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Our quick-picks of the best Linux games of 2020 so far

By - | Views: 21,573

We're halfway through the year already? Madness. Even with all the craziness of 2020 going on, lots of games still managed to get out of the door. I know, I can't believe 2020 isn't over yet either. Thankfully there's plenty of games to take our minds off everything from murder hornets to COVID19 and more.

Now we're at the halfway point, let's think about some of the top Linux releases of 2020 so far. This list is extremely subjective of course, this is just my personal pick on the top 15. Think of it as a starting point for good games to look at if you're stuck for something. In no particular order, going up to June 30 and I'm cheating just a little bit by including some Early Access titles too.

The Pedestrian

The Pedestrian is a 2.5D side scrolling puzzle platformer. You are The Pedestrian! Enter into a dynamic 3D world with stunning graphics and challenging puzzles.

Resolutiion

Resolutiion is a fast-paced action-adventure created by two angry German brothers leading a band of vagrants who loaded it with lovely pixels, dirty jokes, deep ideas and badassemotional tunes for 20 hours of punishing combat, rewarding exploration, and layered storytelling.

Stoneshard

Stoneshard is a challenging turn-based RPG set in an open world. Experience the unforgiving life of a medieval mercenary: travel across the war-torn kingdom, fulfill contracts, fight, mend your wounds and develop your character without any restrictions.

Space Haven

Embark on a space voyage with your ragtag crew of civilians in search of a new home. Build spaceships tile by tile, create optimal gas conditions, manage the needs and moods of their crew, encounter other space-faring groups, and explore the universe in this spaceship colony simulation.

Nimbatus

Command the Nimbatus and craft drones out of hundreds of different parts. Survive unknown threats in a fully destructible, procedural universe, compete against other players in different arenas or enjoy complete creative freedom in the sandbox.

VirtuaVerse

VirtuaVerse is a challenging old school cyberpunk point & click adventure set in a future not so far away narrating tales of technomancers, AVR graffiti writers, hacker groups, tribes of cryptoshamans, digital archeology, epic cyberwars and virtual reality debauchery.

Fort Triumph

A strategy game combining the turn-based combat of XCOM with the world exploration of HOMM. Build towns, collect artifacts, improve your heroes, and influence your tactical surroundings using physics!

Filament

Solve challenging cable-based puzzles and uncover what really happened to the crew of The Alabaster. Now with Hint System (for those ultra tricky puzzles).

Iratus: Lord of the Dead

Iratus: Lord of the Dead is a turn-based tactical roguelike RPG set in a dark fantasy universe. Lead an army of undead to help an angry necromancer in his quest to reach the surface world and bring death to the mortal realms!

Into the Breach

Control powerful mechs from the future to defeat an alien threat. Each attempt to save the world presents a new randomly generated challenge in this turn-based strategy game. The Linux release came later but most welcome.

One Step From Eden

Build a powerful deck, cast spells on the fly, battle evolving enemies, find game-changing artifacts, make friends or make enemies, just make it to Eden. Might actually be one of the most challenging games of this year.

Lair of the Clockwork God

A fast-paced Point-and-Click adventure AND an indie platfomer in one! Join adventurer Ben and wannabe indie darling Dan in a race against time to stop all the Apocalypses happening at the same time.

Avorion

A procedural co-op space sandbox where players can build their own space ships out of dynamically scalable blocks. Fight epic space battles, explore, mine, trade, wage wars and build your own empire to save your galaxy from being torn apart by an unknown enemy.

Black Mesa

Is it cheating to include a remake? Nah. It's brilliant. I don't think Half-Life or Black Mesa really need a description do they? Relive Half-Life in this fan-made re-imagining.

Iris and the Giant

Iris and The Giant is a fusion of the CCG, RPG and roguelike genres. You play as Iris, who must brave her fears in her imaginary world. Dive into a melancholic and gripping adventure, filled with cute monsters and buried memories. Ready to face your inner demons?

Lenna's Inception

The legendary hero is dead, and a strange glitch is spreading across the kingdom. Explore dangerous dungeons, and defeat the eight archangels to restore order to an unraveling world in this epic action-adventure RPG.

Unrailed!

Unrailed! is a co-op multiplayer game where you have to work together with your friends to build a train track across endless procedurally generated worlds. Master random encounters with its inhabitants, upgrade your train and keep it from derailing!

Starcom: Nexus

Suddenly thrown into an unknown galaxy, you must explore, fight or befriend aliens and transform your ship from a small survey vessel into a powerful battlecruiser to unravel the mystery of the forces that brought you here and find your way home.

Fates of Ort

Fates of Ort is a retro fantasy RPG focused on strategic action, in a land where time is frozen when you stand still. Cast powerful spells - but beware, they will cost you your life.

ShellShock Live

Demolish your friends with hundreds of upgradable weapons shot from your customizable tank in this action-packed online multiplayer tanks game. Earn XP to level up and unlock new tanks, weapons, and gear. Fight against or alongside your friends for strategic team or free-for-all matches.

Admittedly, this was originally a top 5 and then a top 10 and you get the idea…gosh, so hard to pick a small set of great games from so many overall. I could easily keep going, there's a lot of quality out there but all developers supporting Linux deserve a big high-five. I'll also give Valve a truly honourable mention here for bringing Half-Life: Alyx officially to Linux with Vulkan support. One day I hope to actually be able to play it but damn VR is expensive.

If you want to just follow new releases, you can do so easily with our New Release tag.

Over to you in the comments: let's keep it simple, why don't you list your top 5 for this year so far or perhaps the 5 you're most looking forward to playing on Linux later this year?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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37 comments
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saturnoyo 3 Jul
I'm completely with Liam on this one. There is not much more to say about this topic.
Tchey 3 Jul
Quoting: PatolaLook at immersive games like Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Metro: Exodus, X4: Foundations, and Half-Life: Alyx (hey, is there any relation between immersive games and a colon?): what would they be without the wonderful 3D graphics? They wouldn't even exist, they would make no sense.

PLEASE. Let's stop pretending good non-flat graphics don't matter.

Well, it’s not pretending, it’s taste, and you can never win the argue of taste.
Some people genuinely like to be slapped to the face when they have sex, some are deeply traumatized just to thing about it. So ? You cannot say your sex is better than mine. Let both have it the way we like, as long as it’s honest.

About listing games with wonderful 3D graphics that are immersive, i can list as many games with wonderful 2D or even no graphics, there are absolutely equally immersive. Do not project YOUR mind on mine.

It’s like "pretending" books without image are less immersive than comics or illustrated stories etc.
Or pretending a good pen and paper RPG is not immersive.

I’m fully immerse when i play Templar Battleforce, Urtuk the desolation, Deity Empire, Terraria, Star Sector, Dwarf Fortress, Fara, Shadow Empire, and many more, AND i’m as well when i play Stormworks, Total Wars, Ravenfield, Titanfall, and many more. Not less, not more, i’m immersed just the same in different ways depending on the game, my mood, etc.


Last edited by Tchey on 3 July 2020 at 10:51 am UTC
Patola 3 Jul
Quoting: SamsaiSometimes I get really immersed in books and those things have no graphics at all.
Because it is a different type of immersion. One that is not reliant on getting environmental cues, shadows, noticing details, taking the pitch and direction of sound into account, etc., instead you picture it into your mind with conscious effort. Sometimes the narration is so engaging and descriptive that it helps you forming this mind picture, but then again, this is a different thing -- you are not processing and interpreting the environment, you are creating it.


Last edited by Patola on 3 July 2020 at 10:50 am UTC
Patola 3 Jul
Quoting: TcheyI’m fully immerse when i play Templar Battleforce, Urtuk the desolation, Deity Empire, Terraria, Star Sector, Dwarf Fortress, Fara, Shadow Empire, and many more, AND i’m as well when i play Stormworks, Total Wars, Ravenfield, Titanfall, and many more. Not less, not more, i’m immersed just the same in different ways depending on the game, my mood, etc.
We are sure using the same word for very different meanings. I never meant 2D games are not engaging, even to the point of being addictive and hypnotic. But immersion is a different thing altogether. It is about triggering automatic natural processes in your mind as if you were in that setting for real. If a projectile is coming in your direction and you automatically duck to avoid it, or if you actually jump from a jumpscare in a game, you are immersed. That is much more difficult if not impossible to happen in 2D games.

These automatic processes are what guides our instincts, reasoning and thought processes as in the Four Card Selection Task I mentioned.


Last edited by Patola on 3 July 2020 at 11:10 am UTC
Samsai 3 Jul
Quoting: Patola
Quoting: SamsaiSometimes I get really immersed in books and those things have no graphics at all.
Because it is a different type of immersion. One that is not reliant on getting environmental cues, shadows, noticing details, taking the pitch and direction of sound into account, etc., instead you picture it into your mind with conscious effort. Sometimes the narration is so engaging and descriptive that it helps you forming this mind picture, but then again, this is a different thing -- you are not processing and interpreting the environment, you are creating it.
So you are saying graphics turn off one's ability to imagine environments? That I cannot use a 2D game as a representation of the game world and project my own imaginary world on it? Okay then.

To me there is only one immersion, the feeling of being part of a fictional world, and I can accomplish that by reading books, watching movies, playing games of textual, 2D and 3D variety.
Patola 3 Jul
Quoting: SamsaiSo you are saying graphics turn off one's ability to imagine environments? That I cannot use a 2D game as a representation of the game world and project my own imaginary world on it? Okay then.
Of course you can. It would just not be the same thing as actually feeling there. It would be a rationalization of being there, maybe, but then again, you would not easily deceive your mind, you would not trigger automatic processes which happens when you are in a setting.

Quoting: SamsaiTo me there is only one immersion, the feeling of being part of a fictional world, and I can accomplish that by reading books, watching movies, playing games of textual, 2D and 3D variety.
Yeah, you can use one word for very different concepts, but more often than not, it leads to confusion. I think if we were using two different words for the concepts presented here this discussion would be much shorter.
Tchey 3 Jul
Quoting: Patola...

Maybe remove your VR device from your head, and look elsewhere ?

(half joke, i know where is the door thanks)
Samsai 3 Jul
Quoting: PatolaOf course you can. It would just not be the same thing as actually feeling there. It would be a rationalization of being there, maybe, but then again, you would not easily deceive your mind, you would not trigger automatic processes which happens when you are in a setting.
The kind of immersion you are talking about does not exist in any game, using any graphics or any virtual reality technology. Even if the graphics were more or less accurate to life (which they are not, not even with ray-tracing), you still wouldn't reach the level of immersion you describe as you would still not feel the wind and draft, smell the distinct smells of the environments or feel the tactility of the ground underneath you.

The kind of immersion that is possible, I claim is possible just as well with VR as it is with books. VR might aid you in feeling immersed, but is not a strict requirement for doing so. And thus, I will make the claim that graphics are not a strict requirement for a game to feel immersive. And I will make the further claim that a game does not need to feel immersive for it to feel fun, since some games I enjoy for mechanical reasons rather than for feeling like I am there.


Last edited by Samsai on 3 July 2020 at 11:21 am UTC
Patola 3 Jul
Quoting: Samsai
Quoting: PatolaOf course you can. It would just not be the same thing as actually feeling there. It would be a rationalization of being there, maybe, but then again, you would not easily deceive your mind, you would not trigger automatic processes which happens when you are in a setting.
The kind of immersion you are talking about does not exist in any game, using any graphics or any virtual reality technology. Even if the graphics were more or less accurate to life (which they are not, not even with ray-tracing), you still wouldn't reach the level of immersion you describe as you would still not feel the wind and draft, smell the distinct smells of the environments or feel the tactility of the ground underneath you.

The kind of immersion that is possible, I claim is possible just as well with VR as it is with books. VR might aid you in feeling immersed, but is not a strict requirement for doing so. And thus, I will make the claim that graphics are not a strict requirement for a game to feel immersive. And I will make the further claim that a game does not need to feel immersive for it to feel fun, since some games I enjoy for mechanical reasons rather than for feeling like I am there.
The thing with this "kind of" immersion I am describing is that it is not one/zero, but it is a continuum. You might disagree on the degree, but as I said with the cards example even a subtle difference from an abstract card game to a realistic trip ticket setting makes the whole difference. No wind, no smell, no tactility and immersion as I defined it still has a big impact. So, games being 2D or 3D change how our brain interprets and deals with the "puzzles" or underlying world too.


Last edited by Patola on 3 July 2020 at 11:58 am UTC
randyl 3 Jul
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Space Haven, Fort Triumph, and Avorion are the 3 that click most with me. Into the Breach also looks pretty good, but looks too much like a straight xcom clone. Fort Triumph looks similar but with more variation in the game play loop.
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