Thursday, March 01, 2007

More Fun Than Actually Being A City Planner

Sorry about last week's no-post (how many times have you heard that before?) - call it a sick day, because that's exactly what it was. Anyway this week I took a look at lincity-ng, a game I'd been meaning to check out since it was Game Of The Month over at The Linux Game Tome.

The original LinCity might have been the first open source game I played. Well, it might have been Xbill or something like that, but LinCity was the first real open source game I encountered. My first time playing the game, I ruined a meal that I was cooking because I had gotten so wrapped up I forgot to check the stove.

For those of you who don't know and have no powers of logical deduction, LinCity was a clone of Sim City. lincity-ng (they're the ones who don't know how to capitalize things, not me) is simply the same game with a new coat of paint. The perspective is shifted from overhead to isometric, and most buildings are now pre-rendered in 3D as opposed to being simple pixel art. It's not minor upgrade either, lincity-ng does look much, much better.

The gameplay is, as far as I can tell, untouched. This is a good thing, as LinCity was always immensely playable. If you're familiar with Sim City (and who isn't, really?) then you'll be able to pick it up right away. If by some freak chance you're not familiar with how the game is played there is now a nice and friendly in-game help system.

The game industry has already proven multiple times that taking tried and true gameplay and putting it inside a new candy shell is a valid method for success, and that rule is firmly in effect here.

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