, Sudoku, and Mahjongg. These classics are both relaxing and mentally stimulating, and are pure versions of these games without advertising or requiring money to unlock certain things.

Next up is the Ubuntu software center. Bear in mind that these are largely open source free games, but there are some gems to be found. Warzone 2100 is actually a very well done real time strategy game, and some of the knock-offs, like MineTest, are actually really well done and get a lot of support and development from the community, though people are also able to run the original Minecraft in Linux by following some instructions found on-line with a search. One notable thing that shows up repeatedly here are emulators of various systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System. I was more of a Commodore nerd, so Vice and UAE are more my thing, and DOSBox does an excellent job for classic DOS games. In fact, just about every classic gaming system is emulated in the Linux platform, which can make Ubuntu Linux a great home for all of your classic gaming needs; you just need to add the ROMs or disk images.

One of my all time favourites

Some great Windows games run fine on Ubuntu Linux, thanks to WINE. WINE is a recursive acronym which means Wine Is Not an Emulator. What it is is a compatibility layer that allows Windows programs and games to run on the Ubuntu desktop as a native application, because the compatibility layer provides them with the resources they need. Back in the 90’s, when I bought Windows ’98, I also bought Command and Conquer: Red Alert to go with it as a Westwood Classics, and this was the game that convinced me that Windows was the platform to have because of that game alone. Remarkable that I can play it for free flawlessly on the Ubuntu desktop.

Steam on Linux

Then there’s Steam. I went directly to their website to install this on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and it runs great. Another one of my all-time favourites are the Half Life series, including Portal, and these have all been written to run natively on Linux.

Portal

In the case of Half Life, the characters got some improvements in their details.

And then there are new games to try out and explore in the Linux platform; the first one I’m going to try out is Endless Sky, which is a free download. However, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not really that up-to-date on the latest and greatest games on Linux. For that, I would have to refer you to sites like Foss’s 30 best Linux games on Steam you should play in 2019.

That’s about all I have for now, but I think it’s pretty clear that there is no shortage of games on the Linux platform. At least for me, it’s delivered everything I want from the gaming world, and so see no reason to revert back to Microsoft’s marketing vehicle called Windows 10. I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy a few games yourself.

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