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My top 5 Linux games released in 2019, those that truly won me over

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As 2019 is now properly over and done with, it's time to take a quick look back. Here's some thoughts on the Linux games released that sat above the rest.

Streets of Rogue - My personal GOTY.

Developer: Matt Dabrowski | Released: July 12 - Humble Store - GOG - Steam.

It's tough to pick a single game that sits above the rest, but for me it was Streets of Rogue. An action rogue-lite taking place in a procedurally generated city rather than a dungeon, and the chaos that's possible just keeps me wanting to come back whenever I possibly can to have just one more run. Some of the interactions possible are just crazy, there's a lot of moments playing it that stick by me but I will let the below video do some of the talking:

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That video is just a small slice of what to expect. With all the different playable characters, each with different starting equipment and special abilities you can really cause all kinds of havoc. A hacker that can send a fridge flying through a wall, a doctor that can put people to sleep or a soldier that can place an explosive on a door to then knock on it and watch everything go BOOM when it opens. Madness.

Streets of Rogue is also getting a full level editor soon, which is currently in testing.

Slay the Spire - A close second.

Developer: Mega Crit Games | Released: January 23 - Humble Store - GOG - Steam.

The game that made deck-building suddenly super popular again, with good reason too. Slay the Spire does practically everything just right. You start off with a tiny amount of cards, and as you progress you build a powerful deck of crazy abilities with the ability to do some awesome combination attacks. The incredible style is what I really appreciate with Slay the Spire, the design work that went into all the enemy types and the random events is brilliant.

I'm a huge fan of the Relic system in Slay the Spire too. As you progress, you don't just collect cards, you also end up with a crazy-long list of powerful Relics. These can prevent you from dying, raise your max HP, give you Block every turn and all sorts.

Slay the Spire has some excellent modding support too. You can add in entirely new characters, completely revamped decks of cards and a lot more.

Baba is You

Developer: Hempuli Oy | Released: March 13 - Humble Store - itch.io - Steam.

It's hard to put into words just how sweet Baba is You actually is. A puzzle game where you push around simple logic blocks, to combine them and change the rules of the level. It doesn't look or sound like much but when you play it the beauty of it is clear. Easily one of my all time favourite puzzle games now.

Baba is You will be getting a level editor this year, it's going to be fun to see what crazy puzzles people come up with. What will I have to turn myself into now?

Devader

Developer: Falkenbrew | Released: September 2 - Steam.

Easily the most insane twin-stick shooter I've ever played. Not just because the action is intense but the overall design work. The enemies styles are outrageously varied. It's incredibly unique, all taking place in a single location which might sound boring but the way it constantly throws new and terrifying things at you make it well worth playing.

It's a damn shame Devader has been largely ignored, because it's just so much fun. I've often been left unsatisfied by the action in twin-stick shooters, whereas Devader has pleasure coming out of every explosion.

Oxygen Not Included

Developer: Klei Entertainment | Released: July 30 - Steam.

Klei win points here for creating a game that's equal parts fun as it is frustrating. ONI is a a space-colony simulation game that can give you 30 minutes of pure building joy, as you see your little Duplicants run around doing their work. A few minutes later, one is angrily hitting everything and another is urinating in your only clean water supply.

Oxygen Not Included is a game of constant improvement, you will regularly find new and interesting ways to do something different or better and you will want to start over and build bigger. It's a fun struggle.


There's a ton of other really good games that released in 2019 like Rise to Ruins, Police Stories, Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Dicey Dungeons, Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, DUSK and so on but those above are the five that really properly stood out that keep calling me back for more.

You can also read my overview on Linux gaming in 2019 here, and there's plenty coming to Linux in 2020 a few of which you can read about here from crowdfunding projects.

What were your top 5 games released for Linux across 2019? The comments are open, let us know!

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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20 comments
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NeoTheFox 3 January 2020 at 1:40 pm UTC
Ah, Baba is You, the "make you feel stupid" game.
It's a bit sad not to see big releases in this list, but oh well, these games are niche but really cool. Why haven't you included Dicey Dungeons tho? I thought you liked it.
Liam Dawe 3 January 2020 at 1:52 pm UTC
NeoTheFoxAh, Baba is You, the "make you feel stupid" game.
It's a bit sad not to see big releases in this list, but oh well, these games are niche but really cool. Why haven't you included Dicey Dungeons tho? I thought you liked it.
We had big releases, but they're not my favourites. Dicey is noted below the top 5. This is just a top 5, not "the only good games released". It's a personal list.
LibertyPaulM 3 January 2020 at 1:57 pm UTC
My list of games that really captured me are a mix of "native" and games I was only able to enjoy through Proton. They are

Cat Quest 2
Octopath Traveller
Littlewood
Last Epoch (I have over 100 hours in this already)
einherjar 3 January 2020 at 2:05 pm UTC
My top game is:

X4: Foundations

It works very well now, I have a lot of fun with it and the devs are really Linux friendly!

And CS:GO - a game I always like to play sometimes.


Last edited by einherjar on 3 January 2020 at 2:07 pm UTC
stan 3 January 2020 at 2:22 pm UTC
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Pikuniku and Escape Lala were fun.
That’s my top 2 of games released in 2019.
Tchey 3 January 2020 at 2:40 pm UTC
In no order, my top 5 of native Linux games released in 2019, not in Early Access or Alpha or anything.

Steets of Rogue
Rise to Ruins
AI WAR 2
Project 5 Sightseer
Nowhere Prophet
Patola 3 January 2020 at 3:27 pm UTC
einherjarMy top game is:

X4: Foundations

It works very well now, I have a lot of fun with it and the devs are really Linux friendly!
I second that!!! It's already the game I have the most hours invested. And the 3.0 betas have been a blast!!! Amazing game, I don't regret having bought the Collector's Edition the day the Linux beta was out.
scaine 3 January 2020 at 4:25 pm UTC
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My top five "released" is:
SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech
A Short Hike
Slay the Spire
Fate Hunters
Serial Cleaner

runners up: Dicey Dungeons, Chasm, Deep Sky Derelicts, Knights and Bikes, Grapple Force Rena... honestly, too many to mention!

Top five "in progress" (like beta/Early Access):
7 Days to Die (of course)
Dota Underlords
ΔV: Rings of Saturn
Undermine
Gravity Ace

And my top five Steam Play is:
No Man's Sky
Deep Rock Galactic
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Stories: The Path of Destinies
A Plague Tale: Innocence

2019 was a hell of a year for awesome games, both native and otherwise.
kaiman 3 January 2020 at 4:30 pm UTC
Even including non-native titles, I'd be hard pressed to assemble a top 5 list of 2019 video games. I guess I could list the 5 least bad, as I did buy eight 2019 releases in total, but I'd really only want to mention games that left me impressed.

So my top 2019 Linux title (#3 overall) is Jenny LeClue! I hope 2020 will be kinder ...
jens 3 January 2020 at 5:50 pm UTC
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Shadow of the Tomb Raider - my most anticipated game in 2019. It didn't disappoint.
Oxygen Not included.
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (actually just a DLC)

(I haven't found time for "Life is Strange 2" and "Transport Fever 2", so can't yet comment on these)

Other games I played this year longer than just a few minutes were either older or fall into the Proton/Steam Play category.


Last edited by jens on 3 January 2020 at 6:19 pm UTC
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