The Ultimate Time Waster

Today I have for you something guaranteed to lower your productivity:


This game is one of those free software apps that is of the quality of a proprietary application. Wesnoth is essentially a MO-RTS (multiplayer online real-time strategy) game. It offers two modes: campaign and multiplayer.

In campaign mode, you can pick a storyline from those installed to play. You then are able to play the game in multiplayer style, but with CPU-controlled opponents. It is all turn based, and progresses as follows:

  1. You recruit units.
  2. You move units.
  3. Your units fight the enemy team(s).
  4. End of your turn, at which point the opponent teams can have a turn.

The game continues in that style until your leading unit dies or you complete your objective. Wesnoth really sets itself apart in the fact that it throws many wrenches into your plans. There are times when stepping into a certain area can completely flip the status of the game, either in a good way (easier modes) or bad (harder modes). Like many RTS games, it offers day and night. Depending on the campaign or mode you select, you can get added bonuses depending on the time of day, which forces you to plan ahead.

On top of all of the features it offers with its official campaign modes, there are user-made campaigns that can be downloaded into your install without ever having to leave the game. You simply click "Get Addons" and it will connect to the server where you are able to pick from an extensive list of campaigns, maps, and even characters. As soon as you download the addon, it is instantly playable.

The multiplayer mode is simplistic for the most part; you can network multiple Wesnoth games across PCs, play hotseat style, or create your own multiplayer games against CPU opponents. You can also go into online play, which is one of the key features that keeps this game popular. As long as you have the latest version of Wesnoth installed you can connect to the server and play against people from around the world for free without the need for an account. (Ubuntu users: the latest version of Wesnoth is not available in Dapper or Edgy, so the online servers will not let you in. You can manually install Wesnoth or wait for Feisty 7.04 to be released to get the latest version.)

No matter what OS you use, you can get Wesnoth completely free. You can either download it from, or use your system's preferred package manager. You may have to install a package ending in "music" or "sounds" to get all of the sound effects and game music; quite a big download but worth it to get the full experience of the game.

One last thing: make sure you don't have any plans this week if you are getting this game. Beware.

Avatar for jacob Jacob Peddicord -

Jacob is a web developer, student, and programmer from Ohio. He is a staff member at the Ubuntu Forums and is most likely a fanboy of the distribution. He loves to write in code and words, play video games, and rant about topics most would have abandoned long ago. Jacob uses GNOME and is never seen running stable software, much to the demise of his laptop.

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Discussion: The Ultimate Time Waster

  1. # Posted on 24 April 2007 at 09:35 AM

    [...] was looking around for good free games when I happened to find a post on FOSSwire about Wesnoth. The Battle For Wesnoth is a free turn-based strategy fantasy game with two modes of [...]

  2. # Posted on 29 August 2007 at 02:11 AM

    [...] for Wesnoth - I think I really covered Wesnoth in this review. But for the lazy, Wesnoth is a RTS type game. It has a pretty big following behind it and lets you [...]

  3. Mike D (guest)

    # Posted on 21 January 2008 at 08:39 AM

    I happened across Wesnoth on another website. After I started playing it I can't stop!!

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