A Tux In Time Saves Nine: Tux Racer

There are some times when yai just gotta take a few minutes and do something completely mindless, but satisfyingly enjoyable, like eating a killer banana split; you donit have to think about it, itis just there to be enjoyed . You couldnit give a care about split atoms, split ends, or split personalities when there are 3 mounds of chocolate covered ice cream sitting in front of you. You wonit save a life, balance your check book, or promote world peace by eating a banana split, but man-o-man, is it great going down.

Such is the feeling one gets while playing Tux Racer, a game that may have been originally intended for kids, but the penguin looks so cool that we just had to let you know about it.

Tux, as you may or may not know, is the name of the penguin mascot for Linux. In Tux Racer, our fine feathered fowl fearlessly flashes, face first, over frozen flora, filching fish, as he flaps fast forward towards the finish line. Tuxis only competition is the clock and number of herrings you can steer him into. While that may sound boring, Tuxis saving grace is the eye candy and the attention to detail the game delivers.

The terrain is nicely rendered and there are nice little touches, like the trail Tux leaves as he slides downhill. Race the same course again and youill see the trail Tux left in his last downhill run. Cool!

You can make Tux turn, jump, speed up, or slow down in your quest for the best time and the most herring. There are different courses to navigate, you can set the weather conditions (snow is not implemented in the current version), and the time of day. (Check out the slopes by the light of the moon. Beautiful!)

Look at that great night terrain!
(Click the thumbnail for a full sized version)

Tux Racer was ported to OS X by Matt Majka and you can grab the game from his iDisk [Link corrected]. The manual and other information about Tux Racer can be found at the gameis Sourceforge Web site.

Thereis no network play, and really, there shouldnit be. Some games you play to compete and win, but in Tux Racer you steer Tux to the fish and the finish just for the halibut.

Vern Seward keeps a look out for those Unix apps making their way to the Mac so you donit have to.