using Linux - Fun and games with Linux

Loki Software ( has won popular support among Linux users, little wonder considering the company is dedicated to porting all the popular Windows-based games to Linux. Familiar titles such as Quake and Sim City are available for Linux through Loki Soft-ware, which in turn has agreements with the original game designers such as Maxis and Raven. The Linux versions retain all the features of their Windows counterparts.


All the Loki games run natively on Linux and as such do not require any type of Windows emulator or application server. However, before you rush out and buy a swag of games for some summer fun, make sure you have a full MESA/OpenGL-compliant 3D video card (visit for further details), or the games will run too slowly to play. See below for graphics chips supported by OpenGL.

The general Linux system requirement you need to run the games is a minimum of kernel 2.2.x, GlibC 2.1 and version 3.3.5 of XFree86 - all recent distributions ship with at least this configuration. A Pentium II processor and 64MB of RAM are also recommended, as is a hefty amount of hard disk space (ranging from a few hundred megabytes up to 1GB, depending on the game and the components you install).


Installing the games is quite easy and only involves mounting the CD while in X Windows and executing the following installation script:

$ sh

After this, the graphical installer will have you playing in a matter of minutes. If you intend to install the game in a directory other than your home directory (or any other directory you have permission to write to), make sure you are logged in as root when you execute the setup script. The games also have an uninstall script that allows you to remove them easily.

What's available?

Three recent titles released by Loki include Descent3, Soldier of Fortune and Sim City 3000 Unlimited.

Descent3 is a space flight simulation and battle game that has the look and feel of a three-dimensional first-person shooter. Features include a choice of three different fighter ships, improved visual effects, indoor/outdoor scenery, custom level creation and multiplayer support via a network. Although there are five levels of difficulty, you will still need to be on the ball, as the artificial intelligence of your enemies has been significantly improved.

A more intense first-person shooter game is Soldier of Fortune. The first page of the manual gives a clear warning that the product contains violent content, so you know it's not for the faint-hearted. Your character is John Mullins, a retired war veteran who is now a mercenary. Your mission is to defeat a terrorist group which has stolen nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union. If you have experience with the popular Quake series, then making the transition to Soldier of Fortune should be relatively straightforward. Full multi-"player options are also included.

For those of you less inclined to battle out a first-person shooter, Sim City 3000 Unlimited is certainly worth a try. This strategic modelling and simulation game puts you in command of your own city, in which you can build roads, zone land and implement utilities such as power and water. You will even need to consider safety aspects such as a police force and fire brigade. That's right! It's the Sim City we all know and love, but with better graphics, a more intuitive interface and many more possibilities for your cityscape. Best of all, you no longer need to leave your Linux box to get into it.

Game demos

As part of the games round-up this month, we have included demo versions of Quake 3 and Descent3 for Linux on the cover CD. Running the game demos will be the ideal way to determine if your system is configured correctly. See the Loki Software Web site for links to demos in its range of games. In addition to the Loki games, we have included other games for Linux to give you a taste of what is available.

Graphics chips supported by OpenGL

3Dfx Voodoo series

Matrox G200 and G400

NVIDIA RIVA TNT, TNT2 and GeForce 256

ATI Rage Pro

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rodney Gedda

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?