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He's GNUing the Distance, He's GNUing for Speed: My Top 7 Favorite Games for Debian GNU/Linux

Often times when I talk with fellow computer enthusiasts, usually Microsoft users, I am met with derisive shouts proclaiming GNU/Linux to be devoid of quality games. With that in mind, I decided to voice my opinion on what I consider to be some of the best games available for the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.While most people choose five or ten for their top lists, I decided to go with seven as it is my lucky number. For my pricing descriptions, I shall borrow from Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman's classic quote, "'Free as in Freedom,' not 'Free as in Free Beer'" to denote titles that are financially free to download.

7.) Armagetron
http://armagetronad.net/downloads.php
For Debian-based systems:# apt-get install armagetronad
Price: "Free as in Free Beer"

An oldie-but-a-goodie, this Free Software title evokes the excitement of the original 1982 Tron film's light-cycle grid battles. Despite its minimalistic control scheme, it continues to thrill gamers like me who enjoy all the twists and turns that come from such a frenetic title.

6.) Osmos
http://www.humblebundle.com/
Price: Pay what you want

I did not originally know what to make of this innocuous puzzle game when I purchased it as part of the second Humble Indie Bundle, as you play a microscopic organism intent on expansion. As the days went by, I found it to be a deceptively captivating release as well as a welcome bit of respite during my lunch hour at work.

5.) World of Goo
http://www.humblebundle.com/
Price: Pay what you want

With my mother being a mechanical engineer, I grew up appreciating the logic and care that goes into building sound structures. This game is a problem-solving physics game where you must surmount obstacles of varying degrees of difficulty with exponentially increasing levels of ingenuity. A very whimsical title for gamers of all ages, it was available from the Humble Indie Bundle #2 in December of 2010 as a bonus game for earlier purchasers.   

4.) Braid
http://www.humblebundle.com/
Price: Pay what you want

A delightful game betwixt Super Mario Brothers and Prince of Persia, Braid allows users to rewind time to prevent painful mistakes. This quantum quality underscores the game's story, which showcases the trials of a man named Tim as he attempts to reconcile a past relationship with a princess. With a combination of beautiful art direction and calming musical accompaniment, this was one of main reasons I purchased the Humble Indie Bundle #2 in December of 2010.

3.) Revenge of the Titans
http://www.humblebundle.com/
Price: Pay what you want

This past week, I was home sick for several days with nothing to do but rest, work on college classwork and experiment on a Humble Indie Bundle title I purchased called Revenge of the Titans. Save for being sick, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had in years playing tower defense real-time strategy games on PC.

2.) Frozen Bubble
http://www.frozen-bubble.org/
For Debian-based systems:# apt-get install frozen-bubble
Price: "Free as in Free Beer"

With the crazed tempo of most modern PC and console games, it is a delight to find such an engaging title in the form of Frozen Bubble. With no blood, gore or violence to speak of, its a puzzle game suitable for any gamer. I have had much jocularity with my siblings over this release, and I intend to keep playing it for years to come.

1.) Nexuiz/(Xonotic)
http://www.xonotic.org/
Price: "Free as in Free Beer"

In contrast to the adorable penguins of Frozen Bubble is that of the first-person shooter Nexuiz (hereafter forked as Xonotic due to licensing issues) I have had many a goodhearted frag-fest with other fans of this FLOSS title over the years, including a memorable game of "hide-and-seek" involving rocket launchers. As soon as Xonotic sees its first official release, the fork shall be with me.

If you have not already installed these games via terminal or purchased them, I hope you will give them a chance. Until then, GNU yourself a favor and enjoy your favorite games on the only operating system that is free as in free speech and free as in free beer.

 

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