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Tux Racer is a 2000 open-source winter sports racing video game starring the Linux mascot, Tux the penguin. It was originally developed by Jasmin Patry as a computer graphics project in a Canadian university. Patry and later the newly founded Sunspire Studios, composed of several former students of the university, would soon expand it. In the game, the player controls Tux as he slides down a course of snow and ice collecting herring.
Tux Racer was officially downloaded over one million times as of 2001. It also was well received, often being acclaimed for the graphics, fast-paced gameplay, and replayability, and was a fan favorite among Linux users and the free software community. The game's popularity secured the development of a commercialized release that included enhanced graphics and multiplayer, and it also became the first GPL-licensed game to receive an arcade adaption. It is the only product that Sunspire Studios developed and released, after which the company liquidated. The free game's source code has led to it receiving forks, made by fans continuing its development.
ux Racer is a racing game in which the player must control Tux across a mountainside. Tux can turn left, right, brake, jump, and paddle, and flap his wings. If the player presses the brakes and turn buttons, Tux will perform a tight turn. Pressing the paddling buttons on the ground gives Tux some additional speed. The paddling stops giving speed and in turn slows Tux down when the speedometer turns yellow. Tux can slide off slopes or charge his jumps to temporarily launch into midair, during which he can flap his flippers to fly farther and adjust his direction left or right. The player can also reset the penguin should he be stuck in any part of the course.
Courses are composed of various terrain types that affect Tux's performance. Sliding on ice allows speeding at the expense of traction, and snow allows for more maneuverability. However, rocky patches slow him down,:193 as does crashing into trees. The player gains points by collecting herrings scattered along the courses, and the faster the player finishes the course, the higher the score. Players can select cups, where progression is by completing a series of courses in order by satisfying up to three requirements: collecting sufficient herring, finishing the course below a specified time, and scoring enough points. Failing to meet all the criteria or aborting the race costs a life, and should the player lose all four lives, they must reenter the cup and start over. During level selection, the player can choose daytime settings and weather conditions such as wind and fog that affect the gameplay. Maps are composed of three separately saved raster layers that each determine a map's elevation, terrain layout, and object placement.
Video Review and Screenshots
Tux Racer System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP
- Processor: P II 500 MHz
- RAM: 64 MB
- Video Card: 16 MB
- Hard disk space: 134.8 MB