Critical Mass for Linux Gaming

Linux gaming takes a fun turn with Critical Mass

(http://criticalmass.sourceforge.net), a classic shoot the critters

arcade game that uses SDL/OpenGL and runs on Linux. The author, Frank

Becker, stated that he had cross-compiled the game on Windows but had

not tested it. For now, only the Linux version has been released.

Critical Mass provides a classic arcade look and feel with modern three-

dimensional bad things to shoot. I especially like the shoot the

pumpkins feature of the special Halloween version. Download Criticcal

Mass from SourceForge at http://sourceforge.net/projects/criticalmass.

For those who still pine for the days of the wonderfully addictive

Doom, there's EDGE -- the Enhanced Doom Game Engine

(http://edge.sourceforge.net). Doom, a very popular game that lead to

follow-ups such as Quake, was ported to the X Window System on Linux

and UNIX. EDGE provides a game engine that acts as the core of a Doom-

like game and runs on Linux or Windows.

As an engine, EDGE requires a WAD file that describes a given game.

Doom and Doom II, for example, each came with a WAD file. The WAD file

describes all the levels and monsters in the game.

EDGE can be downloaded from http://edge.sourceforge.net/downloads.htm.

Finally, I've been impressed by the progress on Parsec

(http://www.parsec.org). Parsec is a free three-dimensional space

shooter game with versions available for Linux, Windows, MacOS, and

MacOS X. Work in progress on Parsec includes a network mode over

TCP/IP, allowing multiple players to shoot it out in the dangerous

universe of their choice.

The features list includes fast 3D graphics using OpenGL or GLIDE, and

a digital soundtrack and the graphics look beautiful, especially the

space ship gallery at http://www.parsec.org/gallery.html. The actual

game is still in development though, so your mileage may vary. I really

like the developers' attitude to avoid highlighting features not

finished yet and, instead, focusing on what has been completed.

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