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Reviewing a batch of free Linux games the other day, I stumbled upon Enigma, which immediately got my attention because of its simple rules, yet addictive game style. I found Enigma to be a great game, despite the fact that I’m not much into puzzle games.

enigma02


Enigma is a 2D puzzle game where you drive a ball or set of balls through an arena (called a “landscape” in Enigma) an have to match so-called Oxyd stones by touching them with the ball. You need to drive the ball and touch two Oxyd stones (which get revelead only when you touch a marble hiding a stone) of the same kind in succession. Although the rules seem simple, difficult situations arise in various puzzles, and traps or other obstacles can make it really hard and challenging to finish the levels.

Enigma includes a physics engine which allows the ball to bounce off stones, accelerate or slow down your ball.

Another interesting part of the game is the inclusion of the inventory, which will contain various items you pick from the floor and can use to perform several actions. For example, the dynamite ignites nearby bombs or certain stones.

Enigma comes with over one thousand levels, which will guarantee that you can practically play it endlessly, especially since there are available high-scores shown in-game, so you can try to replay levels to beat your own time, the par time or the world records. The levels are organized into categories, like Enigma, Pentomino or Sokoball, each of them having several sets that contain tens or hundreds of levels.

The first level of the tutorial pack:

enigma

Some levels are very challenging and hard to complete. For example, there are levels where you have to put all the four balls in the concave areas in the middle, but they get covered every once in a while and you’ll have to start over. The marbles on the landscape act as switches to cover/uncover a hole, and you will have to be fast to do it. Besides, all the four balls are dependent one to each other, so moving the mouse one direction will also move all of the balls in that particular direction.

The possibilities are practically endless. In some levels you need to hit the blocks with the ball to move them around; there are also levels with traps or holes, which would make your ball fall and lose a life out of three.

esprit_81_meditation

Here various obstacles make the ball either move slower or move in a straight line:

enigma03

Or in other levels the balls you move with the mouse are dependent one to another and tend to be attracted to one side of the landscape like a magnet, and moving one ball in a certain direction will have an effect on the other two balls as well.

Configuration allows you to change various options like graphics, sounds, run in fullscreen or windowed mode. One downside I could catch was the fact that not all resolutions are included (especially widescreen ones are missing like 1366×768).

options

There is a discussion forum for the community in both English and German, with a section for tips and tricks in case you get stuck at a certain level. As for documentation, a manual for the latest version (1.20) is available here, as well as a FAQ. Although you can pretty much figure out most aspects of Enigma on your own, the manual is a recommended read, especially the section on rules of the game.

Enigma 1.20 is included in the Ubuntu repositories, so you can install it by typing sudo apt-get install enigma in the terminal or use the Ubuntu Software Center.

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