There was an error in this gadget


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cool Desktop Applications(Part 2) : 25 Small and Simple Games for your Linux/Ubuntu Desktop

Continuing my previous article about cool applications that you can install on your Ubuntu Desktop , in this article we cover some really cool games and emulators that you can install on your Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Desktop (Am giving installation instruction to Ubuntu since it is one the most popular Desktop distribution right now but if you want to install these games in other distribution you can do so with little modification to the installation command/instructions ). Most of the games discussed in the article are simple and small so they should run flawlessly on computers with pretty modest configuration .

We begin this tutorial with instructions to setting your repositories in order so that command discussed below to install games work on your system .

Step 1 : - Enabling Additional Repositories

Now many applications need additional repositories to be installed or some to be enabled in Synaptic package manager so before trying out steps given below ensure that repositories in order.

Launch Synaptic Package Manager (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager ) , then in Synaptic package manager go to (Settings -> Repositories ) you will find window like this . Ensure that all the check boxes are marked leaving source code(if you want to you can enable this also but you are not going to need this unless you are software developer) the dialog box should look like this .
Dialog Box showing the repositories that should be enabled

After completing above step you will find a dialog box like this

After completing the above steps your repositories should be in order , and we can actually proceed to instructions on installing the games .

1. Pysol

PySol is an exciting collection of more than 200 solitaire card games. Its features include very nice look and feel, multiple cardsets and table tiles, samples and background music, unlimited undo/redo, load/save games, player statistics and log files, hint system, demo games, support for user-written plugins, integrated HTML help browser and lots of documentation

To install type the following command in the terminal window

sudo apt-get install pysol

after completing above step launch pysol from (Applications -> Games -> Pysol )

Pysol in action

2. Pingus

Pingus was started at the end of 1998 with the simple goal to create a Free (as in freedom, not as in free beer) Lemmingstm clone.if you don't know Lemmingstm, here comes a short introduction. Its a puzzle game developed in 1991 by DMA Design. The player takes command in the game of a bunch of small animals and has to guide them around in levels. Since the animals walk on their own, the player can only influence them by giving them commands, like build a bridge, dig a hole or redirect all lemmings in the other direction. The goal of each level is to reach the exit, for fix multiple combination of commands are necessary. The game is presented in a 2D site view.

To install type following in terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install pingus

then to launch pingus go to (Applications -> Games ->Pingus )

then to launch pingus go to (Applications -> Games ->Pingus )

Pingus Game in Action


Lincity is a city simulation game. You are required to build and maintain a city. You must feed, house, provide jobs and goods for your residents. You can build a sustainable economy with the help of renewable energy and recycling, or you can go for broke and build rockets to escape from a pollution ridden and resource starved planet, it's up to you.

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install lincity

and launch from (Applications -> Games -> Lincity ) .

Lincity game screenshot
4. Snake Game

This is a clone of the classic snake game , where you have to "snake around" and eat fruit, while avoiding the evil headbanger and not crashing into your tail.
Though the interface of the game is bit crude but still nevertheless iis fun to play .

To install this game type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install snake4
After completing this step you can launch snake (Applications -> Games-> Snake)

Snake4 Game in Action

5. Open-Invaders

Open-Invaders is a clone of the popular game Space-Invaders . Open-Invaders has been programmed using allegro game programming library and is fast-paced . However game is still under development and misses few features .

To install Open Invaders , type the following in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install open-invaders
and after completing above step either type " open-invaders " in the terminal window or launch it from (Applications -> Games -> Open Invaders )

Screen Shot of Open-Invader Game

6. Super Tux Kart

SuperTuxKart is an enhanced version of TuxKart, a kart racing game, originaly done by Steve Baker, featuring Tux and a bunch of his friends.

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install supertuxkart

After installation launch it from (Applications -> Games -> SuperTuxKart )

Super Tux Kart in Action

7. Circus Linux
Circus Linux is a fun arcade game losely based on old Atari game "Circus Atari" , it's gameplay is similar to "Breakout" . The object is to move a teeter-totter back and forth across the screen to bounce clowns up into the air. When they reach the top, they pop rows of balloons and then fall back down.

To install type in the following command in the terminal winow:

sudo apt-get install circuslinux

and after competing installation launch it from (Applications -> Games -> Circus Linux )

Circus Linux Game in Action

8. MadBomber

"Mad Bomber" is a clone of Activision's classic Atari 2600 console
game, "Kaboom!" with enhanced graphics and SFX . It goes with the story line

The Mad Bomber is loose in the city and he's dropping bombs everywhere! It's your job to catch them before they hit the ground and explode. Luckily, you have a set of trusty buckets to extinguish them with.

To install type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install madbomber

and after completing above step launch it from (Applications -> Games -> MadBomber )

MadBomber in Action
9. LBreakout2
The polished successor to LBreakout offers you a new challenge in more than 50 levels with loads of new bonuses (goldshower, joker, explosive balls, bonus magnet ...), maluses (chaos, darkness, weak balls, malus magnet ...) and special bricks (growing bricks, explosive bricks, regenerative bricks, indestructible bricks, chaotic bricks). And if you're through with all the levels you can create complete new levelsets with the integrated easy-to-use level editor or challenge other humans via LAN or internet iin either deathmatch or normal levelsets. Fun!

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install lbreakout2
After completing above step launch lbreakout2 from (Applications -> Games -> Lbreakout2)

A Screen Shot of LBreakout 2

10. Burgerspace
This is a clone of the classic game "BurgerTime". In it, you play the
part of a chef who must create burgers by stepping repeatedly on the
ingredients until they fall into place. And to make things more
complicated, you also must avoid evil animate food items while performing
this task, with nothing but your trusty pepper shaker to protect you.

To install this game type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install burgerspace

and after completing above step type "burgerspace" in the terminal window to launch burgerspace .

Burgerspace game in Action

11. Gravitywars
Gravity Wars is inspired by Gravity Force, one of the greatest games for the Amiga.With better graphics and SFX . The aim of the game is to guide a spaceship using only thrust and orientation to the exit, fighting against gravity and inertia.

To install Gravitywars type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install gravitywars

After completing above step launch gravitywars by typing "gravitywars" in the terminal window .

Screenshots of Gravitywars game in Action

12. Bugsquish

Bugsquish is light arcade game where you have to squish the bugs trying to suck your blood before you run out of blood :)

To install bugsquish type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install bugsquish

and after completing this launch bugsquish from (Applications -> Games -> Bugs Squish )

Screenshots of Bugsquish in Action

13. . Tee wars

Tee wars is a multiplayer online 2d shooter arcade game that involves running , shooting , jumping and dying .
TeeWars' motto is Cute little buggers with guns . Now the entire game is really fun filled and has attractive graphics and well really cool sound effect . if you want to know more about this game you could visit the following sites :

Tee Wars official site :
Review of Tee War Game :

To install Tee Wars type in the following command in the terminal window :

dpkg -i teewars_0.3.4-1~getdeb1_i386.deb

14. Secret Maryo Chronicles

Secret Maryo Chronicles is an Open Source two-dimensional platform game with a style designed similar to classic sidescroller games. Secret Maryo Chronicles is a clone of the Classic "Mario bros" game . It features number of levels and stages , attractive sound and graphics and in game editor . Though not exactly small (the entire installation of Secret Maryo Chronicles was 58 megabytes download on my system ), still game is fun filled 2d side scroller with impressive graphics and sound hence i have included it in this list .

To install Secret Maryo Chronicles type in the following command in the terminal window

sudo apt-get install smc


sudo apt-get install smc-data

Secret Maryo Chronicles in Action :) Really cute graphics
15. Bomberman Clone

This is a Bomberman like game. You have to drop bombs which will be explode after a while. With this bombs you have to try to kill the other players. If you are the last player in the game you have won.

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install bomberclone

After completing above step launch it by typing "bomberclone" in the terminal window

Screenshots of Bomberclone
16. Wormux
Have the mascots of your favorite free softwares battle in the Wormux arena. Using dynamite, grenades, baseball bat and others bazookas,... exterminate your opponent in a 2D toon style scenery and a funny environment.

Each player (2 minimum on the same PC or network game with 0.8 version) controls the team of his choice (penguin, gnu, firefox, wilber,...) and must destroy his adversary using more or less casual weapons.

Although a minimum of strategy is required to vanquish, Wormux is pre-eminently a "convivial mass murder" game where, turn by turn, each member of each team attempts to produce a maximum of damage to his opponents.

To install type the following command in terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install wormux

and then go to (Applications -> Games -> Wormux ) to launch the game .

17. Frozen Bubble
Get rid of all the bubbles by matching colors as quick as you can!

To install type the following command in the terminal window .

sudo apt-get install frozen-bubble

After completing above step launch frozen-bubble from (Applications -> Games -> Frozen Bubble )

18. Airstrike
Airstrike is a 2d dogfight game in the tradition of the Intellivision and
Amiga games 'Biplanes' and 'BIP'. It features a robust physics engine and
several other extensions of the original games Airstrike is a 2d dogfighting game with attractive graphics and sounds . Though still in development the game is attractive and fun enough to be featured here .

To install airstrike type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install airstrike

and after completing the installation launch airstrike from (Applications -> Games -> Airstrike )

19. Frenesia
Frenesia is a fun and addictive retro arcade Shoot em Up game with attractive graphics and cd quality sound . Objective of the game is to shoot aliens and collect bonusses and progress to the next level .

To install frenesia type the following command in the terminal window :

wget -c

tar xvzf frenesialinux.tgz

cd FrenesiaLinux

and finally to run the game :


Frenesia in action

20. Abe's Amazing Adventure

Abe's Amazing Adventure is a scrolling, platform-jumping, key-collecting, ancient pyramid exploring game, vaguely in the style of similar games for the Commodore+4. The game is very similar to the earlier dos and commodore based games in graphics and sound .

To install this game type in the following command in the terminal window :




After downloading the files we need to install them too which we can do with these commands :

sudo dpkg -i abe-data_1.1-2~getdeb1_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i abe_1.1-2~getdeb1_i386.deb

After completing the above step launch Abe's Amazing Adventure (Applications -> Games -> Abe)

Screenshots of game Abe's Amazing Adventure

21. Rocks 'n' Diamonds

Rocks 'n' Diamonds is a Boulderd*sh game for X11 with more than just the falling rocks and diamonds of its namesake. The object is still to collect all the diamonds (and emeralds), then get to the exit before time runs out. But your character must make use of bombs, spaceships, and many other elements in order to fill his quota of jewels.

Installation : -

Type the following command in the terminal window


tar -xvzf rocksndiamonds-3.2.0.tar.gz

Now go to rocksndiamonds-3.2.0 directory and type

" ./rocksndiamonds "

22. Super Tux

SuperTux is a jump'n run like game, with strong inspiration from the Super Mario Bros games for Nintendo. Run and jump through multiple worlds, fighting off enemies by jumping on them or bumping them from below. Grabbing power-ups and other stuff on the way.

To install Super Tux type the following command in the terminal window .

sudo apt-get install supertux
after completing above step run supertux from (Applications -> Games -> Super Tux )

23 Playing classic DOS games with DOSBOX

DOSBOX allows you to run your old dos programs under Linux , DOSBOX provides a full featured dos environment inside your ubuntu box . DOSBOX allows running of DOS programs in Linux and Windows.

To install DOSBOX type the following command in the Console Window (Applications -> Accesories -> Terminal)

sudo apt-get install dosbox

Alternatively you can use the Synaptic package manager located in (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager) for installing the DOSBOX emulator. Launch the synaptic package manager and click on Search button and type dosbox in the text field mark th checkbox of dosbox and click on install, for installation to start.

After completing installation, create a directory say (/home/user/games) where you would like to store your games,
now after copying your games to the directory launch dosbox by typing dosbox in terminal window.
Opening Screen of dosbox

In DOSBOX type the following command to make your games directory visible inside the dosbox emulator

mount d /home/user/games

Now go to d drive , then go to the directory of the game and launch the executable file of the game to start the game.
Alleycat game running under DOSBox

Some of the popular DOS games can be obtained at the following internet address : -

Bio Menace (This game and all it's three series were released as Freeware and can be downloaded from ) ,Commander Keen , Wolfeinstein 3D , Duke Nukem , Hocus Pocus , Crystal Caves and other can be downloaded at the following address some of the games are shareware and some freeware but trust me even shareware games would give you hours if not days of entertainment : -

Alley Cat ( This game released in 1984 is one of my all time favorite i have spent a lot of time playing this on my 386 computer ) this can be downloaded from the following : -

Dangerous Dave ( Well this game released in 1988 is a very simple game which is quite popular here in India even today in school labs you could find people playing this game !!!!!) :-

Mario Brother VGA ( Well this is also a nice game it even has a boss mode to fool your boss that you are working and to top it all it is only few kilobytes in size !!) :-

Get more old dos games here at :

Wikipedia page on list of all dos games :

Wikipedia page on commercial games released as freeware (most of them dos) :

24. Playing classic NES and SNES games

Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System were very popular gaming console in 1980's and early part of 1990's , they gave us some of the best titles including Mario, Contra, and others .Computing wise they may not be marvel considering they ran 16bit / 8bit processor compared to todays gaming console , they do promise however hours of fun .

There are a number of emulators available for running the games and the games run even on low hardware configuration owing to fact that these games don't demand much .I am only going to tell about one emulator for nes and one for snes since i have tried them however you can see other at this page :

Anyways for installing the emulator follow the following steps : -
If you like installing applications from command line you could iuse the following command at the terminal to install the zsnes emulator :-

sudo apt-get install zsnes

Now zsnes is a nice emulator that can play SNES games , it has a nice GUI and can run both on Windows and Linux operating system.

However if you don't like zsnes you can try other emulators also one popular one is fceu,To install fceu type the following command at terminal

sudo apt-get install fceu

fceu is for running NES games only.

However if you prefer to install application graphically launch Synaptic Package Manager (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manger) and search for package fceu,zsnes and check them and press install button.

Now to launch fceu or zsnes go to (Applications -> Accessories -> terminal ) and type the following commands to run the emulator.

zsnes to launch the zsnes emulator it has it's own graphical interface and hence it use is self explanatory.
ZSNES in Action

For playing NES game you have to use fceu to launch fceu type the following command at the terminal.

fceu -inputcfg gamepad1 /home/user/Mario.nes (Or any other game nes and path)

Now fceu would ask you which keys you want to configure for what actions type the keys accordingly (you have to press twice to confirm the keys).

After this done next time you want to start fceu you dont have to specify your keys again you can use the following command to run fceu.
fceu ROM.nes (Where ROM.nes is your rom you want to run)

Mario Game running under fceu

Now for roms(nes and snes games ) you can use the Google for finding and downloading roms , since i don't quite know about legality of using these roms so i wont recommend any site to you , anyways they are quite easy to find using Google.

25. Playing Scummvm games

SCUMM stands for Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion and was scripting language developed at Lucas Arts for easy creation of graphical adventure game Maniac Mansion . You can think that it is like a gaming engine on which many other point and click adventure games have been developed including Maniac Mansion , The Curse of Monkey Island , Indian Jones series , and others .

Now ScummVM is a open source project that is being developed to allow many of the old games based on Scumm to be run on todays operating system which are incompatible with the original SCUMM engine allowing many of the classic SCUMM based games to run under OS's like Windows, GNU Linux and others.

This is what ScummVM site says about games it can run and what is scummvm : -

ScummVM is a program which allows you to run certain classic graphical point-and-click adventure games, provided you already have their data files. The clever part about this: ScummVM just replaces the executables shipped with the game, allowing you to play them on systems for which they were never designed!

Some of the adventures ScummVM supports include Adventure Soft's Simon the Sorcerer 1 and 2; Revolution's Beneath A Steel Sky, Broken Sword 1 and Broken Sword 2; Flight of the Amazon Queen; Wyrmkeep's Inherit the Earth; Coktel Vision's Gobliiins; Westwood Studios' The Legend of Kyrandia and games based on LucasArts' SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) system such as Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max and more.

To Install SCUMM-VM under ubuntu assuming you have all the repositories in order type the following command at the terminal : -

sudo apt-get install scummvm

This would download all the files needed to run SCUMM based games under ubuntu , and should take few minutes only.

Now after installation is over go to (Applications -> Games -> ScummVM ) to launch the ScummVM .

Now interface is quite simple since it is graphical so you should have no problem using ScummVM.

If you have your original CD's Floppy's or whatever start playing your favorite games again.

Putting ScummVM into action : -

To Test ScummVM i downloaded the Flights of Amazon Queen game , now after downloading the file(game was in a zip file) i extracted the contents of the archive into a directory say Games , now i launched the ScummVM (Applications -> Games ->ScummVM) . ScummVM provides a nice graphical look i went to the directory where game was located through ScummVM and clicked on chose .This showed me the following screen to add game into ScummVM.

After this i only had to click on run to start the game and this is how my game looked running inside ScummVM on Ubuntu .

Feeling inspired enough get the games for ScummVM here : -

Now many games are available online for download you can look at this under extras section for finding some games , you can find more games using google :-

And also here is list of games released under Demo version :
These may be demo version but do provide hours of entertainment.

and here is the full list of supported games : -

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (
For Linux on Desktop blog ,
(C) 2008, Ambuj Varshney


Anonymous said...

Liquid War

Anonymous said...

Really awesome post :) of the games listed in the post really liked Secret maryo chronicles really brought back nostalgic memories of playing on 8bit nes consoles

Anonymous said...

Really gr8 stuff !!!!!! must have taken really a lot of time to type in this article Thanx

mrilham said...

thank you

PRAJNITH said...

thank you :)

Post a Comment