xscorch : A faithful Scorched Earth clone for Linux
The Mother of All Games... for the Mother of All Operating Systems
Back in High School, in the 1990s, I was taking a class on Architectural Drafting. One of my absolute favorite classes — and one of the best perks of the class is that we had PC’s, running MS-DOS, that we could use with AutoCAD (a drafting application).
Now. What happens when you put a bunch of nerdy teenagers in front of a row of DOS PCs?
We bring in floppy disks. With games. Naturally.
We played them during lunch. We played them before school. We played them during class when the teacher left the room. Ah, it was a glorious time filled with Shareware, A:>, and joy.
And, while many games were installed on those incredibly large, 20 MB hard disks… there was one that we came back to. Time and time again.
Or, as it was known, “THE MOTHER OF ALL GAMES”.
Tanks. Angle. Power. Massive weapons. It was simple, goofy, and amazing. (And it inspired a huge number of similar games.)
But, did you know there is a clone of Scorched Earth… for Linux?
“Xscorch is a clone of the classic DOS game, "Scorched Earth". The basic goal is to annihilate enemy tanks using overpowered guns. :) Basically, you buy weapons, you target the enemy by adjusting the angle of your turret and firing power, and you hope to destroy their tank before they destroy yours.”
The port is incredibly faithful (with a few quality of life changes here and there) — with the experience being nearly identical to that of the DOS classic.
It even has some of the classic “plasma weapon” effects that made the original so absolutely ridiculous and cool.
And, what’s more, xscorch seems to be in the repository of nearly every Linux distribution on planet Earth.
sudo apt install xscorch
Try that on a Debian based system (or Ubuntu) and you should be ready to relive your 1990s DOS gaming dreams!
Or… see what all the fuss was about for us who lived through it. ;)
Note: You can also just play the original Scorched Earth via DOSBox (or any number of other PC emulators). But there’s something glorious about having a native Linux version. Especially one that has an “x” in front of the name. Feels so very, very “Old School Linux”.