Thursday, January 06, 2005

Linux Free Strategy Game Roundup: Part 2

So, it's been a while since the first part of this series, but it's finally back. When it comes to strategy games on GNU/Linux systems, the battle for the most popular game would probably be between part one's game, Invasion: Battle Of Survival, and this week's game: The Battle For Wesnoth.

This game has been around before, and I've played it before as well, I've just never mentioned it before. If you're not familiar with the premise, it's a turn-based game that plays out on a hex battlefield. It follows the "all your units move and attack, then all their units move and attack" formula, but with the possibility of more than two armies on the field of battle. The visuals, while not the best you'll ever see, are some of the most cohesive in any fully open-source game out there right now, and the story sequences in between and during battle are up to the same standard.

Where Wesnoth really trumps BoS is in it's inclusion of a tutorial to get players quickly up to speed with their surroundings. By the time you're in your first battle, you have a fair idea as to what exactly to do, and how to do it. The difficulty ramps up fairly quickly, to the point that the game's developers actually suggest that anyone playing through the campaign for the first time play on the easy difficulty setting. Of course, there are many who will ignore this advice and be promptly wiped out by the enemy's forces.

Anyone who's a fan of turn based strategy should check this out, without a doubt. While the developers will obviously continue to work on new content, game balancing, and everything else, the game is in a totally playable state right now. Oh yeah, I haven't even mentioned the fact that multiplayer exists. Multiplayer exists. There we go.

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