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garden-of-coloured-lights - abstract vertical shooter with music elements…  more info»


Garden of coloured lights

From the homepage (
Garden of coloured lights is an old school 2D vertical shoot-em-up with some innovative elements. Innovative graphics, soundtrack and game concept. The game itself is very challenging and as you progress, you will understand that you are dealing with a true piece of art... Simple and astonishing!

It is free, open source software. It is released under GNU GPL license v3 which means that it is not only free of charge, but you may also download the source code and play with it. 

Garden of coloured lights depends only on Allegro game programming library, a multiplatform game programming library. Thanks to that, you can play Garden of coloured lights on Linux, Windows as well as on other systems that have allegro installed.

It is not an easy game, so you will need some skill and patience... And maybe you will appreciate the possibility to use a joystick.
And yes, it is actually possible to get to stage 4. But it is not easy to beat it even if you have max stats :-)

unixes: Unpack the tarball and run ./configure && make && make install. 
You will probably want to change your prefix, so you can run something like
./configure --prefix=/usr && make ...
If you want to play without installation or if you want to use existing (installed) datafiles, run ./configure --with-datafiles=<path to your data root directory>
(for those unfamiliar with ./configure && make && make install: ./configure --help tells you how can you modify your build and you can pass multiple options to the configure script at the same time)
mingw unix: It is pretty much the same, except you have to pass --host=i486-mingw32 (this varies across mingw installations) or something like that to the configure script. The Windows version was compiled on a Linux box, so it works ;-)
native Windows mingw: You have to install MSYS (, but if you don't know much about mingw and unix stuff, don't do it, it is not very easy even to find user-friendly installers :-)
native Windows: Easy, use the provided installer.

Just launch garden (garden.exe) and make sure that allegro DLL (and/or mingw DLL) are "visible" (installed, in the same directory on Windows etc.)
garden doesn't accept any command line arguments.

Configuration is done via file init.txt That file is located either in the installation directories (Windows except Vista AFAIK), or in your home directory (~/.garden/init.txt). Scores are stored there and you can set whether you want windowed mode or fullscreen (Windowed = 1 X Windowed = 0 in the "[Misc]" section of the config file)
A sample init.txt file:
Easy = 8843
Normal = 3027
Hard = 120
Windowed = 0

Default controls are arrows + keys 'z', 'x', 'c' for shooting and 'v' for "slow". 
From version 1.0.5 on, you get an extra life each 2000 of score every time ;-)
You learn weapon XP by killing enemies, the bosses don't count.
If you manage to kill a lot of enemies, the level appearence will change and you will get a small score multiplier bonus
There originally were three levels, now there is fourth. I have never managed to beat the fourth one, so I guess that you are good enough if you get past the third :-)
Update: It is possible to beat even the fourth level (without cheating, of course). But I don't know whether I would manage without a joystick.

Q: The rotating options confuse me, I don't know which is which when I want to hit something!
A: This is a game that requires 108% concentration. You have to keep track on options position and appearence. 

Questions, comments, suggestions? I would love to hear from you at
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