The Dune film is one of those sci-fi shambles that everyone loves anyway. It doesn't matter how poorly edited or paced the film is; the fact that it's slightly more intelligent than Star Wars is enough to make nerds go crazy. In a similar manner, Cryo Interactive's Dune is slightly more intelligent than the average adventure game, but it's not nearly well made enough to stand up against any Sierra or LucasArts game. Or Dune 2.
From the start, you can instantly tell the game's modelling everything after David Lynch's Dune. Kyle MacClachlan's pixelated mug is the first image you see, and other actors and actresses likenesses are featured throughout the game. Gotta love pixelated Sting.
The goal is for you to travel to various Fremen (FREE MEN!) bases, recruit them, and use them to fight off the Harkonnens, a fat, slovenly race. They're all ugly, and every one of them makes some sort of cryptic remark about how you might be the one. You control every territory you visit excluding any already owned by the Harkonnens.
Options are decidedly limited. There's a limited number of Fremen you can recruit, and they can be turned into either warriors or spice miners. Spice is the only form of currency, and tributes to some sort of space emperor have to be made every few days to keep the game going.
And that's about it. You fly around, recruit guys, talk to people to further the story, and then it eventually ends. The strategy is very limited: sometimes a Harkonnen will take over one of your territories, and the only real way to win is just have strong warriors walk right into the area. Eventually, you can grow plants that will drive the Harkonnens out of their areas, but this is too little strategy far too late.
Harvester, on the other hand, is a great game. Here's some photo evidence:
I'm hoping to cover this shortly in my next blog post. I recently order the NES PowerPak, a developmental cartridge that looks really, really awesome. I'm going to play the hell out of it.