It's rare that I get totally addicted to a game under Linux. I mean, the environment isn't really conducive to totally immersive gaming. Back in my Windows days I'd have a serious game every week or two I'd play pretty constantly until I either beat it or got tired of it. Since I've gone totally Linux, that just hasn't happened. Now, many would consider this a -good- thing, since games can in fact be total time sucking life suckers, but gosh darn it, sometimes ya just have to take a break from the full time job and just blow things up for a while.
I'm not a cutting edge sort of gamer. If I like something, I'll play it for a while. And I mean a while. I'm still playing Quake 3 Arena just because durnit, it's a fun game, and lets me, well, you guessed it, BLOW THINGS UP! When I shifted over to Linux, Q3A wasn't really an option anymore (yes, I know it's possible, but I just wasn't up for the hassle.
I moseyed over to a wonderful Linux gaming site called Happy Penguin and started browsing listings. A couple looked interesting, and I tried a few, then someone pointed me to Kobo Deluxe. Happy Penguin had a page on it which had some pretty positive commentary, so I decided to check it out.
As I've come to expect, my Debian Linux installation was all over the application, and all I had to do was type 'apt-get install kobodeluxe' and in a few moments, things were ready to go.
The nutshell of the game is, well, SHOOT EVERYTHING. There's no powerups, no plot or anything, just keep shooting until there's nothing left, then go to the next level and do it again. Ya gotta respect that, it works mighty well.
You are the pilot of a small ship trying to destroy complex fortresses. The fortresses are guarded by impenetrable walls that can only be destroyed by shooting the emplacements at the end of the walls, which cause the walls to disintegrate. Destroy enough of them, and you can shoot the 'core' of the fortress, thereby destroying the whole thing.
When you start out you only have 1-2 small fortresses to destroy, and they're pretty easy. As the game progresses, it gets harder pretty quickly. There are zillions of levels in the game, and some of them you just have to keep pounding away until you can get through them.
On a PIII-700 in full screen mode the game is responsive and playable. There's no pausing or noticeable flicker, and the soundtrack plays fine. Kobo Deluxe is completely SDL based, and includes support for OpenGL. Control of the ship is done either via keyboard or joystick (I use the keyboard), and is very responsive.
The ship can only shoot in 8 directions (no smooth turning), but always shoots 'forward' and 'back' whenever you fire, so really, it's pretty easy to lay down a world of hurt on the things around you just by 'spinning' the ship around and blasting anything within range.
Each level has its own combinations of different defenses, other ships flying around, even indestructible asteroids. It never really gets boring.
This is an example of a relatively simple game that is COMPLETELY addictive and very clean and simple. I find myself constantly saying "Oh just one more level" even at 3am when I have to be up and working by 8:30. Not good, but nice to see it on a Linux platform. I don't have many gripes with the entire setup, the music is quite good, the sound is great, the playaction is good, and it's consistently challenging. What more could someone want?
For those who are already playing, my best level so far is level 33. Enjoy :)