“The year of the Linux desktop” is a phrase people have tossed around with increasing irony since the nineties, but it was never going to arrive explosively. Linux has slowly grown and spread into homes through friendly distributions like Ubuntu and Mint, installed as easy and safer alternatives to Windows or to freshen up old duffers (my netbook is Minty fresh now). Games have followed.
Steam and Humble Bundles have helped urge devs to make Linux versions, and now GOG are in on it. The virtuous virtual vendor of vintage (and virgin) video games launched Linux support today, starting with 50-odd games new and old. It’s the first official Linux store release for some. And loads of them are on sale too.
Linux versions won’t cost anything extra, simply being a download option for people who own a game. GOG’s lineup includes new lovelies like SpaceChem, Kentucky Route Zero, and our Jim’s Sir, You Are Being Hunted, as well as oldies such as Sid Meier’s Colonization and Rise of the Triad. They plan to pass 100 Linux games over the next few months.
They’re a mix of native Linux versions and ones GOG have packaged themselves, which I suspect means they’re on DOSBox. Old DOS games could always run in DOSBox anyway, but look, now there’s no fiddling required. As for how they come, GOG explain:
“For both native Linux versions, as well as special builds prepared by our team, GOG.com will provide distro-independent tar.gz archives and support convenient DEB installers for the two most popular Linux distributions: Ubuntu and Mint, in their current and future LTS editions.”
Say, do you play games on Linux? How does that work out for you? Do you use SteamOS or one of the more desktoppy distributions?