In the game, the player assumes the role of Paul Atreides, the young son of Duke Leto. Your family have just arrived on the planet Dune and have been granted the right to mine Spice – the galaxy’s most valuable commodity. Spice is a drug found only on Dune, and is the key to deep space navigation as well as prolonging life. Consequently, the drug is incredibly expensive and whoever controls its production holds the key to untold wealth and power.Unfortunately, much of the planet is controlled by the Harkonnen, sworn enemies of the House of Artreides, and a confrontation is inevitable. The game progresses through three main stages.
First, the instigation of a Spice-mining network manned by the ever helpful Fremen, and overseen by your big buddy Duncan. This is how your initial winning-over of the Fremen starts. Their morale goes up, especially when you give them things like harvesters, but they get fed up if you don’t visit them occasionally. The Fremen dream is to make the barren dune more habitable. If you can do this, they’ll rally behind your cause. This second stage of the game begins when you meet the Ecologist Kynes. The final stages of the game is when you try and blast the Harkonnen off the planet. This chapter in Dune history begins when you meet the Fremen leader, Stilgar. During the course of all this, you have to face up to 100 metre-long earthworms, which control various parts of the desert and jealously protect their territory. It’s an epic mission, and that’s a fact. Where Dune really scores is with the graphics.
Although fairly static, they are subtle, atmospheric, and can sometimes make you amazed. You can walk out into the desert and watch the sun rise or set as the colours fade from day to night in a beautiful sequence. The Ornithopter looks good too – like a giant, spindly flying insect, while the earthworms are almost up to the quality of the animated film. I’d play this game simply to visit all the timeless-looking locations, but adventurers will be pleased that there’s a lot to do gameplay-wise, something that’s helped by the simplicity of the point and click interface. A damn good game, when all’s said.