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Dune (DOS)

73
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Mickey Gabel (357)
Written on  :  Jan 10, 2000
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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Summary

Possibly the best media conversion to date, which also makes a challenging game.

The Good

What is so special about Dune is the length the developers took to make it an authentic rendition of the novel (or movie), and not another commercial rip-off.
The plot details were changed, so to keep it in the scope of the game, and also to keep the player interested in the game. Although the gameplay is basically stategy and management, it is still very much plot driven. The plot unfolds as the game progresses, adding new variables to consider when making decisions, changing your priorities and timetables. This is quite rare, as usually the plot is often discarded or just doesn't affect gameplay. The graphics are truly incredible, featuring realistic desert scenes. You will also be treaded to breathtaking sunrises and sunsets as the time of the day changes.
The music is a memorable Arab and Mediterranean mix, ranging from mysterious and eerie worms track ("Worm Sign") to rhythmic ecological track ("Ecolove"). Dune's music is memorable and original, and sounds great on Adlib, but it truly shines in the Amiga version. If there was a music CD with Dune's music on it on sale, I'd buy it today.
The CD version adds much - some nice animations and a movie clip, and very good voice acting for the dialogues.

The game also features some nice stuff such as the Fremen interface (its not Arabic, by the way), a game book called The Book of Dune on which you can read some background information and the plot so far, written as a book.

The Bad

Dune is played in real time, meaning that when you travel from place to place, time passes fast. And when your not - time passes slowly as you wait for people to carry out their orders. This tends to make the game boring at times, as you wait for something to happen. In other times, you take a long flight and when you land you discover that too many things have happened, and now you will work hard to restore order.
Also, the game mechanics are sometimes obscure, as you try to figure out exactly why you lost this battle, or why does the emperor demand so much spice after you sent him double the amount just last week...

The Bottom Line

A very interesting and engaging game to those who haven't seen the movie or read the book, with a solid story, real characters and challenging gameplay. Those who did read the book (or saw the movie) - Dune represents a fresh angle to the story, and a challenging game on its own.