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Sharpen Your Mind and Have Fun With Tux - page 3

Games and Applications for Youngsters

  • October 27, 2008
  • By Eric Geier

Remember Doom, where you go around shooting up alien-like beings? Well, there is FreeDoom (see Figure 6), which is a set of open source graphics files for the open source versions of the Doom engine. Another first-person shooter game you may also want to check out is Nexuiz. Just keep in mind these game aren't appropriate for most youngsters. If you're looking for something fun and not violent, check out Secret Maryo Chronicles, 2D game modeled after Super Mario Bros.

If you're looking for space-type strategy and simulation games, try Allegiance, an online multiplayer game originally developed and sold by Microsoft Research. You participate in space wars by piloting spacecraft to defend and attack sectors in space, led by a Commander who tries to lead your team to victory. There is also Vega Strike, where you can trade, fight, and explore in the vast universe.

If ancient history interests you, check out Freeciv (see Figure 7), similar to Civilization II. Set in 4,000 BC, you guide your people through the centuries to build new cities. The goal is to be the best and longest lasting civilization. While increasing your wealth and cultural and scientific advances, you'll wage wars on one another and/or form diplomatic relationships. A somewhat similar game, FreeCol, starts in the year 1492. You try to settle colonies in the New World, with help from the European king. The objective is to build up your colonies to survive without outside aid, while defending against attacks from the rival Europeans.

It's a Wrap

This has been a very brief introduction to some of the games and applications that caught our eye; there are many more out there. You may want to search the SourceForge site or reference the list on Wikipedia for more options. Remember, some games, such as those strategy ones, may pose a significant learning curve. Searching Wikipedia may also be able to help you discover what a particular game is all about and how to play. Just have fun and don't get addicted!

Eric Geier is an author of many computing and networking books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft Windows Vista (Que 2007).


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