Linux Gaming News

Awesome games to keep you busy over the holidays

This has been a great year for computer games — that is, games played on a computer, as opposed to video games. “Gone Home,” the best game of 2013, is only available on PC, Mac and #Linux. So is the excellent “Kentucky Route Zero,” a creepy #pointandclick that feels like “Twin Peaks” by way of “King’s Quest.” The brutal “Rogue Legacy,” atmospheric sci-fi #adventure “The Swapper” and the meditative “Proteus” are all on the shortlist for the year’s best games, and all are currently available for PC, Mac, and Linux.

The year’s almost over, but a few more notable computer games have launched in the last several weeks. “Samurai Gunn” is one of the better ones, even though it’s only available for PC, it might work best for a console. This sword-fighting game with 8-bit visuals and a one-hit system turns every game into a split-second war. You die with a single hit, so it’s a game of speed and space management. And although there is a bare-bones single-player survival mode, it’s made to be played with friends, up to four at a time. It’s a lot like the Ouya game “Tower­fall” that truly needs a Linux port,  and its kitschy Japanese aesthetic. It’s a tense but fun multiplayer game, but it’s local only, meaning your rivals have to be in the same room as you. That is not optimal on the PC, which is why an eventual console version of “Samurai Gunn” might be more convenient. For now, though, it’s a frantic and fantastic head-to-head blast.

Teslagrad” might be a better option if you’re alone. The side-scrolling platformer combines the structure of a “Metroid” game with a beautiful visual style that echoes hand-drawn animation. The puzzle mechanics are built around electro­magnetic force. Red objects are attracted to blue objects, while objects that are the same color repel each other.­ The trick is to navigate the increasingly complex level design while switching polarities and using a teleportation ability that lets you shoot forward several steps in an instant. “Teslagrad” is an adorable charmer that consistently builds on its core systems and stands out amid a glut of indie 2-D puzzle platformers.

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