Thursday, December 02, 2004


Well, I've been trying to figure out what I want for Christmas, and I usually ask for a computer game of some sort. My fascination with it lasts about 2-3 weeks (like my fascination with just about everything, actually), but it's good fun for most of January.

So I was looking through the PS2 games (we're getting a PS2 for Christmas, if we can find one), and found myself looking at turn-based strategy games. One was a PS2 version of Heroes of Might and Magic 3. It got really poor reviews on Amazon, but many of the reviewers mentioned that it was nowhere near as good as the PC version. So I looked at the PC version (it's an older game at this point, which only means that it's cheap enough for someone who just bought a house to afford), and it looked pretty decent, and got put on my list.

But that got me thinking about that venerable old turn-based strategy game, Empire. I had a copy of it way back in '85 or something, and played it quite a bit (when I wasn't playing Zork or Planetfall or Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, or somesuch). So on a lark, I went looking for it on the net.

And I found it, best of all in source form, for Linux. Seems our good friend ESR found the Fortran sources from a VMS version and ported it to vanilla C. I've started a game over lunch, and it's really cool going back to an old friend like that.

(Footnote: In the early 90's, I also played a good bit of Civilization; there's an Open Source recreation available for Linux and Windows, if you're interested. Once I play out on Empire, and if I don't get Heroes, I may be...)

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