One of the games I tried out for awhile recently is called Minetest. It’s very similar to the well known Minecraft, but of course has a lot fewer players. It is at this point primarily a game engine, with more fleshed out games existing as mods to the base install. The main mod I’ve found is called “carbone”. There is a “wasteland/survival” style mod as well, but I lost interest in that mod after a short while. Minetest has a wiki, and forums.
Although the community seems small, there are some interesting areas and several decent public servers. I looked into the one hosted by Linux Gaming.us. It’s a huge world, with lots of buildings. I am not really sure how to communicate within the game, and I didn’t really see anyone else to talk to while I visited. But as an alternative to Minecraft I think it has some potential. If Java bothers you, Minetest is not just open source, it’s written in C++. It’s also free, so if the price of Minecraft was the thing holding you back, here you go.
Minetest can be found in the Debian, Mint, or Ubuntu repositories. There are two primary choices – Creative mode, and Enable Damage. In creative mode, you seem to be given a lot of tools and items to play with, in a 9 page inventory that is in addition to the main inventory.
One fork of Minetest already exists, although it seems mainly for Fedora and similar distributions. Called Voxelands, it’s intended as a self-contained game rather than just an engine onto which others add their mods. I haven’t had much chance to look at it, but I plan to check it out when I test out Fedora’s next edition (21), which probably will not be until next year.
I have also gotten Diablo 3 to run (mostly) via the excellent PlayonLinux program. I was having a few difficulties with it until I changed the video options so that it runs in a window. After that, I’ve been able to run it for hours at a time. There is still the very occasional crash, but prior to this, it would freeze up almost any time I kept it running more than 45 minutes.
The old game Civilization 2 plays easily under Wine, with no need for Crossover or PlayOnLinux. When it starts up, the screen is black, but just click anywhere once and the first choice will appear, and the game plays fine after that. I also have Civ 3 and 5 on Steam (and Civ 5 has a Linux version on Steam now), but each version has its own charm.
If you are a fan of Dwarf Fortress, not only does it have a Linux port, but the creators of the so-called Lazy Newb Pack have a version native to Linux as well. There’s usually a short delay between the release of a new Dwarf Fortress version and the LNP for Linux.
There are several other Linux games in the repositories that I am likely to look at soon. OpenTTD, Simutrans, MegaGlest, 0 A.D, 7 Kingdoms: Ancient Adversaries, these are fairly old but might still be worth playing.