"Best strategy game for Sega ever. Control of the planet Dune is a top priority for any faction that has aspirations of ruling the universe."
Dune - The Battle for Arrakisa game by Westwood
This lengthy graphic adventure is based on the best-selling book and movie Dune. Virgin managed to bring brilliant graphics and great sounds to the game, but not much more.
Sand and Deliver
Using a first-person perspective that's similar to some role-playing games, you play as Paul Atreides (son of Duke Leto Atreides). The Emperor has sent you and your family to the planet Arrakis (a.k.a. Dune) to mine Spice. The Spice, called "Melange," is primo stuff. It prolongs life, expands consciousness, and enables Guild Navigators to "fold" space to make the starships travel anywhere without actually moving. Whoever controls the Spice, controls the universe!
The Harkonnens, the mortal enemies of House Atreides, are also on Arrakis mining the precious Spice. Your primary task in the game is to fight the Harkonnens for control of Dune by recruiting the local Fremen warriors to your side. Your ultimate goal is to help the Fremen achieve their dream of turning arid Dune into a flourishing planet.
- Gurney Halleck is extremely helpful in the beginning. Listen to his advice.
- Heed all warnings when approaching the Harkonnen Palace, otherwise you'll end up as dust in the wind.
You'll find that the action quotient is low in this game. You simply embark on various quests across the planet to find vital supplies and track down important personalities without much confrontation. Each quest does require you to interface with multiple characters, though.
Scenic Graphics & Hot Sounds
Dune's graphics are simply stunning. They're possibly the best of any Sega CD game to date. Without a doubt, the BD flying sequences stand out, boasting great texture mapping. The great-looking cinematic sequences are dramatic, too, but they aren't very colorful.
The sounds and music, as with most CD games, are fantastic. The music soundtrack has a nice variety. It sports an upbeat tempo with a Middle Eastern flair. Synchronized speech helps bring life to otherwise lifeless characters. Unfortunately, the speech is somewhat marred by the inconsistent pronunciation of frequently used words, the most jarring being "Harkonnen."
- If you're in need of supplies, visit the Smuggler at the village of Pyons, which is just south of the Harkonnen Palace.
- Refer to your Spice Density Map when Spice starts running low in one area. When it's too low, reassign your Miners to a more productive area.
As appealing as Dune is to the eyes and ears, it takes its toll on your mind. At times, the game unfolds so slowly you feel yourself nodding off.
The controls, fortunately, jerk you awake with their smoothness. The slow game play means timing is not an issue, so control is easy. The only negative control quirk appears when you fly an Ornithopter. Sometimes the computer grabs control to follow the terrain and you don't know who's in charge.
Not a Hot Dune
Although Dune has a great story line, high-powered graphics, and some sweet sounds, the game play is a weight to the overall game play. Dune has bright spots, but it'll make you thirst for more.
If you like Dune - The Battle for Arrakis, try other games
It is a strategy game. Build, conquer, and defend civilizations like never before.
Utopia: The Creation of a Nation
It is the player's task to colonize the new planet, manage the colony and raise the quality of life for the citizen in order to reach utopia.
Syndicate is a Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy game, developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts, which was released in 1994.
Dune (a.k.a. Arrakis) is the only planet that contains Spice. Spice enables Guild Navigators to "fold" space to make spacecraft travel possible without moving. For humans who consume it regularly, Spice prolongs life for hundreds of years. Consequently, whoever controls the Spice controls the universe.
Virgin Games gives you the opportunity to control the universe in Dune: The Battle for Arrakis. In this overhead-view strategy game, you command an army in a campaign to destroy your enemies and become Ruler of Arrakis.
Building Sand Castles
You play Dune as the ruler of one of three noble Houses. Part of the fun and much of the strategy comes from improving this arid world. For example, you must build military installations from the ground up by laying foundations, installing power plants, and so on. Since you have a limited budget, you must harvest Spice and sell it for credits to continue building structures and weapons.
Meanwhile, your enemies are plotting your demise.
The political intrigue adds spice to the Spice. You must play through several military campaigns, which get progressively harder. You get various ground troops, including Dune's guerilla fighters -- the famous Fremen. Motorized armaments range from Trikes to Sonic Tanks, and your weapon choices grow as you win campaigns.
The controls in Dune are fluid. You pick your force, and then click on the enemy you wish to attack. Battles are fought in real time, too.
- Build a Space Port as soon as possible, and start buying weapons at premium rates.
- If this oversize, fish bait becomes a pest, shoot it. You won't destroy it, but you can at least drive it away.
- As soon as you get an Outpost up and running, send out a scout vehicle to explore the region for both enemy units and Spice.
- In your first two campaigns, you only need to earn a specific number of credits. You must erect just one Power Plant, one Spice Refinery, one Spice Silo, and one Outpost. The less you build, the quicker you'll reach your credit target.
- Before entering an enemy compound, be sure to take out any gun or rocket turrets.
Cool Sights and Hot Sounds
The sound effects and music in Dune are outstanding. The tunes set the mood for the various campaigns, plus distinct sound effects and digitized speech add character to the game.
Visually, Dune is no stunner, but you can easily recognize every unit and building. The one thing that dampens the fun is slowdown when multiple units move on the screen together.
Spice up your Life
Dune is a great exercise for your brain. Even though this is a strategy game, nonstop action is the norm. If you aspire to conquer a planet, have some hot fun in the sun with Dune.
Dune II, originally titled The Building of a Dynasty (and renamed in Battle for Arrakis for Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in Europe) is a computer game released in 1992 by Westwood Studios. Dune II was considered a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game, and was followed by many other video games using the same style. Several other market hits, such as Command & Conquer, Warcraft, Age of Empires and Starcraft were built on Dune II's system.
The story follows Emperor Frederick IV of House Corrino, who is desperate for some spice melange which can be found on Arrakis, a different planet. He wants the melange so badly for being able to pay off all his debt. To achieve his objective, he offers the sole governorship of Arrakis to the Houses (Atreides, Harkonnen and Ordos). After all the three Houses arrive on Arrakis, the war begins.
The player controls a military commander from one of the three Houses. He is allowed to choose his preferred House. The player has to establish an unoccupied territory on Arrakis in his first missions, and to harvest spice and defend against opponents. Exactly like in the more popular games mentioned earlier, everything begins and extends from one building only.
The player's objective is to capture enemy territories and to dominate Arrakis on the map. The two other Houses will play together against you. After the player dominates the world of Arrakis, the final showdown will come. The player will have to fight against the two other Houses and Frederik's forces. The Sardaukar is an unplayable elite force worshipping Frederick. His heavy infantry is very powerful and dangerous. Depending on the House you've chosen, the final cutscene will be a different.
The gameplay is simple and very popular. The player uses his mouse to control what is happening on the map. In addition to the other Houses, sandworms are also dangerous for the player, and he will have to encounter them several times. The player can place his buildings on rocky terrain only. Structures deteriorate in time because of the weather, which is very realistic. This realism was quite unusual for video games at that point in time.
The game was received very well by the users, and that's also why it's been considered since then as a pioneer of real time strategies. However, the Amiga version of the game, released in 1993, was the best one. It was rated with 85% by CU Amiga magazine, thanks to its smooth gameplay and controls. The game received Amiga User International's Game of the Month award in September 1993. Only one reader rated the game on IGN, and offered an 8.8 feedback.