A Bit of Welcomed Scumm on Your Linux Machine

This might make me sound like an old fogey, but I really do miss the old games like Space Quest, The Curse of Monkey Island and Return to Zork. The problem isn't that I don't have the games anymore, but rather that they were designed for my 386 computer running DOS. Thankfully, I'm not alone in my fits of nostalgia. The developers over at www.scummvm.org have reproduced the “Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion” developed by Lucas Arts and packaged it into a virtual machine (thus, ScummVM). That virtual machine is open source and available for just about any platform you can imagine.

Figure 1. If you wonder what the mustached car could possibly be saying, you'll have to play Putt Putt Joins the Parade. Thankfully, it's installable on ScummVM.

It's important to note that ScummVM doesn't come with any actual games. You either need to purchase the old games it supports from eBay or look in your closet for those stacks of old game disks you used to play as a kid (or as an adult, for some of us). What ScummVM does provide is a platform for playing those old games and even introducing your kids to games they'll probably never have a chance to play otherwise. At OSCON in July 2009, ScummVM was announced as SourceForge's Community Award winner in the category of “Best Project for Gamers”. If you've never checked it out, now is a good time.

As for me? I think it's about time I introduced Putt Putt & Fatty Bear to my kids. Hopefully, they enjoy the games as much as my brother-in-law did when he was growing up. Monkey Island? Yeah, I think I'll play that one myself.

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

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