Critical Mass for Linux Gaming


Linux gaming takes a fun turn with Critical Mass

(, 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

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

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

( 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

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

( 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 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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