Four must try Indie games on Linux

Linux dominates almost every part of our lives – it powers services like Facebook to Google, it powers ATM machines, our printers, routers, stock exchanges, NASA missions and drones. Linux now also dominates the consumer space, thanks to Android and ChromeOS. And it’s going to further increase its presence in 2014. Gaming used to be one area where Linux was in a weaker position but that’s going to change with SteamOS. There are a lot of games which are available for GNU/Linux based operating systems and our game correspondent Partha has picked four games that he thinks you must try. Read on…

Some of these games are well known and chances are you have already heard of them, but in the off chance you haven’t make sure you note them down as these games are well worth being in the collection of any game lover.

Mark of the Ninja: This game from Klei is a piece of an indie gem. It is stealth side-scroller, as one can hazard a guess from the name itself. It has you controlling a ninja going up against heavily armed guards and accomplishing objectives. Sounds like Splinter Cell or Assassin’s Creed? If you think yes, then you’d be wrong. The game puts a LOT of stress on the concept of stealth and silent assassinations, like a ninja should. Unlike the above mentioned games, where you can basically go guns-blazing and still win, you can’t do that here. You are given just a single sword and darts that doesn’t harm the enemy because of their modern armor. Your only option is to sneak up to them, and I do mean sneak up as in not running as then they will hear your footsteps, and then run them through with your katana. Even though the game is a side-scroller, the game makes the player use the environment to their advantage, for example distracting guards by killing lights or ringing bells. There are multiple ways to approach the objectives. Overall a seriously addictive game that will easily eat up hours of your gaming time without you realizing it.

Shank 2: Next on the list is yet another of Klei’s creation and a side-scroller. Shank 2 is the sequel to the 2D side-scrolling beat ‘em up video game. The game has you controlling Shank as he battles scores of minions and rack up the combo counter. The sequel features a new multiplayer survival mode, updated combat mechanics, and new weapons. Shank 2 does not feature the cooperative story mode which appears in the previous installment, instead offering a two-player survival mode. The story in Shank 2 begins with him killing Cesar, the cartel leader in the last game. As a result, Shank’s homeland has engulfed in war with different factions fighting for control. General Magnus emerges victorious and rules with an iron fist, while taking over the cartel’s criminal activities. A rebellion to the General’s rule is carried on by Shank’s old mentor Elena, who is kidnapped at the beginning of the game by the general. It is now up to Shank to fight through Magnus’ minions and overthrow the despot and rescue Elena whose heart the General needs for as a transplant to save him from a disease.

FTL – Faster Than Light: Here’s another indie game by Subset Games that is available on Steam too. The game, more commonly known as FTL is a top-down, real time strategy game that puts you in command of your very own space ship! The plot puts you as in possession of critical information that is to be delivered to allied fleets several sectors away. You are given control of your very own crew and a space vessel for this mission. While navigating the sectors you are also pursued by a large fleet of rebels in every sector. The game features a very in-depth management system where you make critical decisions like whether you want to jump or stay and fight, or perhaps re-route the power from some equipment to your weapons or vice versa. The game has an in-game economy through which you can upgrade the various parts of your ship or even bribe the rebels. Apart from that, your crew can also level up as they work in their various sections. Overall a very addictive game if you are into management sims.

Trine 2: Rounding off the list is perhaps the game with the best graphics among all the games here. The original Trine was a runaway hit with its innovative use of in-game physics coupled with beautiful graphics. Similarly Trine 2 continues their tradition of being an excellent physics puzzler plat-former. In this side-scrolling game you play as one of the Three Heroes that has to journey through a fantastical fantasy world facing untold dangers. Like the original game, the mysterious “Trine” has fused the three heroes into a single entity, thus allowing the player to take control of any of the three characters on the fly. The reason behind is that each of the three characters possess unique abilities which in various combinations is required to solve the environmental puzzles. The Three Heroes are Amadeus, who can use magic to grab onto certain objects in the game world, and create boxes and planks to be used to get around, basically a mage; Zoya the rogue, who can strike at objects with her arrows, and grapple onto certain surfaces; and Pontius the warrior, who is strong in combat against foes, can bash apart walls, and deflect projectiles with his shield. There is also a cooperative multiplayer where three players each can choose one of the Three Heroes and continue on the journey, with the only condition being that each must control a unique hero. The heroes have different skill sets which they can learn on collecting a certain number of magic vials. There are also poems, letters and documents to flesh out the story.

This is my recommendation for some of the must try game that is available for Linux. Even though they are indie games, be warned, they can take a HUGE chunk of your life away. So better take care of your daily chores before sitting down with any one of these games.

This is perhaps just the first part of my recommendations, so stay tuned for more games down the lane.

About Partha Das

Lover of food, books, anime, movies, music, tech, games and sleep. Hobbies include cooking, drawing, tinkering, coding, electronics/robotics and general mad-scientist stuff. Love to learn different languages and about different cultures and trying out new things. Currently learning Japanese and Korean too!

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