The first half of 2012 has seen an explosion of new indie games – thanks to crowd funding websites and a very generous gaming community. Luckily, there has also been an increase of games that will be released natively for Linux. Here are my picks of the top five upcoming Linux games to watch for.
5. Bacillus (Milky Joe Games)
Release Date: August 2012
Bacillus is a science lover’s dream. Your goal is to survive by controlling a population of bacteria as you multiply and explore your environment. Creator John Halter has gone to great lengths to accurately capture the world of microbial life, and make it available for gamers to experience. The game incorporates biological concepts such as genetics, enzymes, and evolution. Bacillus is extremely detailed and complex, but that’s part of what makes it so intriguing. It is currently in beta for Windows; however the Linux and Mac versions are still in the alpha stage.
4. Nekro (Darkforge)
Release Date: June 2013
If you have always wanted to take a stab at playing the bad guy, Nekro is the game for you. In this dark top-down action game, you control a necromancer who uses spells to summon evil creatures and minions. You are part of the Nekro – one of the three factions vying for control in the world. The objective is to defeat the humans and the neutrals, conquer as many regions as possible, and reach the final battle with the King. Darkforge has just added a multiplayer mode, so players will also be able to take on the opposing factions with friends. Nekro’s unique art style and graphics, as well as its innovative gameplay, offer players a new action game experience.
3. Super Retro Squad (Exploding Rabbit)
Release Date: March 2013
A few years ago, Jay Pavlina (lead programer at Exploding Rabbit) released Super Mario Crossover, a mashup of various Nintendo games. Thanks to a successfully funded Kickstarter and the addition of a full crew, Exploding Rabbit is working on its own original 2D platformer, Super Retro Squad. The game will have 40+ levels within eight different worlds that are based on each of the characters. The characters are a tongue-in-cheek ode to well known Nintendo characters. For example, Manni and Lanzo are German miners who find themselves in the Asparagus Kingdom on a quest to save Princess Apricot. Super Retro Squad is more than just a game with 8-bit graphics and a chiptune soundtrack – it’s a clever take on many of the classics we all loved to play as kids.
2. Auro (Dinofarm Games)
Release Date: December 2012
Auro is a gorgeous game that combines turn-based strategy and dungeon crawling goodness. You play as the spoiled Prince Auro who sets out on a quest to protect the sewers, but accidentally awakens an ancient evil power. Auro has many spells and abilities at his disposal, but players must really consider their strategy as there are significant pros and cons with every action. The monsters also have special abilities that can affect how Auro chooses to defeat them. The dungeons are randomly generated, so you get a slightly different experience each time you play. Dinofarm Games has had previous success with iOS, and, thanks to Kickstarter, are now going multi-platform, including a Linux release this December.
1. Legends of Eisenwald (Aterdux Entertainment)
Release Date: Early 2013
Legends of Eisenwald is a beautifully polished 3D strategy RPG. The world of Eisenwald is unique in that it steers clear of the common RPG themes such as elves and orcs. In lieu of typical fantasy influences, Aterdux borrowed real life concepts from the medieval era, which is refreshing to see. The turn-based combat focuses on efficiency. Players must choose wisely as every move and decision can greatly affect the outcome of a battle. The variety of choices for unit, weapon, and spell upgrades looks quite promising. Visually, there is incredible detail in the environments and characters. Although they met their funding goal, Aterdux was unable to reach the 100K Kickstarter stretch goal for Linux, but you can still donate via PayPal to help them reach an early 2013 release for Linux.