Ubuntu Games

Published by Tyro D. Fox in the blog The Leather Bound Book. Views: 314


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[size=+1]Ubuntu Games[/size]​

The Ubuntu operating system really isn't as bad as you might have heard any more. The days of having to sit in front of the terminal, typing code near endlessly into the screen till your eyes or fingers bleed is still here but only if you want to do anything really wacky or compex. In an effort to actually add some user-friendlyness to using your Linux computer, The Software Centre was added. For anyone that doesn't know the ins and outs of the Ubuntu OS front top to bottom, it's a god send for two reasons:

1) You need only click a button to install a program that's guaranteed to work. No more inputting commands only to find that something has gone wrong. Somewhere...Somehow...

2) You now have a large store of programs in one place that you know definitely works with Ubuntu. Some companies do make Linux versions of their software but they can be hard to find. The Software Centre cuts out all that searching.

So, I thought I'd see what was in this large bag of games and pick out a few interesting ones.

What I didn't expect was Ubuntu versions of the following games:

Amnesia: The Dark Decent
Braid
Bastion
World of Goo
Super Meat Boy!
Limbo

I'm not making that up. Each of these is available from from the Software Centre.

But lets look at stuff we've never heard of...liiike...

Tee Worlds

Imagine, for a second, that Kirby was crossed with Team Fortress 2. I'll let that sink in for a second...Yes, I agree, that is rather awesome.

Tee Worlds is a 2D Multiplayer shoot-em-up that pits your little blob with eyes and shoes against other shoe-wearing blobs with the gift of sight. The idea is simple. You blast at the other blobs with guns till they die. Depending on the map, you either rack up points for killing or for getting the flag or what have you. It's a very uncomplicated game in that respect. If you have played a multiplayer shooter before in your life, then you'll feel right at home.

Fighting each other is quite a strange experience, however. Because it's a 2D environment, you know have a severe lack of direction when under fire to avoid being killed. If you want to run away, you can only jump or back off. There's no dodging left or right, of course. This also makes it rather awkward when trying to shoot an enemy that's found a nice little hidey-hole to sit in. You can't really charge in because they'll shoot you. If there's no other entrance then your in quite a predicament.

But, getting around isn't too difficult. The game gives all characters a double jump ability and a grappling hook right from the get-go. With practice, you can be swinging like a ninja from the walls while firing like a maniac. It's handy for those moments when the double jump isn't quite enough. It's awkward to use at first but in time, it could just save your skin.

Health and armour is what determines whether you live or die here and their scattered all over the level. Hearts and armour shields tend to get tucked away in little crevasses and offer cover as well as recovery. I'm in favour of this. You don't last very long in some of the messier fights so it does keep everpony moving from one store of heath and armour to the next to stop camping. In theory, anyway.

The weapons in Tee Worlds do their best make things hectic and fast paced. Your standard weapon is a rifle...I think. It doesn't look like anything else. The rifle has recovering ammo, meaning that you can easily pop off an entire clip as covering file while you find cover.

The shotgun is particularly nasty, and as always, only useful at close range. However, the buck shot does make up for a lack of accuracy.

The Grenade Launcher is a pleasing tool for smoking out enemies from cover. It's powerful but arcs it's shots and you can harm yourself with it.

A katana power-up allows your character to burst forwards like a fireball in any given direction causing damage to anything in the way. That only lasts for a few seconds.

Lastly, if they get to close, whack them with your hammer.

Visually, Tee Worlds goes for cutesy but clean visuals. This works well to make the game as clear as possible to play but anyone looking for eye-candy should look elsewhere.

To be frank, Tee Worlds feels and plays like the 'Thing Thing' flash game series. It a 2D platformer you can shoot stuff in. Making a neat little multiplayer game from that is a fantastic idea and it's created something small, light-weight and quite entertaining. I doubt it'll set the world on fire or kick CoD out of anypony's favour but Tee World is an entertaining little thing. If your stuck with Ubuntu, you could do worse.

Super Tux Kart

You can tell where this is going, can't you?

Super Tux Kart is a Mario Kart clone. What's the selling point, I hear you ask through my speaker-mics? You get to play as the mascot character from various, well-known Linux programs. Well, 'well-known' is a bit of a stretch...Of the ones that I recognise, we have:

- Tux the Penguin: You know, the Linux Penguin that appears on all the Linux stuff. He's called Tux, if you didn't know.

- The Mozzilla Dinosaur: I know! Why not the Firefox Fox, eh?

- The Dingo-thing from G.I.M.P: I wasn't expecting that either but there we go...

The rest? Either they've been plucked from thin air or I've never seen them in my life. We have, to name a few, an elephant, a pideon, a dragon and a pufferfish. That last one doesn't make any sense either. By rights, it should suffocate and flop over dead, let alone be able to drive but stuff logic for now....

Firstly, and I'll just come out with it, the game looks ugly. Basic use of graphics to make a few, loosely connected tracks to race around. It's not overly appealing, unfortunately. Even the N64 Mario Kart filled out the environments a little more than these guys have done. But as tracks, the do work. I have, on the odd occasion found that I was in a situation where I had fallen behind so far that I hadn't any chance of catching up. You can get a penalty for accelerating before the green light. The game then makes you sit there till you do it properly, putting you in last place. I then found it very difficult to catch up to the rest of the racers from there on in.

STK has a few odd ideas about who it wants to go about this kart racing stuff. Like Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing or what ever, you have weapons. These are vaguely similar to the standard fair of weapons with a few tweaks. Instead of bananas it's chewing gum. In stead of shells, it's bowling balls and cakes (again, logic can go get stuffed). Lightning is now the ability to summon parrachutes out the back of the other racer's karts. Interestingly, the unique weapon it a plunger. Fire it and it will stick to a near-by opponent in front of you and slingshot you forwards while pulling them back. Neat.

As for Mushrooms? Well, STK wants to try something else. Rather than a randomly awarded speed boost, you now collect bottles of nitros from the track that get's stored in a metre on the screen. At anytime, you can spend this pent up speed and gain a boost to push your kart faster. I'm not sure what to make of this. On one hand, it rewards good driving as you meander a little to gain nitros. This leaves you open to use other weapons to make an opening and let rip with a boost for tactical gain. On the other, it can give an opportunity for players to simply spam the nitros button when under attack, for example. They might become more annoying.

Powersliding in Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing means the difference between 1st or 2nd in some circumstances. In STK, it's only really if you feel like it. You have a 'Tight Cornering' button but it appears largely optional whether you use it or not. It's advisable but you appear to be able to muddle along without it. It's also not an under statement either, you nearly turn on a right angle with it at any speed. It takes a little getting used too.

Despite a few gripes a had with this though, I did enjoy it. Maybe I'm just programmed to like this after enjoying other Kart games but this is a nice little game. It sadly feels un finished, however, in almost every way and that's why I'd recommend Tee Worlds or something else but check it out if you need something to play with your little sister/brother perhaps.

Armegetron Advanced

Somepony has made a game out of the Light Cycle Battles from Tron. That pretty much sums it up.

How is it to play? Really hard.

The AI always seems far, far better able to stay out of the way of your bikes trails. This appears to be a game that requires far more practice than it looks. You can jump in but expexted to have your flank handed to you.

The game itself is easy to understand if you've ever seen the films. It's like a gladitorial version of the old mobile game snake. You drive around, attempting to trick your opponent into crashing before you do. I give this a try for a bit but found that pretty tricky to do.While the controls are simple enough, actually figuring out how to stay alive while setting a trap takes quite a bit of luck or practice.

Asthetically, this game looks very basic. While the Software Centre is capable of some well polished results, this isn't one of them but does make it nice and easy to run, which is a plus in my case. The lack of polish and lack of other game modes might grate after a whie however.

Oddly enough, I don't think I've ever known a program to have that many options to fiddle with...

So, until I can scroung together a replacement, I'm stuck with this thing and my phone...At least there's stuff to do.
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