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"There is a place terrifying to us - to women. It is said that a man will come, the Kwisatz Haderach, who will drink the Water of Life. Many have tried."
"They tried and failed?"
"They tried and died."
This is the prophecy that tells the coming of the universe's super-being. The son of Bene Gesserit, a religious group of women who will have incredible powers and rule the universe. And this is the character you play in this conversion of the sci-fi novel, Dune.

You play Paul Artreides, the son of a powerful duke, as your family settle on the desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. The planet is run by the Harkonnen, led by the bloated and maniacal Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. What Paul has to do is travel around the planet searching out sietches, the hidden homes of the natives of Dune - the Fremen. He must befriend the Fremen and get their troops to work for him in a number of roles.

Spice Mining- Dune is the only planet where the spice, Melange, can be found. The spice is the most valuable substance in the universe, so as much must be harvested as possible.

Army- The Harkonnen have some quite formidable armed forces. The Fremen must be trained to fight using lasers, Krysknives and Weirding Modules.

Ecology- To defeat the Harkonnen, the Fremen must turn spicefields into growing areas to undermine their mining operations.

All these elements are carried out by talking to the Fremen Chiefs in the sietches that are found. Once they are on Paul's side, they can be given orders for carrying out certain operations. Unfortunately, a lot of information must be gathered from various characters before many jobs can be carried out (like finding sietch locations). You need other Fremen who will be helpful and clues from Paul's family (especially Jessica, Paul's mother.)

The sleeper awakens
As the game continues, more adventuring elements are added to the strategic side to give the feeling of an on-going story. The majority of this centres on Paul's acceptance by the Fremen (including him falling in love with a Fremen girl, Chani) and the development of his Bene Gesserit powers.

Unfortunately, most of the characters' attributes from the original book have been watered down and altered to such a degree that there isn't much depth or atmosphere to any of the people you meet. They seem to just be there to give you clues (which have to be hammered home before the game will let you act on them).

This is a shame, since the strategic side starts well, pulling you into the planning of your spice-mining and military operations by utilising some slick and well-drawn graphics. In fact, up to day 20 of the adventure makes for some very nice adventure action, but the whole polished appearance is let down later in the game by a lack of progressive action. Things have to be done over and over again before you get any results and interesting plot developments become fewer and further between. It comes to the point where you just shuffle troops and wait for the next message before the pace picks up.

If you want a diverting strategy game with sumptuous graphics, then Dune will keep you interested. On the other hand, if you like more atmosphere and tough puzzles, or just like the book, then Dune may be disappointing.

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In letzter Zeit sind Konvertierungs-Schlampereien ja beinahe zum Kavaliersdelikt verkommen - umso erfreulicher, daß Virgins toller Mix aus Adventure und Strategie den Weg von der MS-Dose zur "Freundin" völlig unbeschadet gefunden hat!

Zumal das PC-Original selbst ja quasi schon eine doppelte Umsetzung war, stand hier doch die legendäre SF-Romanteile von Frank Herbert ebenso Pate wie David Lynchs opulente und umstrittene Verfilmung.

Kann ein Game so vielen Vorlagen überhaupt gerecht werden? Es kann: Atmosphäre und Bilderrausch des epochalen Stoffes wurden erstaunlich stilsicher nachempfunden, und tatsächlich ist der Wüstenplanet am Amiga kaum von der IBM-Kompatibelen zu unterscheiden - von den etwas längeren Ladezeiten und einem gelegentlichen (leichten) Ruckeln bei den Flugsequenzen mal abgesehen. Aber wir greifen vor, worum geht es überhaupt?

Grundsätzlich geht es um Spice, eine für die Raumfahrt unerlässliche Droge, die nur von den auf Arrakis lebenden Riesen-Sandwürmern produziert wird. Von dieser Leckerei kann der galaktische Imperator verständlicherweise gar nicht genug bekommen, also stellt er das Adelshaus Atreides zur Gewürzgewinnung ab - obwohl mit den Harkonnen bereits dessen Erzfeinde derselben Tätigkeit nachgehen!

Delikate Probleme gibt es daher genug, wer Paul Atreides bei der Lösung behilflich sein will, wird nicht umhin können, die Gunst der einheimischen Fremen zu erwerben...

So bestehen denn auch die ersten Aufgaben darin, in bestem Adventure-Still den Atreiden-Palast zu durchforschen bzw. per Flugi oder einem zum Steppentaxi degradierten Wurm dessen unmittelbare Umgebung auszukundschaften. Später kann der Ortskundige daran gehen, möglichst viele Fremen-Stämme für den Spice-Abbau zu gewinnen, noch später wird die Sache dann strategischer: Sobald es Paul mit tatkräftiger Unterstützung seiner neue Flamme Chani gelingt, ausreichend viele Wüstensöhne zu er... äh, überzeugen, kann er aus ihren Reihen eine Armee aufstellen, um die ausbeuterischen Harkonnen endgültig im Wüstensand zu begraben.

Und last but not least wäre auch eine kleine Begrünungsaktion des sandigen Planeten nicht verkehrt. Der Storyablauf ist bei alldem weitgehend festgelegt, die nicht allzu schwierige Geschichte entfaltet sich schön der Reihe nach und Schritt für Schritt...

Präsentiert wird sie in einer wunderhübschen, verschwenderischen und teils animierten Bilderpracht, untermalt von verschiedensten Soundtracks. Der Ohrenschmaus klingt hier zwar anders als bei der PC-Düne, aber mindestens ebenso schön und atmosphärisch.

Nicht minder gelungen ist das intuitive Steuerungssystem: Eine schmale Icon/Menü-Leiste dient den umfangreichen Grafiken als Unterbau, und auf dem genialen Weltkarten-Screen kann man bequem Reiseziele festlegen oder seine Leute inspizieren.

Einzig ein paar zusätzliche Handlungsmöglichkeiten und etwas kniffligere Rätsel hätten sicher nicht geschadet, aber was soll es? Dune bietet einsteigerfreundliche Digi-Exotik gleich in der Familienpackung! (jn)

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It's the rare film licence that comes out at exactly the same time as the movie, but few are this late. Still, it looks like the game's well worth the wait..

One thing's for sure. You can't really accuse Virgin of trying to cash in on the success of the film here, and for two very good reasons. For one thing, the movie wasn't exactly successful (critically or financially), and for another thing it came out about eight years ago. (Even by film conversion standards, which hardly ever make it out in time to tie-in with the movie, that's pretty late...)

No, you're best off thinking of this more as a game of the phenomenally successful book, then - one which just happens to make use of much of the look of the film. Think of it also as being different to most film tie-ins in that it's actually rather good.

Let's concentrate on the visual side first though, as it's rather interesting. As you can probably see from the screenshots, the faces in the game look just like the characters from the film - somehow programmers Cryo have persuaded Kyle McLachlan (more famous now for Twin Peaks) and Francesca Annis (more famous now for, um... well, Mark thinks she's pretty good) to let them use their fizogs. And a damned fine job the artists have done too.

A lot of the 'look' on the hardware in the game also borrows heavily from designs seen in the film, though they're not direct copies. Still, it gives the game a avery professional, designy look - and when you think of how little a game like Total Recall really looked like the film, this has to be seen as a real achievement. Other details of the visual side of things will become clearer as we go through the game - for now, let's just say it's very good looking indeed.

The game is, of course, basically an graphic adventure, but one with liberal dollops of strategy thrown in. I'd normally at this point say the plot'll be familiar to anyone who's seen the film - except that anyone who's familiar with the film (or, indeed, read the book) will tell you there's nothing the slightest bit basic about it.

Certainly, eight years ago most audiences were leaving the cinema totally bewildered, and things haven't become any clearer on repeated TV viewings - so much so that the programmers here have actually done their best to simplify things so as not to lose their audience right away. Having said that, while this new version of the plot at least has a lineair development (This is beginning to sound like The Late Show... - Ed.), it still doesn't make a massive amount of sense. Still, what the heck, eh? It's still better than the usual cliché-ridden Lord Of The Rings rehash.

Here, then, is the basic story - or the best I can do anyway. The Emperor has sent the Artreides family (of which you, Paul, are a member) to the desert planet Arakis, also known as Dune, to mine Spice - the most valuable thing in the galaxy, as it prolongs life. Unfortunately, the Harkonnens, your family's long-time enemies, are already on Arakis and mining away merrily. This causes problems for you obviously, as does the fact that Dune's local inhabitants, the Fremen, are on the lookout for an outsider who they'll worship as their new god and who'll make the planet lush with vegetation - and they reckon it's you!

Your mum, a psychic nun, seems to confirm this too - she's trained you in the secret ways of her Bene Gesserit sect, and believes that your being near to so much Spice will awaken great powers within you. And thus the scene is set. There's a lot to take on board, but as the game develops, more and more of it starts to make some sense - and anyway, so long as you know what your immediate game task is, understanding the overall picture can probably wait.

That's the set up then - the story itself is divided into three main sections. When you first arrive on Arrakis you have to make contact with the Fremen and get them mining for you. (This is necessary to keep the Emperor off your back - he keeps sending messages demanding spice).
Next up you have to train the Fremen into armies to attack the Harkonnens. Finally you have to make contact with a fabled ecologist called Kynes, who will reveal the secret of turning Dune into a tropical paradise.

Throughout the game, your character, Paul, gains in power. For instance, he starts having visions and begins to be able to communicate with the Fremen telepathically; both are pretty handy, not just for the purposes of the plot, but also in terms of making the game much less hassle than many other adventures. Telepathy allows you to issue orders without having to zoom around the planet to make personal contact, for instance, while the visions neatly save you from missing out on any vital plot developments (although the umpteenth reminder from the palace to send the Emperor his Spice can get a mite tedious).

Partly because of the introduction of these handy dandy superpowers, the game's control system is wonderfully intuitive. You hardly have to refer to the manual at all, which is the way things should be. Just a few clicks on the icon bar at the bottom of the screen are all you need to issue orders, move around the planet, talk to people and so on.

Different to most tie-ins in that it's rather good

There is no typing: when you want to indulge in a meaningful conversation you just highlight the characters you want to talk to, then a selection of likely things yo might want to say pops up. You simply choose the one you want. (This is both good and bad, of course, while you're unlikely to miss out on important facts because you don't know the correct question to ask, equally it's almost impossible not to ask the right questions, and thus plough right through the game).

Don't worry though - Dune never becomes simply an interactive storybook, rather than a game, as tends to happen to graphic adventures. The main reason is that the strategy elements inject an extra, and much less black and white, dimension to the thing. For one thing, you have to deploy your Fremen sensibly - you need to make sure that you always have enough of them producing Spice to send the Emperor (otherwise you'll get a rather nasty visit from his Saudaukar storm troops) while at the same time be training plenty of them to attack the Harkonnens.

There's equipment to find, various way to speed up Spice production to uncover, ways to improve Fremen military training to suss out, giant sandworms (who tend to chew up vital equipment) to avoid and so on - there's a lot t try and sort out as best you can.

Inevitably, however, there are faults with the game. Battles, for instance, are simply a case of indicating which troops you want to attack which area, then sitting back and waiting for a vision to tell you how things have gone - they could be more exciting.

The maps could be a bit more helpful too. It would be nice to have one which tells you how things are going at each 'seitch' (the Fremen's name for their settlements) at a click too (though having said that, a comparable ability does become available when Paul gains his psychic powers).

The main problem, however, is that the game's all a bit leisurely, and you rarely feel under any kind of pressure. The plot developments are virtually handed to you on a plate, and a lot of the characters act as mere cyphers to push things along. It would be much better if there were a few more options available to you. (Also, some of the humour is pretty cringe-inducing - being told that 'Jessica really does have some amazing faculties,' is fairly typical - but that's really a very minor point.)

When all's said and done though, I enjoyed Dune a lot. As I've said, the graphics are superb, with excellently drawn characters, detailed backgrounds and clearly laid-out control bars. The animation sequences are also top notch - some of the ornithopter flying sequences could almost be described as beautiful - and the plot is fascinating. A very polishing game then, and one which should appeal to fans of the book, graphic adventure lovers and gamers alike.


Dune 1: Paul ArtreidesYou play FBI Agent Cooper, cherry pie-eating - oh, I'm sorry, I mean Paul Artreides, son of the Duke Leto of the House of the Artreides (it's just that they are both played by the same actor, which explains my confusion.) Don't worry about this long and complicated name though - this isn't Lord of the Rings, and "Hi, my name is Paul" will usually do fine. Your mission is to rid Arakis of those nasty Harkonnen types and make the planet all green and lovely while turning yourself into a demi-god at the same time. (Hang on a minute though - are you sure it isn't David Icke we're talking about here?)

Dune 1: Duke LetoThis is your Dad, the duke Leto. Het's just been sent to Arakis by the Emperor to mine Spice. He's a bit of an old fogey who looks, and acts, like Jessica has starched his uniform using quick-drying cement - his main role in life is to whinge on about Harkonnens and rush off on futile battles all over the place.

Dune 1: JessicaHere's mummy. Aren't you lucky to have someone that looks like Francesca Annis as yer mum? Jessica, for that is her name, is one of the Bene Gesserit - these are a chapter of powerful psychic nuns (or, at least, they're something like that). Her main role in the game is to be as irritatingly cryptic as possible.

Dune 1: Gurney HalleckGurney Halleck is a lot more helpful - in fact, keep asking ahim for advice in the first part of the game, otherwise you're not going to get very far. He's a military expert - he trained you and will help forge the Fremen (we'll explain who they are in a bit) into a fighting force. Main role: to fill you in on the plot.

Dune 1: Duncan IdahoLook out, Stuart Campbell - this dude has an even meaner haircut than you! He's Duncan Idaho, a family friend of the Artreides who keeps an eye on the Spice stocks. A bit of a coward, but he knows all there is to know about Spice production, and can help work out how many Fremen you can spare for military training.

Dune 1: Thufir HawatThufir Hawat is the family Mentat, or strategist, who, for some strange reason or other, hangs around in the communications room a lot looking spooky (and not doing much else). Check out his advice once you have started training Fremen for fighting though, as he tends to drop useful hints about their readiness.

Dune 1: StilgarStilgar is the leader of the Fremen. Once you make contact with him, the Fremen will follow you slavishly - like you were promising them all nights of passion with Jessica or something. (In fact, Stilgar does seem keen on meeting your ma.) Having said that, he's a bit of a old woman, always nagging you about what you should be doing.

Dune 1: The EmperorThe Emperor - for this is he - keeps sending you messages asking for more Spice, so make sure you have enough of it - If you miss a shipment you could find yourself visited by his troopes, the Saudaukar, and you don't want that. Oh yes, and there's something he's not telling you at the beginning too...

Dune 1: Baron HarkonnenKnow your enemy. This is Baron Harkonnen. Bit of a fast bast, isn't he? In fact he needs anti-gravity plates to help keep him upright! The Harkonnen clan are on Arakis before you get there, but they're a rotten bunch who can't offer the Fremen Frencesca Annis, so they need to be booted right off the planet.

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Sun, sand and serfdom. Virgin's conversion of Frank Herbert's novel has it all. Dan Slingsby puts on his loud shorts and heads off for a day at the beach.

Turning a work as awe-inspiring and complex as Frank Herbert's Dune into a playable game cannot have been an easy task. Herbert's novel maintained a consistent reality which was as detailed as it was imaginative. Even the multi-million dollar film couldn't do the book justice, so what chance an adventure game?

Thankfully, the French development team behind the game, Cryo, have obviously put a great deal of time and effort into distilling the essential elements and mystique of the original novel and reworking them for the computer game. Liberties have been taken, of course, but only to dispense with some unnecessary detail and to accentuate the action and adventure elements.

In the game, the player assumes the role of Paul Atreides, the young son of Duke Leto. Your family have just arrived on the planet Dune and have been granted the right to mine Spice - the galaxy's most valuable commodity. Spice is a drug found only on Dune, and is the key to deep space navigation as well as prolonging life. Consequently, the drug is incredibly expensive and whoever controls its production holds the key to untold wealth and power.

Unfortunately, much of the planet is controlled by the Harkonnen, sworn enemies of the House of Artreides, and a confrontation is inevitable.

Before coming to blows, Artreides must befriend the local tribesmen - the Fremen - and enlist their help in building up sufficient stores of Spice to keep the Emperor off your back. This is effected by visiting the numerous Fremen settlements and convincing their leaders to work for you. Only three such sites are visible at the start, but more are 'discovered' as the game progresses. Mining Spice is a tricky business and you'll soon find a prospector is needed to search for the stuff as well as harvesters to collect the drug.

Most Fremen are only too glad for you after their mistreatment at the hands of the Harkonnen, but some resist and you'll need to cajole them into helping your efforts. Production will also drop if you fail to make frequent visits to each mine - motivation takes a nosedive, machinery begins to pack up and sabotage occurs. Spice production is an essential element of the game, as the Emperor has to receive regular supplies or he'll 'revoke' your license to mine the resource in an extremely brutal fashion.

Unfortunately, the need to constantly visit individual mines to gee up the workforce is frustrating, and appears to have been added to pad out the game.

Another obstacle to production are the giant sandworms which roam the planet's surface. These huge beasts are attracted to the rhythmic vibrations of your mining equipment, and will often attack Spice harvesters, putting mines out of operation. Later in the game, the worms can be tamed and used as an alternative form of transport. Until then, though, transportation is by ornithopters (flimsy lightweight planes) or by foot. The latter method is not recommended until you've acquired a stillsuit and, even then, prolonged exposure to Dune's inhospitable climate will result in severe dehydration or death.

There's an excellent animation sequence which kicks in if you've been playing in the sand for too long and shows your skin slowly receding from your skull.

Once production of Spice is underway and you've made contact with Stilgar, the Fremen leader, you begin to train an army. From here, the game starts to assume a tactical bent, as troops can be sent on spying or espionage missions against the Harkonnen fortresses. Troops need to be trained and equipped with the best weapons in order to become an effective force and, again, this takes time and can be a frustrating part of the game.

While military engagements are essential to victory, so is taking care of the planet's eco-system. By helping the Fremen to reclaim the desert, the tribesmen become more motivated to your cause and the vegetation starts to overgrow Harkonnen settlements.

Dune can be played entirely with the mouse, but there's also a joystick and keyboard option. The main area of the screen is viewed through Paul's eyes, although there's also a control panel located in the bottom third of the screen. From here, all essential commands and instructions can be given at the click of a mouse button. It's a very simple system to pick up and means even the novice player can jump straight into the game without any need to consult the manual.

Several maps are also at your disposal, and these detail the various Fremen activities, Spice density and stock levels, the number of men under your control, your Charisma level (used to get what you want from the various people you'll meet), and the area of land under your control. There's also a travel map which comes into play every time you take a trip in an ornithopter which lets you choose your destination.

Graphically, Dune looks superb. The Palace, mining installations, and Harkonnen fortresses are all extremely detailed, and the game's main characters are finely rendered. The animated sequences are also highly polished. Skimming across the desert in an Ornithopter is very satisfying as the dunes flash by and the sun sets in the distance. Day and night cycles help create the passing of time and light up the sky with pale blues, crimson and dark purples - further reinforcing the alien 'feel' of the landscape.

When talking, each character's lips assume a life of their own and, although there's no digitised speech on offer, the effect is a pleasing one. Gurney Halleck, who acts as a guide for much of the game, is especially well endowed in the lips department and his names takes on an altogether new meaning as he seemingly competes for the world gurning championships such are the contortions of his rubberised lips.

Soundwise, the in-game tunes are suitable 'otherworldly', throwing up swirling scores with all manner of electronic tomfoolery thrown in for good measure.

Adventure games are too often a matter of doing 'A' and 'B' to reach 'C'. Such a lnear approach becomes boring after a while. Dune succeeds because it involves a degree of strategic thinking in overcoming the Harkonnens, and there's also a number of mysteries to clear up along the way. Admittedly, parts of the game are still too linear - especially at the start - but things perk up after the first couple of hours and become much more involved.

It was never going to be easy adapting a novel of Dune's intensity and depth, but Virgin have come satisfyingly close to pulling it off. All the essential information and necessary background material is presented in an almost subliminal way, allowing the game's adventure elements to come to the fore. This one should appeal to both Dune aficionados and novices alike.

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LOOKS FAMILIAR Anyone familiar with David Lynch's film adaption of Dune will be instantly at home with Cryo's computer adaptation. The movie's visual style has been readily plundered. The chisel-jawed features of Kyle MacLachlan (Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks) are easily recognisable, and even Jessica and Duke Leto look like their movie counterparts. It's a pity that the film's visual style has been used quite so rigidly as the yardstick for Cryo's game. A bit more creativity and a different interpretation of Herbert's novel would have helped give it a more interesting perspective.

    Dune 1: Paul Artreides
  1. The Calendar. This records the number of days elapsed and the time of day is indicated by a rising sun and a falling moon.
  2. The book icon. Clicking on the book icon will recap the 'story so far' and provide valuable information about the planet.
  3. The two squares only come into play when you take a travelling companion. A quick check in the squares will reveal who is your current companion.
  4. The options window lists the various actions available to you. Typically, these might include 'talking to people', 'taking an ornithopter' or issuing a variety of commands.
  5. The movement compass indicates the four directions you can move at a particular time. If one isn't highlighted, then that's not a route you can choose.
  6. Some of the interactive game text.
  7. Characters appear closed up when called into play.

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DUNE is out now on the PC, priced £35.99, and on the Amiga at the end of June, price Tba.

Read the book? Seen the film? Now read the ZERO review of the game of the film of the book, presented by RICHARD JAMES.

AmigaDune started out as an award-winning series of sci-fi novels which by all accounts, was very popular with greasy haired hippies and other undesirables. Apparently it transpired that the action was all taking place on a raindrop or something, which probably explains its far out success.

It then metamorphosed into a film by Twin Peaks director David Lynch. The movie was an expensive failure, possibly because it starred Sting in a rubber suit - always a recipe for disaster. Now it's turned up again as an adventure game, developed by Virgin and the French developers Cryo Software. And what a damn fine game it is.

Good graphics? It's got 'em. In-depth characters? It'd make Stephen Spielberg blush. Gameplay? Enough to keep you going for ages. Giant-sized earthworms? er... plenty of them too.

The game progresses through three main stages. First, the instigation of a Spice-mining network manned by the ever helpful Fremen, and overseen by your big buddy Duncan 'Isn't That In The States?' Idaho. This is how your initial winning-over of the Fremen starts.

Their morale goes up, especially when you give them things like harvesters, but they get fed up if you don't visit them occasionally. It's interstellar capitalism in action, folks!

The Fremen dream is to make the barren dune more habitable. If you can do this, they'll rally behind your cause. This second stage of the game begins when you meet the Ecologist Kynes. The final stages of the game is when you try and blast the Harkonnen off the planet. This chapter in Dune history begins when you meet the Fremen leader, Stilgar.

During the course of all this, you have to face up to 100 metre-long earthworms, which control various parts of the desert and jealously protect their territory. It's an epic mission, and that's a fact.

In spite of the emphasis on interaction, there's still a fair few maps and tables to keep an eye on things. Clicking on the Globe icon which appears under Maps, and activating See Results, will display a Populous-type table showing how well you're doing in the charisma and Spice-mining departments and how much of the planet you control.

Under the maps section, you can see the placing of your forces, while activating the Ornithopter shows you a map of the territory, indicating places you have discovered. There's also the Manual of Maud'Dib, activated by the Book icon on the master screen. This starts off with a brief history of Dune - very brief, considering the length of the novel - and updates itself as you go along, so you know what's been happening. It's in the form of a rather fetching illuminated manuscript.

Where Dune really scores is with the graphics. Although fairly static, they are subtle, atmospheric, and can sometimes make yo jump! You can walk out into the desert and watch the sun rise or set as the colours fade from day to night in a beautiful sequence. The Ornithopter looks good too - like a giant, spindly flying insect, while the earthworms are almost up to the quality of the animated film. When you see yourself, you'll find you look like Argent Cooper (alias Kyle MacLachlan, who played Paul in the film - Maclachlan even gets a credit!)

Dune has been developed with CD Rom in mind, and it's a veritable interactive movie. It works by means of a simple point and click interface, so all you need is a mouse to select a variety of options. A lot of the information comes from the mouths of the characters, and progress can be checked simply by talking to them.

For instance, a conversation with Duncan Idaho will fill you in on how the Spice production is going. Be careful to pick up on their instructions, however, as they don't always repeat them. You may have to go through some lengthy repeat manoeuvres if you forgot a direction. And If you play the game twice, the characters react differently if you interact with them in a different sequence, which keeps it fun.

Characters tend to specialise in certain areas. Your friend Gurney Halleck a man with a hairdo that can only be described as 'exploding', has a vast knowledge of Fremen, and it sometimes helps to have him with you, whereas your mother Lady Jessica has mystic knowledge and will explain your visions. Like a good mother, she worries about you, and like a typical father, your dad Duke Leto can be a bit of the pain in the arse. You can take up to two characters with you by clicking on Come With Me on the main screen.

I'd play this game simply to visit all the timeless-looking locations, but adventurers will be pleased that there's a lot to do gameplay-wise, something that's helped by the simplicity of the point and click interface. A damn good game, when all's said.Z


You are Paul Atreides - a character who looks suspiciously like Twin Peaks' Agent Cooper - and it's your job to drive the big blubs that call themselves Harkonnen off the planet so you can have total control of the Spice mining. And how do you achieve this mammoth task? Well, the secret lies in the friendly, hard working inhabitants of the planet, the Fremen. You'll have to persuade these handy creatures to side with you against the Harkonnen. And, like a pop star or a politician, yo do this through nothing more natural than your princely charisma. Hey, if they like you, they'll work for you! You're helped along by the fact that the Fremen, like the Aztecs of old, are waiting for a messianic leader to lead them to glory. As they keep on uttering, could it be you?


As the plot of the novel was so involved, the game obviously only works on a few of its levels. In that respect, it's probably closer to the film. Dune itself is, in fact, the dry, sandy planet Arrakis - an inhospitable place whose only attraction is the massive amount of spice that it habours beneath the surface. Like its namesake, the famous Old SPice afterhsave, this Spice possesses special properties. It has a life-prolonging effect, but more importantly it holds the key to deep space navigation. Two powerful groups - the good House of Atreides and the evil Harkonnen - have landed on Dune with a desire to mine this wonderdrug.