My Favorite Little Games

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 25, 2011

"Little games" is a term I use to describe those that are quick to start, easy to play, and quick to exit. These are the ones that usually come installed by default with most Linux distributions. Some have GNOME and KDE counterparts, but all are fun. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. KMahjongg

KMahjongg is basically a tile matching game. It really doesn't require any specialized skills. In fact, it really only requires reasonable eyesight and the ability to click a mouse. The object is to clear the board by clicking matching tiles until all are removed. It bears no real connection to the ancient Chinese tile game of the same name, which as I understand it, actually plays much like our classic card game Rummy. KMahjongg is the version that ships with KDE, but I'm just almost sure there is a version for GNOME. But it's a great time-killer with each game taking about five or 10 minutes to complete. Your score can be saved at the end of each board, and you can save your game at any point and come back to it later.

2. KNetWalk

KNetWalk is a little puzzle game that requires the player to connect all the terminals to the server. This is done by rotating the wires until all are connected. The fewer number of turns of the wire blocks the higher the score. Pictured here is the easiest level, but there are three progressively higher difficulties beyond it. The highest can be quite challenging. I like the lower difficulties for those quick in and quick out time wasters. Again, your score can be saved after each game.

3. SameGame

This is a little game where the object is to clear the board of all the little balls. Like KNetWalk, higher score comes with fewer moves. Basically one clicks a group of same colored balls to remove them. The larger the group, the fewer clicks, the higher the score. You'll have to click some smaller groups, but do that with the goal in mind of making larger groups of other colors. You really don't want to be stuck with two or three left at the end that you can't remove. However, that doesn't mean "losing," it just means a lower score. This is a great little time waster and actually one of the first I became addicted to when I first started using Linux. There are several versions of this game, and the GNOME version is probably the prettiest.

Another I occasionally enjoy is KBreakOut. It's a little paddle and ball game where the user tries to break all the bricks of each level. The ball bounces around and will go out-of-bounds unless you knock it back with your paddle. This one has been around forever too, but it keeps changing and improving over time. Today it barely resembles the KBreakOut I first played 10 years ago.