A couple of weeks ago I reviewed openSUSE 13.1. In that review I listed all the applications which came pre-installed with the KDE live DVD.
I mentioned at the time that simply listing the applications doesn’t particularly help, especially if you don’t know what those applications are and what they do.
I have been using openSUSE non-stop over the past 2 weeks and I have been trying out the applications.
In this article I will be looking at the games that come pre-installed with the KDE desktop within openSUSE.
Who plays these games?
There are five games that come pre-installed with the KDE desktop within openSUSE 13.1:
When I was younger (a lot younger, maybe 10, 11 or 12) my parents used to take me on a summer holiday. Invariably the holiday would be to the Isle of Wight, which is a small island to the south of Portsmouth in England, or to Devon in the south west of England.
One year we went to a place called Teignmouth in Devon and we stayed in a small hotel (can’t remember its name) but lets just say that Teignmouth isn’t far away from Torquay and Torquay was the setting for the BBC comedy series Fawlty Towers.
The owner of the hotel in Teignmouth clearly used videos of Fawlty Towers as a training video.
The first year we went to the hotel it was fine. We were treated well and we had a great holiday. The hotel owners were very hospitable and they even had one of those long play records that had horse races on it. You could check the betting guide and make small bets and then the owner would play the record and the pot was split between the winners.
The second year was completely different. The rooms were horrible, the food had gone completely bonkers. No porridge for breakfast only Special K and one night we were told the pudding would be “Pear surprise”. When we asked what “Pear surprise” was the reply came “It is peaches”. (That reminded me of the episode of Fawlty Towers where Cybill said “Well it is a bit tricky, it does mean chef will have to open another tin”.
The hotel that year also had a number of German guests. (which is of course one of the classic Fawlty Towers episodes).
Why am I telling you all this you may ask and why are we not talking about games? The point is coming I promise.
There was no entertainment in the hotel and the weather was terrible. There is absolutely nothing to do in Teignmouth when it is raining. Nothing except for playing board games.
Jenga, Chess, Draughts, Risk, they were all there. I spent a whole week learning how to play each game and I had a good time. I remember playing a couple of the German lads at Risk and lets just say they re-wrote history on more than one occasion.
The truth is that I haven’t played any of these games in a long long time with the exception of Risk. The same can be said of the games within openSUSE.
KMines is a copy of the game minesweeper that I first played in Windows 3.1. I remember when I was at IBM I had a competition with another guy in the IT department to see who could complete each level of minesweeper in the quickest time. I managed 7 seconds for the small one. As for Solitaire I remember playing it when I got my first desktop computer but I have never really played it since.
I never turn on my computer and think “oh, I must have a game of Reversi”. There is just too much other stuff available to even consider playing that game. It isn’t that Reversi is a bad game it just doesn’t feel relevant anymore.
So my questions to you are as follows:-
Do you ever play the games that come pre-installed with a desktop environment or distribution? Would you miss them if they weren’t there?
Mahjongg is a bit like the card game pairs.
If you have young children I am sure you have played a card game where you flip a pack of cards over and each of you takes it in turn to flip 2 cards over. If the 2 cards match then you put them to one side and have another go. The winner is the person with the most pairs.
Mahjongg is a similar game but for one person. The cards are laid out similarly to the image above.
The cards are spread out across the board and stacked. The idea is to match the pairs. There are certain rules however. You can only pick cards at the edge or on top of stacks. You can’t leave cards orphaned so that they are on their own.
You win the game when there are no cards left but lose if there are no more moves available.
The game itself is well written and there are lots of settings. For instance, you can change the layout of the cards, the tiles that are used and the background.
KReversi is an incredibly simple game. It is actually the sort of game you can play with your kids if you are travelling on a train. All you really need is a piece of paper and a pen.
Again the computer game version is well polished and works very well.
The rules of the game are simple yet the game takes tactical skill in order to win. The game starts with 2 black and 2 white markers in the centre of the grid laid out black, white, white black.
The player always gets to go first and is in control of the black markers. To make a move the player has to place a black marker in a place to make a line. For instance the horizontal line might be black, white. The player would place the marker at the end to make it black, white, black. This would then turn the whole line black.
The computer then makes its move and places a white marker on the board to form a line and this would turn all markers in that line white.
The player with the most markers on the board when the board is full wins the game.
Believe me, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The game itself hasn’t got as many customisable features as KMahjongg but you can change the markers to be different colours and you can define the difficulty setting.
I used to really like Minesweeper and playing this the other day was actually a blast from the past. I am a very competitive person and I wasted far more time playing this than I had initially wanted to.
The board starts out as a grid of squares. Clicking on one of the squares opens the grid up with numbers defining how many mines there are in the vicinity. Based on the numbers given you can eliminate the squares that don’t have mines by clicking on them.
If you manage to clear all the good squares then you win the game. If you hit a mine then you lose.
There are three difficulty levels and a custom setting. Difficulty is defined by the size of the board.
There are lots of different games but I must admit that some I didn’t get even after reading the rules. Aces Up for instance seemed to be a case of randomly clicking cards.
The game that most people will recognise is Klondike.