Title: The UNIX Book of Games Author: Janice Winsor Publisher: Prentice Hall Pages: 240 Price: US $29.95, Can. $41.95 (soft-bound, w/ CD-ROM) ISBN: 0-13-490079-0 Audience: anyone wanting games for UNIX systems Rating: B+
It never occured to me to want a book like this, but that's probably because I've been around UNIX so long. And when it comes to games, I tend to dive in head first, and only look for instructions if I have to.
This book covers 10 of the best freely available UNIX games (yes, SimCity and some other excellent, commercial games also come in UNIX versions!). Most of the covered games include or come only in graphics versions; the most notable exception is Colossal Cave - the Game That Started It All. Thanks to Windor's excellent introduction to the Cave, my 10 and 12 year old children are now hooked on it. (Take that, Doom!)
The author also covers Flight Simulator (including all controls, and how to land safely), Gnu Chess, Mahjongg, Hearts, Spider, Canfield, Klondike, Reversi, and Go (also text only).
Each game gets its own chapter, including sections on starting and stopping the game, rules (scoring, controls, properties if any, and playing), the author's notes, hints and lore, and a brief bio of the game's author. Copyright and odd technical details are also included.
Personally, I'd prefer to see another genre of game in lieu of one of the solitaire games, but otherwise the book is top notch.
I wish I could say the same for the CD-ROM. If you can run the pre-built binaries from the CD-ROM, you may be in good shape. I built and installed Mahjongg, since I had been playing an older version, and had several problems. I had no problem fixing them, but more work is needed before a novice could do this.
Copyright 1998 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.