Top 10 Command Line Games for Linux

You can play games on the Linux terminal. Here are the best command line games for you.

You can play games on the Linux terminal. Here are the best command line games for you.

Linux has never been the first preference among operating systems for gaming. However, gaming on Linux has evolved, and now, even a new user can try to play the latest games on Linux.

You can download Linux games from various sources and also explore some of the best distributions tailored for gaming if that is what you want.

Moreover, you can also play some cool games on the terminal or the command line. Did you know that? ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Linux has one added advantage over its Windows counterpart. The mighty Linux terminal allows you to do many interesting, powerful, and useful things, including playing command line games.

Games that run on the terminal are light, fast, and fun to play.

And the best thing of all, youโ€™ve got a lot of classic retro games available for the Linux terminal.

๐Ÿ“‹
The list is in no particular order of ranking.

1. Bastet

Playing Bastet
Bastet

Who hasnโ€™t spent hours together playing Tetris? Simple, but totally addictive.

Bastet is the Tetris of Linux. You can play the normal version or choose the harder version to challenge yourself.

Use the command below to install Bastet:

sudo apt install bastet

To play the game, run the below command in the terminal:

bastet

Use the spacebar to rotate the bricks and arrow keys to guide. You can also customize the keys as per your preferences.

๐Ÿ“‹
We mention installation instructions for Ubuntu as we test it, but the games should be available in repositories of other popular Linux distributions.

2. Ninvaders

Playing Ninvaders
Ninvaders

Space Invaders on a command-line interface. I remember tussling for a high score with my brother on this. One of the best arcade games out there.

Copy and paste the command to install Ninvaders.

sudo apt install ninvaders

To play this game, use the command below:

ninvaders

Arrow keys to move the spaceship. Space bar to shoot at the aliens.

3. Pacman4console

Playing Pacman4Console
Pacman4Console

Yes, the King of the arcade. Right?

Pacman4console is the terminal version of the popular arcade hit Pacman. โฉโƒ

๐Ÿ’ก
You need to re-size the window and keep it a bit big/wide to be able to launch the game.

Use the command to get pacman4console:

sudo apt install pacman4console

Open a terminal, and I suggest you maximize it. Type the command below to launch the game:

pacman4console

Use the arrow keys to control the movement.

4. nSnake

Playing nSnake
nSnake

Remember the snake game on Nokia phones? ๐Ÿ

That game kept me hooked on the phone for a long time. I used to devise various coiling patterns to manage the grown-up snake.

We have the snake game in Linux terminal thanks to nSnake. Use the command below to install it:

sudo apt install nsnake

To play the game, type in the below command to launch the game.

nsnake

Use arrow keys to move the snake and feed it. You can also download various levels by following the instructions in the game.

Suggested Read ๐Ÿ“–

Best Games On Steam You Can Play On Linux and Windows
Hereโ€™s a curated list of the best steam games in various genres. The games listed here are available on both Windows and Linux. When it comes to gaming, a system running on a Windows platform is what anyone would recommend. It still is an excellent choice for gamers with

5. Greed

Greed is a little like Tron, minus the speed and adrenaline.

Your location is denoted by a blinking โ€˜@โ€™. You are surrounded by numbers, and you can choose to move in any of the 4 directions,

Playing Greed
Greed

The direction you choose has a number, and you move precisely that number of steps. And you repeat the step again. You cannot revisit the visited spot, and the game ends when you cannot make a move.

It may look confusing, so I would say it may not be to everyone's liking. It is still fun.

Install greed with the command below:

sudo apt install greed

To launch the game, use the command below. Then use the arrow keys to play the game.

greed

6. Air Traffic Controller

Whatโ€™s better than being a pilot? An air traffic controller โœˆ๏ธ

You can simulate an entire air traffic system in your terminal. To be honest, managing air traffic from a terminal kind of feels, real and sounds cool. (what do you think?)

Air Traffic Controller
Air Traffic Controller

It is one of the games that come included with BSD Games package. You can explore the other free and open-source games included with it as well.

Install the game using the command below:

sudo apt install bsdgames

First, you need to read the instructions to play the game, to do that use the command:

man atc

Once you understand how it is done, enter the command below to launch the game:

atc

Suggested Read ๐Ÿ“–

Play Multiplayer Tron Arcade Game In Linux Terminal
When it comes to gaming in Linux, Linux has an added advantage of terminal games. These โ€˜terminal gamesโ€™ are played in the Linux command line terminal. Unlike the usual games, terminal games are mostly in ASCII display. ASCII might not sound fancy, and it isnโ€™t. But you can still

7. Backgammon

Backgammon
Backgammon

Whether you have played Backgammon before or not, You should check this out. The instructions will be prompted when you launch the game. Play it against the computer or your friend if you prefer.

It is a two-player board game. This one is also included with the same BSD Games package as mentioned above.

Install Backgammon using this command:

sudo apt install bsdgames

Type in the below command to launch the game:

backgammon

8. Moon Buggy

Jump. Fire. Hours of fun. No more words to describe it. Lots of fun! ๐Ÿš—

Playing Moon Buggy
Moon Buggy

Install the game using the command below:

sudo apt install moon-buggy

Use the below command to start the game:

moon-buggy

Press space to jump, โ€˜aโ€™ or โ€˜lโ€™ to shoot.

9. 2048

Hereโ€™s something to make your brain flex ๐Ÿง 

2048 is a strategic as well as highly addictive game. The goal is to get a score of 2048.

Playing 2048
2048

You need to install an addition gcc package to build the game from source.

sudo apt install gcc

Head to its GitHub page if you are curious.

Copy and paste the commands below one by one to install the game.

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mevdschee/2048.c/master/2048.c

gcc -o 2048 2048.c

Type the below command to launch the game and use the arrow keys to play.

./2048

10. Nudoku

Want to play Sudoku on the Linux terminal? Why not.

Playing Nudoku
Nudoku

You can install it using the following command:

sudo apt install nudoku

To run the game, simply type:

nudoku

Your pick?

If you want to have fun with the Linux terminal, these games should give you a good experience. I guess it is time to press Ctrl+Alt+T now that you've read this.

You may also check out our list of the best ASCII games for Linux:

Best ASCII Games for Linux That are Insanely Good
Text-based or should I say terminal-based games were very popular a decade back โ€“ when you didnโ€™t have visual masterpieces like God Of War, Red Dead Redemption 2 or Spiderman. Of course, the Linux platform has its share of good games โ€“ but not always the โ€œlatest and greatestโ€. But, there

If you like ASCII art, here are some fun CLI tools to explore.

10 Tools to Generate and Have Fun With ASCII Art in Linux Terminal
Linux terminal is not as scary as you think. Of course, it could be intimidating in the beginning but once you know the terminal better, you start loving it. You are likely to use the terminal for serious work. But there are many fun stuff you can do in the

Or, perhaps you'll run a train in the terminal?

Running a Train in the Linux Terminal With sl Command
Choo choo! All aboard the choo choo train in the Linux terminal.

๐Ÿ’ฌ What is your favorite on the list? Or got some other fun stuff for the terminal? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

About the author
Abhishek Prakash

Abhishek Prakash

Created It's FOSS 11 years ago to share my Linux adventures. Have a Master's degree in Engineering and years of IT industry experience. Huge fan of Agatha Christie detective mysteries ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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