Damn Small Linux can be an excellent tool for learning Linux commands and running the Linux operating system. But what if you are not interested in becoming a computer nerd; can this software still be useful to regular people? The answer is a resounding yes; you can make use of this tiny operating system whether or not you want to learn the sometimes gruesome details of operating systems. This article presents several free games that are immediately available once you have downloaded and installed Damn Small Linux.
To access these games either click on the DSL button in the lower-left hand corner or on the Apps icon toward the top of the screen. Then open the Games: there are eleven; Canfield, Freecell, Golf, Mastermind, Minesweeper, Pegged, Slide_Puzzle, Solitaire, Taipei, Thornq, and Xtris and Taiedit which is not a game, but a game editor. We will look at the games in order starting with Slide_Puzzle. As with any gaming systems, you must be careful not to get addicted.
Do you remember a hand-held non-electronic game that contained fifteen movable tiles and sixteen squares? By moving the tiles correctly you could reconstitute a series of numbers. Slide_puzzle is similar but even more challenging. First you load an image, a graphics file such as a jpg file. I didn’t have one readily available so I opened Firefox went to google images and downloaded into the /home/dsl directory the first crayfish image that Google offered me. Then I loaded it into the game which chopped it into little pieces to be reassembled. Left-click on a tile to slide it into the adjacent empty space. Right-click to see the original image. If you are really good you won’t have to take a peek at the original image. It helps if you selected an image that’s easy to reconstitute. I don’t recommend crayfish.
Solitaire is the good-old Klondike solitaire card game. While testing it for this article I won twice in a row and even came close the third time. This is the solitaire that I fondly remember as a kid. Watch out, it’s moderately addictive.
Taipei is a very addictive game in which you try to remove pairs of corresponding tiles. Of course whenever one tile is covered by another tile you must first remove the covering tile. To find out if a tile may be removed right-click on it. If it changes colors it may be removed by clicking on its available partner. The partner tile is usually a copy (9 and 9, Heart and Heart) but any of the direction tiles may be paired with any other direction tile, and any color tile may be paired with any color tile.) The numbers in the lower left hand corner of the screen indicate how many tiles remain and how many tiles are presently removable. In one game I started with 144 and 12. By judiciously removing two tiles I went to 142 and 15. I lost that game, like I lose most of the time. If the rules sound a bit complicated, they are. But you can learn by playing. And you can always press the Backspace key to undo your latest tile removal. The last time I played I was blocked, pressed the Backspace key, and went on to win. Some would say beginner’s luck. The instructions claim that every game can be won. I don’t believe it.
Taiedit lets you modify the game of Taipei. Good luck, this application looks moderately sophisticated.
Thornq is yet another solitaire card game. For more information about this game access their website at www.delorie.com/store/ace/docs/thornq.html .
You may not believe me, but I won this game without knowing how to play it. Beginner’s luck. The point is that Damn Small Linux offers a wide variety of solitaire card games. The final game offered with the system is xtris, a version of Tetris, a game in which you arrange falling blocks. This version offers a few controls including the possibility of playing several games at once. One at a time is more than enough for me.