You all know those huge lists of free and open source game clones, right?

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It might surprise you to learn that there are many, many free games that don’t fit the modern model of free play. I say this because whenever someone posts a link to an awesome, public, open-source game project that painstakingly recreates abandoned classic characters, it seems shocked.

So here are some of the best, big lists of open source games and open source game clones. What do I mean when I say that?

I mean these are free public projects that produce games inspired by and using the mechanics of old classics, games like Rollercoaster or Transport Tycoon, Doom, XCOM, Red Alert, Civilization and Sim City, not to mention roguelikes classics like NetHack and Dungeon. Crawling Stone Soup.

First of all, I will tell you the list of Open Source games, or OSGL (opens in a new tab), a nice list of these games. Specifically, their Top 50 Open Source Games (opens in a new tab) is an invaluable resource for people just getting into the cool old stuff. It’ll point you to classics like OpenRCT2 and GZDoom, as well as unique and awesome masterpieces like Mindustry and Citybound.

My other go-to is osgameclones (opens in a new tab), which is a frankly overwhelming and extensively labeled list of games. It’s a little hard to figure out, but there are tags you can click on to figure out what’s going on: tags like Clone, Official, and Remake help differentiate what’s going on. For those who really want to wade into it, I offer the complete (opens in a new tab) and playable (opens in a new tab) beacons as solid starting points.

Finally, you might enjoy libregamewiki (opens in a new tab)it’s exactly what it sounds like: a great open source games wiki.

These resources aren’t just cool adventures in programming, they’re also great work that helps people game on low-end, low-spec systems. Many of them are also usable on or have a Linux distribution, for all new Linux users who came to the OS through Steam Deck. I have a real desire to catch Freeciv (opens in a new tab) and OpenXCOM (opens in a new tab) now frankly.

I will see you later. Most likely.

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