Dune 2 is undoubtedly one of the most popular game classics of the Amiga gaming system. Moreover, it is considered to be the ‘grandfather’ of the real-time strategy games including the command & conquer series and therefore also every clone of this genre. The game is based on Frank Herbert 's novel Dune, and there also exists a film with the same name, and for all of you, who don’t know about the storyline I’ll explain the basics. The whole story takes place on a planet called Dune where three major houses battle for the control over the planet and therefore for the control over the so called ‘spice’, which is growing all over the, otherwise inhospitable, planet.
Spice has a drug like ability and is essential for travel through space as it makes the ship’s navigators capable of navigating safely through the hyperspace. Consequently those who control the spice control interstellar travel which makes spice most desirable for all the two houses, being the Atreides and the Harkonnen).
However in the game Westwood added another house, namely the Corrino, which are only mentioned peripherally in the original novel. Once the player chooses on of the houses he has to go through several maps to fight the opposing houses. Therefore, the player has to build up a base much like in the fashion of command & conquer. Fist of all you have a main building with which you start and you have to
build up power plant like buildings to supply your other facilities with energy. Furthermore there is a facility where you collect the spice which is brought there by the spice harvester, a vehicle which is very slow but highly armoured. Most annoying, however, is the fact that sandworms, gigantic worms moving under the sandy surface, randomly swallow your harvesters, which makes it really hard to handle your finances because very often you have to built new harvester. Another profound difference to other real time strategy games is that you have to secure the ground you want to build on with layers of concrete first. Another big minus is the game controls as it is impossible to select several units at once, which gives the computer a huge advantage in huge battles.
As to strategies it has turned out that, like in most other RTS games, the computer can’t do much about a massive attack with an overwhelming force of units (e.g. ‘tankrush’) as it always stops producing units after the number of units reaches a certain threshold. As there is no multiplayer mode the game gets fairly easy once the player gets used to the controls.
Summing up, playing dune is enjoyable and the sound is descent and so it is not only the nostalgic factor which compensate for some fairly annoying traits of the game-play.