Back in February of this year, I wrote an article about casual games for the KDE desktop that non-Linux users would enjoy. Here is a list of some of the more popular games for the GNOME 3 desktop environment. Obviously they can be installed under a different desktop, but if you are already using GNOME, Cinnamon, or Unity, these will not add extra files that you wouldn’t use otherwise. The “gnome-games” meta package will install a total of 16 games, among which are all of the ones below.
Solitaire – The GNOME version of solitaire starts off with the Klondike version, however you can choose any of 89 other variants, including Freecell. There are extra card back themes, which you can grab by installing “gnome-cards-data” (if you didn’t already, the game will prompt you to). The program keeps track of your score for each version, offers hints and undos, and lets you choose how many cards get dealt.
FreeCell – This game appears separately in the Games menu, but I’m assuming it just brings up the Aisleriot “Freecell” variant, since everything else about it is identical to that.
Sudoku – When you run this, you can select from 4 difficulty levels. It features undo and redo, hints, and lets you print out your games.
Mahjongg – This looks identical to the one for KDE – you can choose 2 tile styles, pick a background color, and you get 10 different puzzle arrangements.
Iagno – GNOME’s answer to KReversi. You can choose 3 levels of difficulty for the computer opponent, play against a human, and you get 2 styles for the pieces that you put down.
Swell Foop – I actually preferred the old look, when this was known as “Same Gnome”. Only 2 very similar themes to choose from, 3 board sizes, and 2 to 4 colors. Click on a clump of matching colors to remove them, and the remaining ones fall into place. The larger a group you remove, the better your score.
Quadrapassel – A Tetris clone. You have 3 choices of appearance for the blocks.
Mines – You can choose 4 sizes for this: 8 x 8, 16 x 16 (shown below), 30 x 16, and “custom”. As you see from the picture, you can get hints also.
Gweled – The “Bejeweled” clone for GNOME. Choose from timed, normal (don’t run out of moves), or endless (for practice, I guess). Features sound effects, music, and 3 levels of difficulty (board size). I didn’t see any choice of themes.
Gnect – “Four in Line” for the GNOME desktop. You can choose from 7 styles of marbles, get hints, and check your scores.
Chess – There are various options in this one, including choosing the chess engine used by the game (or choosing a human opponent), choosing 3D or 2 styles of 2D for the pieces, and 3 levels of difficulty per engine. You can pick which piece pawns get promoted to, and choose a duration for the game (up to one hour, or customized). The game does seem to recognize all the chess engines that Linux Mint lets you install.
In most cases, these games have little to no choice of background theme, unlike their KDE counterparts. But they will serve more than adequately to pass the time for you and your friends.