The (Casual) Game Support Report in Wine (Jan 2009)

Reece Dunn msclrhd at
Tue Jan 5 17:38:49 CST 2010


With Dan reporting on the success of Visual C++ 2005, I thought I
would post my findings of various casual (and other) games.

In general, my observations are that:
  1/  the games themselves tend to work very well (and have done for a
long while now thanks to the great work CodeWeavers did in getting
DirectDraw and Direct3D working);
  2/  the major issues appear to be in the application launchers used
by different game providers (most of which are in the current wine
implementation of the IE browser ActiveX control);
  3/  the success varies from provider to provider, but the same
tricks usually work for a given provider;
  4/  a game is usually distributed by more than one provider, so you
should be able to find a provider that works with wine that
distributes the game;
  5/  the recent Xrender support has provided major improvements to
games (to the point where Azgard Defense is actually playable :D).

Oberon Media

Oberon Media have two versions of their game launcher. The older one
renders with the buttons drawn, but the text and links are not
functional; installing IE6 causes the text to render and the links to
work, but when registering the games, you cannot enter any text in the
text fields and there is no visible cursor. The newer launcher (which
has a different UI) causes an SEH exception; I suspect that this is
due to tightened DRM in the launcher. In addition to this, entering
the details directly into the registry doesn't appear to work any more
(and in the newer versions of the launcher, a different mechanism is

Verdict: Rubbish!

PopCap Games

The PopCap games launcher works without problems out of the box. I
haven't tried registering/buying a game through their launcher
interface, though.

Verdict: Flawless

Blizzard Entertainment

I have successfully installed and registered Warcraft III (and the
expansion), StarCraft and Diablo II using the installer/launcher from
the download version. StarCraft and Diablo II work flawlessly;
WarCraft III crashes at random points (usually when transitioning
between parts of a scenario).

Verdict: Almost-but-not-quite Flawless

Big Fish Games

These use a special downloader client that makes extensive use of IE
to provide its functionality. Although this does not currently work
with wine out of the box, it works flawlessly in IE6 (using winetricks
to install) -- the games download (although the download animation
button background does blink), launch and you can successfully
register/purchase them from the Big Fish Games UI.

NOTE: Using IE7 results in a crash when starting the Big Fish Games
launcher, and I have not yet been able to get IE8 installing/working
properly from winetricks (using the IE7 recipe).

Verdict: Excellent

Awem Studios

The Awem Studios game launcher works flawlessly in a clean wine prefix
(only gecko is needed). The games launch and you can even
register/purchase the games from within the Awem game launcher.

Verdict: Flawless


The launcher used by YoudaGames does not work in wine out of the box,
but requires IE6. I haven't tried registering/purchasing any of their
games yet, so I don't know how well this works.

Verdict: Excellent

- Reece

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