Free Linux Games – Part 1
By Levi Reiss
Damn Small Linux can be an excellent tool for learning Linux commands and running the Linux operating system. But what if you are not interested in becoming a computer nerd; can this software still be useful to regular people? The answer is a resounding yes; you can make use of this tiny operating system whether or not you want to learn the sometimes gruesome details of operating systems. This article presents several free games that are immediately available once you have downloaded and installed Damn Small Linux.
To access these games either click on the DSL button in the lower-left hand corner or on the Apps icon toward the top of the screen. Then open the Games: there are eleven; Canfield, Freecell, Golf, Mastermind, Minesweeper, Pegged, Slide_Puzzle, Solitaire, Taipei, Thornq, and Xtris and Taiedit which is not a game, but a game editor. We will examine the first six games in this article saving the rest of them for a companion article. As with any gaming systems, be careful not to get addicted.
Canfield is a relatively complicated single-deck solitaire card game. If you are not familiar with this game you’ll have to go to a source such as Google to find out how to play it. There is no help function. And sometimes the cards move fast, too fast to learn what is happening if you don’t know the game.
Freecell is a relatively complicated single-deck solitaire card game. I think that it’s easier to win than Canfield but maybe that’s because I am an ex-semi-Freecell-addict. It’s a lot easier to get addicted to Freecell on Windows because their version includes a seed number that lets you replay it. There is no such seed number in this version of Freecell.
In spite of its name, Golf is yet another card game one that is fairly well known. For more information about this game access http://www.delorie.com/store/ace/docs/golf.html
Mastermind is a game in which you use a mouse to drag colors from the palette (on the left) to the empty cells in the guess row. When the four cells in the guess row are full, right-click on the right of the screen to see how you did. There will be one black peg for each cell that is the correct color, and one white for a color that is not in the correct sequence. Keep going and you can eventually figure out all the colors in the row. If that’s your thing.
Some people will remember Minesweeper from the days of Windows 3.1. The goal is to clear a field of mines by clicking on a square that has no mines and right-clicking on a mined square to deactivate it. The screen indicates how many mines are adjacent to a square that has been deactivated or clicked on. One false move and you lose. When you start the game you can choose from four levels by enter 1 (the easiest), 2, 3, or 4. I vaguely recall that Windows 3.1 gave me more options, but frankly Damn Small Linux’s Minesweeper is a good time waster.
Pegged is a field of thirty penguins and thirty-one spaces. Initially one space is empty. A move consists of one Penguin jumping over another generating an additional empty space. You win if at the end of the game there is a single penguin. You really win if the solitary penguin is in the center square. Some would say that you really, really win if you close the Games menu and get back to work.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet. He loves the occasional glass of wine as exemplified by his wine websites including http://www.theworldwidewine.com. He teaches Linux and Windows operating systems plus other computer courses at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his new website http://www.linux4windows.com which teaches you how to download and run Damn Small Linux on Windows computers, even if they are “obsolete.”