Repton Through Wine

A couple of days ago I rather glibly said that the PC versions of the computer game Repton ran fine with WINE on the GNU/Linux operating system. That’s not quite true, so I thought I’d take a closer look at running Superior Interactive‘s PC versions of Repton 1, Repton 2 and Repton 3 on GNU/Linux.

WINE Is Not an Emulator

I have two computers here. They both run the GNU/Linux operating system with the GNOME desktop and have WINE installed. In case you didn’t know, WINE is the little bit of free software magic that lets you run programs written for Microsoft Windows on GNU/Linux, Mac OS, FreeBSD and Solaris. My wife’s computer runs the Fedora 12 distribution (or distro) of GNU/Linux and the free nouveau graphics driver. I’ve installed version 1.1.32 of Wine on my wife’s computer. My computer currently runs Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) distro of GNU/Linux with the non-free nVidia driver. It has version 1.1.35 of WINE installed.

WINE 1.1.32 is the version currently available for popular distros such as Ubuntu or Fedora, and will therefore be the version most users are running. WINE 1.1.35 is the very latest version, and instructions on how to obtain it are available here.

The PC Repton games can be run “full screen” or in “windowed” mode, in a window on your desktop. You can toggle between these modes by pressing F10.

Repton 1

On WINE 1.1.32 the game will not run properly in “full screen” mode. It will run in “windowed” mode but suffers from a couple of issues. The first is masking – the masking of sprites and the pointer does not work at all.

Repton 1 masking visible on WINE 1.1.32

The second issue is digits missing from the screen selector boxes on the main menu screen.

The boxes at the base should contain digits

On WINE 1.1.35 Repton 1 runs perfectly in “windowed” mode so if you have WINE 1.1.35 or above I can recommend Repton 1 to anyone running GNU/Linux provided you’re happy to have the game running in a window.

No masking visible on WINE 1.1.35

And the digits are present on WINE 1.1.35 too

It also runs reasonably well in “full screen” mode. The sprites are stretched, as no compensation is made for the aspect ratio of my widescreen monitor when making the display full screen. The game also suffers from the masking problems that affected Repton in “windowed” mode on WINE 1.1.32. But it does not suffer from the missing digits on the screen selector boxes that affected WINE 1.1.32.

Apart from the masking issue and the stretched sprites the game plays very well “full screen”.

The Repton 1 level and sprite editor works with no issues on both versions of WINE.

Repton 2

On WINE 1.1.32 the game will not run properly in “full screen” mode. It will run in “windowed” mode but suffers from the same masking issue as Repton 1.

Repton 1 & 2 have same mask issue on WINE 1.1.32

On WINE 1.1.35 Repton 2 runs perfectly in “windowed” mode so, again, if you have WINE 1.1.35 or above I can recommend Repton 2 to anyone running GNU/Linux provided you’re happy to have the game running in a window.

No mask issues on Repton 2 with WINE 1.1.35

It also runs reasonably well in “full screen” mode. The sprites are stretched, as again no compensation is made for the aspect ratio of my widescreen monitor when making the display full screen. The game also suffers from the masking problems that affected Repton 1 in “windowed” mode on WINE 1.1.32.

On exiting Repton 2 from full screen mode

However, unlike Repton 1, it crashes messily on exiting the program having been in full screen mode.

The level and sprite editor works with no issues on both versions of WINE.

Repton 3

The issues with Repton 3 are identical for both versions of WINE.

The game will not at all in “full screen” mode – in fact, selecting it will cause the game to crash messily. It leaves the screen at low resolution as it crashes so you have to either log out and in again.

Repton 3 in “windowed” mode

It will run in “windowed” mode, with issues. The first is that selecting “Run game in high priority mode” will cause the game to crash, and you need to reinstall the game before you can use it again.

The second is selecting the map. If you try and select the map the game will crash. So, Repton 3 will run (and run very well) in Windowed mode provided you don’t try and look at the maps.

I told you not to look at the map…

The level and sprite editor works with no issues on both versions of WINE.

Conclusions

So there you have it. Other than no full screen mode Repton 1 and 2 work well on the latest version of WINE. Repton 3 has a serious fault (the lack of maps) and more minor niggles (no full screen mode, and the crasher upon selecting High Priority mode) but other than that is perfectly playable.

If you have tried to run one of these games with WINE I’d be interested to hear how you got on.

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