‘0 A.D.: Ides of March’ is an Alpha version multi-platform RTS game. It is available for Linux, Mac and Windows. It mostly has the same gameplay as any other RTS game. There’s a mini map to the bottom left of the screen for navigation; you can select a unit by clicking on it; you can move the unit on clicking anywhere on the screen; you can setup the rally points in the typical fashion i.e. select the building and click on the desired area, the usual really.
The game is playable through both ways i.e.:
- Single-player (skirmishes against AIs)
- Multiplayer (matches against one or more opponents)
To the amazement of users the soldiers are not totally useless outside the battle field. They can build all kinds of buildings and also gather resources when they are not fighting. To make the towers attack the enemy you have to garrison your troops inside it. But on the down side the civilians can only build non-military buildings. The farms are bigger but they are not a perpetual source of resources (food) as they dry out eventually. You could gather the food from farms faster if you make multiple civilians gather food from a single farm.
Some important features that are still missing are:
- Multiplayer lobby
Here comes the best part of 0 A.D., the civilizations. In total there are 6 civilizations available in the 9th Alpha of 0 A.D. with their own unique abilities. These include:
- Carthaginians (strong navy, elite war elephants)
- Celts (hand-to-hand combat skills, inexpensive wooden buildings)
- Hellenes (cheap technology, invulnerable formation)
- Iberians (strong metal weapons, unique flaming missiles)
- Persians (strong economy, strongest cavalry)
- Romans (strongest swordsman, powerful siege equipment)
When we take a look on the low side, graphics and settings are the worst part of the game. Actually ‘Settings’ are positively nonexistent in this version of the game and hopefully will be added to the menu sometime soon in the future. The graphics are also very bad. After a while the game starts to flicker heavily and also starts lagging.
On the whole 0 A.D. is actually the most impressive effort in the field of open source gaming on Linux. There are aspects that need great improvement still we can see that there is a long way to go before its completed. Once done, it can surely become a milestone in open source game development industry.
What’s better than a free open source Real Time Strategy (RTS) game? … I really can’t think of anything. No its not a joke its real, alright. ‘0 A.D.’ is the name of the game. It is not fully launched yet. Recently its 9th Alpha version dubbed as ‘0 A.D.: Ides of March’ was made available for users. You can download it from the following link:
Why should you download it, you ask? Following are the reasons…
Its totally free and always will be… enough said! If you still need some convincing keep on reading and watch trailer below.
0.A.D. is currently seeking contributors in programming, art, sound, web design, taking YouTube videos and more. If you are interested register on 0.A.D. forums and start a new topic introducing yourself in the applications and contributions forum following these instructions.