nogui.wordpress.com now boasts the all new Linux Gaming Corner. A Section of the site dedicated to gamers and gaming on the Linux platform. I’ll be adding views and reviews as well as tips and advice on how to get games running under Linux.

So, to kick things off, a quick review on one of my favourite indie games – VVVVVV.

VVVVVV is a charmingly retro 2D platform/puzzle game from award-winning independent game designer Terry Cavanagh

In the game, the player assumes the role of Captain Viridian who must search and rescue the lost crew of her ship after becoming stranded in an alternate dimension. In VVVVVV the player is not able to jump, and the player must flip gravity to fall up/down the screen in order to overcome obstacles.

The gravity flipping control mechanism which forms the core concept of the game becomes second nature after a short period.

You will die a lot playing this game (My completed game file has a death count of over 1000). The game allows for this by providing very frequent checkpoints (re-spawn points) and instant re-spawn upon dieing – (no last life or game-over). The death/re-spawn cycle allows you the practice needed to perfect the required twitch gaming reflexes needed in some of the games more fiendish sections

But, contrary to what you might think, In VVVVVV dieing repeatedly does not frustrate or infuriate. You feel as though you learned something from each death, or it got you one step closer to overcoming the challenge and reaching that next checkpoint. And when you do progress and reach that next checkpoint, the sense of achievement is extremely satisfying (for a game! :-))

Game play takes place in a free roaming map, that can be retraced, similar to Super Metroid. This allows the player the freedom to take their own approach- Undoubtedly, very few players would play through the game in the exact same order, as there are so many routes from A to B.

Getting around is aided by conveniently placed teleporters which will allow fast travel from one to any other. Which adds nicely to replay value – allowing players to quickly travel to unobtained trinkets or unexplored areas of the map.

Graphically, The game is heavily inspired by the 8-bit era, and is therefore duly simplistic. but the graphics are clear, concise and have charm, which is very appropriate for a game of this nature, and goes some way to proving that gameplay is what matters.

The music in VVVVVV, scored by Magnus PĂ„lsson is fantastic. Again has a very retro feel, consisting entirely of chiptune, it sets the pace for the game very nicely, from slower exploration stages to high energy fast paced sections. Truthfully, I fire up VVVVVV and run it in the background just so I can listen to the music while working on my computer – that is how much I love the it!

In terms of longevity, the game can be completed in < 3hrs, however uncovering every last piece of the map will take longer, as will collecting all the trinkets (collectibles which reward the player with a jukebox facility on the ship), some of which are fiendishly hard to get.

In all a hugely enjoyable, quirky game that will have you hooked almost instantly.
If you can look past the old school look and feel of the game, an absolute gem is waiting to be discovered underneath, and with its low system requirements, will run on almost any computer.

Getting it running on Linux

Originally written in Flash, VVVVVV was ported to C++ and Linux binaries made officially available in both 32 and 64bit.

Running the game is simply a matter of extracting the archive and executing the script VVVVVV. Type ./VVVVVV at a terminal from that directory.

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The Raspberry Pi foundation is a registered UK charity working for the advancement of computer science in education in the UK and around the world.

They are currently developing a single board ARM based computer capable of running a full ARM linux distro – something a bit like a beagleboard.

Designed with the education market in mind. Raspberry Pi is aiming to produce a cheap, efficient and versatile computer with the aim of teaching programming to children, but expect the device to have many other uses in the developing and developed world

Two models will be available initially – Model A priced at $25 and Model B at $35 see specs below:

– 700MHz ARM11
– 128MB or 256MB of SDRAM
– OpenGL ES 2.0
– 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
– Composite and HDMI video output
– USB 2.0
– SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
– General-purpose I/O
– Optional integrated 2-port USB hub and 10/100 Ethernet controller
– Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)

I can think of a number of uses for such a cheap and capable device and will follow this project with great interest! The device is expected to be available in November this year!

Check out www.raspberrypi.org for more information!

Being a gamer on linux can be a cold, unforgiving place. Sure, there is some great work being done in the opensource community to bring new games to linux and facilitate compatibility usually older Windows titles to linux, but often projects get abandoned or shelved and support can be lacking…

The commercial Indie game market however is a shining example of how linux compatibility can be for the benefit of all! developers and gamers alike!

And when the benevolent fellows over at The Humble Bundle get involved for the good of charity, it can only be a good thing.

The bundle allows gamers to purchase a collection of commercially available indie games for whatever price they see fit. choosing how to spread there donation between the devs who brought you the games, and charitable organisations. And whats best, all titles included in the bundle are Windows AND Linux compatible – and you are entitled to both formats, DRM free

The current bundle bundle – “The Frozen Synapse Bundle” includes Frozen Synapse (predictably), Spacechem, and Trauma – as well as the entire FrozenByte bundle, if you donate above the average amount.

All games are interesting and well worth playing! support indie developers and charity by playing games! Get it NOW! while you can – these bundles are made available to a limited time only.

The Frozen Synapse bundle will expire TODAY! GO! GET! NOW! QUICK!


get_iplayer is command line program which is able to interface with the BBC’s iPlayer service, return a play list of ALL available content, and fetch any particular files/shows that are requested. its probably in your repo, if not head over to http://linuxcentre.net/ and grab it now!

This software is a celebration for all who believe in open source and freedom on the internet. However, sadly the BBC has closed the door on get_iplayer from streaming programs directly (without first downloading)… forcing people to install and use the ghastly flash player for direct streaming.

Invoke the program without arguments and get_iplayer will print a list of hundreds of available files.

$ get_iplayer

But it would be easier to read it if it was saved to a text file…

$ get_iplayer > ~/iplayer.txt

What about radio content?

$ get_iplayer --type radio > ~/iplayer_radio.txt

Look through the lists for what you want, and and then use the ‘–get’ option along with the program ID and your download will begin.

$ get_iplayer --get 12955

and yes, you can ask get_iplayer to download multiple files with one command, just seperate each shows ID with a space.

Ingeniously, get_iplayer tricks iPlayer into thinking an iPhone is making the request, and serves up the files right away. for this reason, the feeds arent exacly high definition, but still very watchable.


Slimrat is a fantastic tool that allows you to automate downloads from rapidshare and several other download services.

Debian users can download slimrat using apt using the familiar “sudo apt-get install slimrat”.

Simply invoke the program in a terminal with

$ slimrat downloadlink 

One nice feature is the ability to queue up as many downloads as you like in a text file, and then download all, in sequence, with the software successfully negotiating waiting times between downloads.

To download a whole list.txt of files use the ‘-l’ option:

$ slimrat -l list.txt

personally, i would not want to be without this one. absolutely fantastic command line app. However, if you are looking for GUI program of this nature – dont bother with GUI front ends for slimrat, get Tucan instead!


Crunchbang fans around the world have been waiting for a new release since the last release based on Ubuntu 9.4 – well over a year ago.

Well, the wait is now over as Crunchbang moves into version 10, and with it, a move from Ubuntu to Debian sources. This is still a development release and work is still on going. Look out for the stable release in the near future.

As always, heed #!’s developers warning before installing:

“As always with CrunchBang, this release is not recommended for anyone who requires a stable system. Anyone who uses CrunchBang should be comfortable with occasional or even frequent breakage. Remember, CrunchBang Linux could make your computer go CRUNCH! BANG! :)”

Check out the official blog post for more info