Article from Issue 204/2017

Discover this open world, open source, Minecraft play-alike with giant maps and oodles of nifty features.

If you've never played Minecraft, you're missing out. Yes, the game was hyped to ridiculous levels during its glory days, and some players spent arguably an unhealthy amount of time in their fantasy worlds building enormous and highly intricate constructions, but it was still something very special. Minecraft was created on the fly using algorithms, creating a giant, procedurally generated world, in which you were plonked at a random point with no particular goals or equipment; you just had to explore and survive with what you could find.

For the first few minutes of Minecraft, you wonder what the point is. It feels empty and lonely, but then you start collecting items, crafting (combining things together to make other things), exploring the various landscapes (beaches, jungles, arctic tundras, and mountainous highlands), and finding non-player characters in villages. Before you know it, you've crafted a robust set of armor, developed some powerful weapons to protect yourself, and even built a house. Every change you make to the world is saved, so it starts to feel like a real, living and breathing place. Exploring caves full of nasty critters becomes a terrifying experience.

Now, Minecraft was (and still is) a great game, but it's not open source and free software – which is a bit of a downer for many FOSS purists. Fortunately, however, you have an alternative in the form of Minetest [1] (formerly Minetest-c55, named after the online handle of one of its lead developers). Minetest has been in development since 2010. Although its most recent version is 0.4.16, suggesting that it's still in the early stages of development, it's very much playable and loaded with cool features. On top of that, you can play with others online and even extend the game using modifications written in Lua. (For a text mode alternative, see the "Dwarf Fortress" box.)


Use Express-Checkout link below to read the full article (PDF).

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Introduction

    This month in Linux Voice. 

  • FOSSPicks

    We explore KDevelop 5.1, Riot.im, Cursynth, QMapShack 1.8, KWipe 2.1.3, Rapid Photo Downloader 0.9, Kakoune, VPG 0.2.8, Anbox (alpha), Terasology Alpha 7, and Mudlet 3.0.

  • Gaming

    Try your luck with Rocket League, Fear Equation, and Master of Orion.

  • Deepin Linux

    Gnome version  3 lost many friends, prompting Linux users to look for alternatives. The elegant and carefully crafted Deepin Linux pushes into the gap with a desktop that feels like a hybrid of Linux, Windows, and Mac  OS.

  • FOSSPicks

    Graham Morrison tears himself away from updating Arch Linux to search for the best new free software.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95