Posts: 100
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MagPi Games List Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:09 am

If you've taken a look at the new issue of MagPi (, you probably saw the list of tested games. These appear to have all been looked at fairly briefly, but I thought it would be good to share experience with our own tests to both recommend games on basis of appeal and denote which games really work and which ones aren't worth the effort.

I'll make a short list here; I'm running Debian Squeeze with updated firmware, 192 mb/64 mb cpu/gpu split.

atris: kind of cool, kind of annoying. it's a tetris clone fundamentally, but it changes it up some by having some weird bi-colored block deal that bears some gameplay significance (I didn't completely figure it out) and also having flames in the background. it boots into a fullscreen window, which is unnecessary, and it plays well but I think I prefer regular simple tetris. Also I couldn't figure out how to quit during the game (in retrospect I think it may have been 'Q') so I ended up killing myself to escape. also, the menu entry didn't work for me, so I had to locate it in /usr/games/atris.

ace-of-penguins: no problems. It's a fairly simple game set, mostly card games, but includes a minesweeper game, which is why I got it (the field is set and you can't resize; it's really simple). It all plays fine but it's not the most entertaining. A less exciting alternative to the gnome-games package which isn't really going to work here, I think.

blobwars: totally hilarious, also a pretty solid platformer. I stopped playing because I couldn't figure out how to progress in the first level but I'm sure someone else will know how. the main issue is occasional lag, but it's not unbearable to the point you necessarily want to stop playing. it's fairly decent. this menu entry didn't work either, so I had to locate it in /usr/games/blobwars.

frozen-bubble: another one whose menu entry doesn't work. /usr/games/frozen-bubble. Anyway it lags pretty badly at first; once you change the graphics settings to lower, it runs a little better, but still isn't optimal. still, much better. anyway if you haven't played this, it's the predecessor to that bubble safari game on facebook, which is actually awesome, partly because it combines the original concept with NBA Jam. However, no NBA Jam here. it would be fun if it didn't lag while you were shooting the bubbles. tolerable, but I got annoyed pretty quickly. still worth trying.

geki3: solid space shooter, no lag that I could notice. fairly simple and repetitive, and the music is a really short loop that can send your head in for a spin. you might want to turn it off. It's cool for awhile though. I didn't try geki2 but I assume it's similar. This one doesn't even have a menu entry, but you can locate it at /usr/games/geki3.

lbreakout2: solid breakout game-- works if you don't have other memory intensive processes. good game.

micropolis: I confess as soon as I booted it, the screen was static and too big for my desktop, and I thought the colors and shapes looked annoying, I quit and removed the installation. but it could be fun. I think it's supposed to be the open source release of sim city 2000 or something?

pacman: not the original, a bit jankier than the original, controls feel less precise, but overall solid remake. runs fine. no menu item; /usr/games/pacman.

petris: it runs in the terminal, but sorry, WAY better than atris. it's simple and it's better. no menu entry (obviously), no command either, so run /usr/games/petris in terminal or console.

tmw: I wanted this to work because it looked so cool, but it was way too cpu intensive. I couldn't even get it to let me register, but I doubt the game would have been enjoyable. someone else feel free to try.

that's all I have! hope this helps, and please share info on other games you've tested!


Re: MagPi Games List Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:03 pm

the menu entry didn't work for me
You may want to run all games manually from the normal text console.
The one you get when you boot up and do not type startx.
Running under X can be very slow for some games due to the way graphics are handled.

Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:36 am

Re: MagPi Games List Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:15 pm

Nah, that's not it. I checked the menu items and some of them referred to bash commands that didn't exist. I ended up making my own aliases and directing the menu items to the actual files, and now it works.

Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:36 am

Re: MagPi Games List Discussion

Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:48 pm

Hey, I did some more testing. Since I last tested, I've overclocked my pi, so I now have it set to 850 ARM, 350 core, 500 sdram. This means some games work better. I tested frozen-bubble again and it actually works fantastically, even with the top graphical setting turned on. I was even able to play online with people around the world, and though it lagged here a bit, to the point that actually beating the other player seemed near impossible, I was still able to play the game coherently and chat with the other players afterward. I also tested tmw again. I was able to create an account (in a browser) and connect this time, with noticeable improvement in performance. However, it still lagged some, and I didn't really like the game, so I quit again. Someone else might like it, but you might need to overclock a bit more.

I also tested some new games:

gtkboard: totally get this! a lot of the games are still in development (great pacman clone that doesn't do anything after you eat all the ghosts, you just keep eating and then I guess decide to quit, is the most glaring example I tested). However it's a lot of games and some are very good. It has the best tetris port I've tested on the pi, and a pretty good chess game.

njam: high quality pacman-inspired game. It was a bit confusing to play but it seems like it would be pretty good if I put some time into learning the ropes. no problems.

supertux: one of the most popular linux games; totally good. a lot like super mario bros, and fantastic soundtrack too.

tuxtype: typing drill intended for kids, but I tested it and thought it was fun. well made. worth trying.

wing: a galaga clone that runs fine, but it was super hard. I wasn't able to gun down a single ship and the fire seemed maybe not rapid enough. I'm keeping it around but I don't know if I'll ever be good at it.

xbomb: the best version of minesweeper I've played outside of gnomine. I got rid of ace-of-penguins and I'm keeping this.

xinv3d: a really cool 3D reimagination of Space Invaders. Difficult and sort of hard to control, but worth downloading and trying.

Still curious to see if anyone else has tried other games! ;)

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Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:00 pm

Re: MagPi Games List Discussion

Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:33 am

Just want to jump in here with my first post to the board.
I realize it's been more than a year since the last post but seemed like as good a place as any:)
I am new to Linux and really the Raspberry Pi is my first experience with it.
So, I am just now looking into the games available. I installed frozen-bubble and when I ran it in the Raspbian lxde environment it showed a frame with the word "Loading" in it; it progressed to the point where it should open but then the frame disappeared! Woah, bummer!
So I removed it with aptitude (first time, steep learning curve) and reinstalled from the command line. Rebooted, and retried with the same result being a non functioning game. Can anyone offer some advice here? I would like to try this game.

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