BERLIN: The story of the mystical desert planet of Arrakis with its valuable spice, political intrigues, and open warfare has often been told.
Firstly in Frank Herbert's Dune books, then in movies, and also as a strategy game for PCs. The latest video game set in the Dune world has been released in Early Access mode.
Spice Wars is a classic global strategy game in which you explore and expand, exploit resources, and fight enemies.
Players can choose between the House Atreides (the good guys), the House Harkonnen (the bad guys), the profit-oriented Smugglers or the planet's natives, the Fremen. Each faction has its own abilities, but the gameplay is similar.
Everything revolves around the planet's mystical spice, which among other things enables interplanetary space travel.
Players need to expand their territory, earn money from the spice trade, and make sure that the giant sandworms don't eat the spice harvesting machine.
"Spice Wars" begins slowly, but as the game progresses, budgeting money, water and other resources becomes extremely complex.
In addition, there are political elements like petitions to the galactic parliament. It's all about gaining influence for your faction while disadvantaging your enemies.
The political process can be difficult to understand and sometimes is disruptive to the flow of the game.
You also need to prevent other factions from endangering your empire while fluctuating exchange rates on the Spice Exchange and a lack of money further complicate things.
Typically for a still maturing game in Early Access mode, everything seems a bit unfinished and incomplete. Those who aren't huge Dune fanatics might prefer to wait for the finished version.
Dune: Spice Wars is available via the Steam download platform and costs around €30/US$30 (RM131). – dpa