In fact it’s well over a score, which makes it a … high score. 😆 😐 🙄
Yes, kids, it’s partly sad and partly embarrassing, but here is another epitaph on games that for whatever reason — most likely my own ineptitude — didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t work for me. I’ve also sprinkled in a few that should work, but aren’t really much more than mathematical demonstrations.
Anyways … try them out and see if you have any better luck.
- ad-astra: This is a turn-based space strategy game that I had to discount as “just not finished.” It looks cute and seems to have some exploration involved, but didn’t run nearly as it seemed it ought to. No help in the program that I could find, and no wiki pages on the site.
- astwar: Supposedly a clone of the mythical Spacewar, which I can tell you I have personally played in its original-hardware cabinet version 😀 , this was neither in Arch nor Debian. The Savannah download folder is empty, but the CVS is up. I got “incompatible declaration of built-in function strcpy” errors when compiling though, and despite my meager efforts to correct it, it never would build for me. 😦
- Beyond the Tesseract: That’s the only link I have for this game, although I have seen … ahem, abandoned versions for DOS out there in the wild. Supposedly this was a text game with a mathematical theme, which makes me wonder if it wasn’t somehow inspired by parts of The Phantom Tollbooth.
- doomrl: Compiled out of AUR, but had numerous errors when running — unhandled exceptions, access violations, no sound … nothing.
- dpygames, mille and mw: A quick series of games that rely on dpy as a substitute for ncurses. My problem was that dpy wouldn’t build for me in Arch (something about needing a “tgoto” command), which means that the games were more or less inaccessible. 😦
- dungeon: Wikipedia calls this one of the earliest computer RPG games, apparently originally distributed by DECUS as long ago as 1975, if not earlier. I can convert this with f2c, but the resulting code won’t compile. Another sad face: 😦
- elegantoid: Won’t compile, says it can’t #include ncursesw/ncurses.h, which I find hard to believe. 😕
- foursome: ibiblio properly brands this as an “amusement,” since it really just calculates pairs for sports brackets. It compiled and ran for me, but wasn’t really a game, and doesn’t really enthuse me. Perhaps it is something you can use.
- freakout: I tried to compile this with fpc and failed in Arch. I tried again in Debian and failed too. A reader or two mentioned it wasn’t happening either, so I am willing to label this one as “obsolete.”
- galactic-turtle: This sounds something like zis, but the source code wouldn’t compile for me, and apparently it saw its last update way back in 2008.
- gnu-conquest: Is it GNU ncurses conquest? Just gnu-conquest? GNU conquest? I am not sure. I believe it might be another interstellar strategy game, but the source code as supplied by SourceForge wouldn’t build for me, and apparently its last update was in 2004. 😐
- gnupong: I’m still searching for that elusive Pong remake for the console. This one, dating back to 1999, wouldn’t compile … and so wasn’t it. (And yes, I have also played Pong in its original-hardware cabinet version. I am a living piece of history, ladies and gentlemen. … 😀 )
- ifiction.org: I made a note of this a month ago when someone mentioned that the libraries are navigable from a text-based browser. That is true, although some of the “games” will likely require a little more in the browser department to enjoy fully. A few of the titles there have already graced these pages. …
- lotto: Another “amusement,” lotto calculates lottery probabilities and tries to convince you why you should not spend your money on legalized games of chance.
- mmorl: A massively multiplayer online roguelike. I could compile this in Arch if I installed mono, but after a long command and a long wait, I got a “Client.exe” file, which would not run in Arch. Not that I expected it to, of course.
- monoUSA: A Monopoly clone, if I’m not mistaken. It compiled for me, started, asked me one setup question, then crashed. Now that’s what I call a monopoly. 😉
- popclk: A population clock that needs starting values and increments, and not really much of a game as an amusement. And not so enthralling that I felt it deserved its own post.
- The Rougelike!: This looked very funny; if I understand it correctly, it’s a roguelike intended as a parody of Wikipedia. I thought I would have some luck with it since it appears to rely on clisp, but it complained of being unable to find libreadline in Arch, and more or less fell apart after that.
- roulette: Runs out a roulette table to show odds and so forth, sort of like lotto above. I noticed that some keys don’t work, and so I wonder if it’s functional on the whole.
- running: If this game does something other than show the message “Boom! Hahahaha!” over and over, I haven’t found it. Definitely one of the worst games I’ve ever seen.
- sporkhack: I believe this is a long-defunct attempt to shore up nethack and make it a little more challenging for expert players. I could see no real differences between it and its predecessor, and so I’m not likely to pursue it.
- sst2k: A Super Star Trek remake. I cloned this from SourceForge with
git clone git://git.code.sf.net/p/sst2k/code sst2k-code, managed to figure out that it wanted xmlto, docbook-xml and asciidoc just to build, but still came up with errors when I tried to run it. Sigh. I really try, I do. … 😦
- tempest_for_eliza: I didn’t know if I should throw this in as a game, as an amusement, or just as the wacky Linux application of the decade. Believe it or not, this allows you to play music over an AM radio band by jiggling the display on a conventional CRT. I’ll give you a second to reread that. Now stop right there, and put down that 90-pound, 19-inch Princeton Graphics CRT. We’re putting it back into the fight. 😯
- tictactoe: On ibiblio as tictac-1.0.tgz, this just didn’t have enough kwan to make it as a proper game. Timestamped 1995 though, so maybe I should be more forgiving of 20-year-old software … except ox3d was so good, and it was twice as old. …
- tt: One of the bijillion Tetris clones out there, this one couldn’t compile in Arch, but the title pages and README file show ASCII pieces and so forth. From 1992, judging by the timestamps.
- vtetris: Not to be confused with the revered vitetris, this is a 1999 Tetris clone that complained because it couldn’t find ncurses4.
I think I can bring the games train to a halt for this year. I have a fresh crop of non-game, non-amusing titles to work through, and anything game-ish I have left on my list will last another month. And I have a feeling that a segment of the audience would prefer something a little more serious. … 😉