Gaming Linux

Play Games Inside Your Linux Terminal

Varun Kashyap 17-03-2009

play games in terminalSo you spend most of your time on the terminal? Just entered a few commands? Feeling bored? How about some command line games? Yep, there are some oldies but goldies you can delve into for a little recreation on the terminal. So, how do your play games in terminal?


All you need to do is to install the required package and you get a ton of ways to “make use of” your time! Ubuntu users can get it via “sudo apt-get install ” or via the Synaptic package manager. Other users might want to check out their distribution’s package manager.


BSDgames consists of a quite a handful of programs. There are some pretty interesting games included in the package. Board games like backgammon, gomoku and Monopoly, some card games, some quizzes and puzzles like hangman and boggle.

linux terminal games

Formatting and Interconversion – create banners, convert your messages to Morse code or convert text to and from rot13

Some screensavers – like rain and worms, which seem more like primitive animation.


Calculators to decrypt Caesar cyphers, calculate the phase of moon and generate prime numbers.

Play Games Inside Your Linux Terminal pom

Other random stuff including score charts and game tutorials.

Play Games Inside Your Linux Terminal atc


Play Games Inside Your Linux Terminal boggle

A lot of the games might not be as intuitive to the iPhone generation as you would think, so if you would like help on any of the games just type “man 6 <name of the game>”


Play Games Inside Your Linux Terminal ninvaders

Based on the classic space invaders game, nInvaders provides an ncurses based interface where you control the ship and set out to destroy the invaders before they reach you.



Play Games Inside Your Linux Terminal greed

Get greedy and eat as much of the screen as you can possibly eat. You can not cross over any spaces created by eating previous numbers so you might have to think a little and you might not actually want to get down right greedy.


Play Games Inside Your Linux Terminal robot

Look for the kitten among the myriad of random characters and distinguish between the kittens and non kitten items.


There are some other terminal based games like bastet, ski, myman and overkill that you might want to check out.

For some other cool command line tricks check out the list of sites where you can learn cool tricks 4 Websites to Learn Cool Linux Command Line Tricks Read More and also check out 5 applications to make your terminal better 5 Cool Apps to Make the Linux Terminal More Productive Read More .

Do you know of some other cool programs to do some fun stuff on the terminal? Any other games you like to play in Linux terminal? Share them with us in the comments and don’t forget to mention which one you liked the most!

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  1. SngLol
    May 31, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I've created a simple clicker like game named Loading.
    I'm currently pretty active on improving it but have ran out of ideas and I need people to give me some feedback.
    If you are bored and have some extra time, pls give my game a shot and you might like it!

    Here it is:
    Follow the instructions carefully.

  2. Rahnye Vazq
    April 28, 2015 at 1:14 am

    I already installed some terminal games, but I have a little problem: I can find how to execute these, can someone help me pls?

  3. andrew
    March 26, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Second nethack. Better if you're a beginner is Larn, it’s a bit easier, and more accessible.

  4. Ferk
    March 20, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    pacman4console :P
    moon-buggy!! ^^ so simple but so addictive
    and also "tome", maybe the best nethack clone.

  5. Mackenzie
    March 20, 2009 at 10:42 am

    The bsdgames package also includes the "wtf" binary, which is a neat little acronym dictionary.
    $ wtf afaict
    AFAICT: as far as I can tell
    $ wtf iirc
    IIRC: if I recall correctly
    $ wtf fwiw
    FWIW: for what it's worth
    $ wtf ymmv
    YMMV: your mileage may vary

  6. greg
    March 17, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Where is nethack?

  7. Vadim P.
    March 17, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Pretty geeky but some look fun :)