Dune: how many is too many?

This autumn we see the release of Denis Villeneauve’s upcoming film adaptation of Dune. To coincide with this, there will be a release of a plethora of new games. The film and games are based on the famous books by Frank Herbert exploring the universe of Dune. They inspired a film in 1984 as well as lots of TV serials.

Dune itself is not new as a game, in fact the classic version of Dune has been around for 40 years. But due to licensing issues it was off the shelf for many of those years. Gale Force Nine published a rebooted version of the original game. This is based on the classic game experience. There is also Dune: Imperium. This game was inspired by the elements and characters of the Dune theme but is a very different game than Dune.

New out this autumn are three new games as well as an expansion for Dune: Imperium. The games are Dune: A game of conquest and Diplomacy, Dune Betrayal and Dune House Secrets. Then the expansion for Dune Imperium is called Rise of IX.

These four games have Dune as their theme to compliment the new (hoping to be a blockbuster) film. But they are all very different with different styles of game play and characters.

The publishers tell us that Dune Betrayal  is a social deduction game.  This is a game where players control the characters of Dune.  These are from the House Atreides and House Harkonnen. Each identity card features a unique ability, as well as the visuals from the new film. You need to figure out who the hidden secret agents are. You need to attack and eliminate your opponents before your own nobles are taken out by the traitors. The focus of the game is on forming alliances with players you trust, while remaining wary of those you don’t!

While Dune House Secrets is a co-operative game. It drops one-to-five players in the middle of the harsh desert planet of Arrakis (Dune). This story-driven adventure game takes two to three hours to play. Players take on the roles of rebels. They have to solve a series of challenging missions with a limited amount of time and resources. Players need to cooperatively make decisions on how to progress the story. They need to decide to explore different regions of the world. They will follow leads, leverage allies, and overcome opposition of all kinds.

Dune: A game of conquest and Diplomacy builds on 40 years of progress from the original classic game. It has the same elements we love of the original game but with a new game board design and streamlined rules. This means that this is a perfect entry level game which takes 20 to 60 minutes to play. It also has a great new two player option which makes it really accessible. In the game you will take control of one of the four great factions from the Dune universe. Either House Atreides, House Harkonnen, the Fremen, and the Imperium. They are all wanting to control the most valuable resource in the universe which is mélange. This substance is a spice only found at great cost on the planet Arrakis, otherwise known as Dune.

All these games offer a different gaming experience. While they also lend themselves to the great Dune theme inspired by the books and films. So how many game releases is too many? This depends on the size of your shelves! Your guess is as good as mine!  But when you think of how many games and expansions there are of something like Star Wars. You can imagine we won’t be hearing the last from Dune with these four releases.

If you like Dune you may also like

Dune Board Game - Special Edition or Dune Imperium 

Risk or Risk Legacy

Board gamesDuneStrategy board games