4X titles in Early Access – “Dune: Spice Wars”: The Spice Must flow

Berlin (dpa/tmn) – Arrakis, desert planet, home of Spice – the story of the mystical desert planet, galactic intrigue and tangible war in the sand is often told. In Frank Herbert’s books, several films and also as a strategy game for the PC. With “Spice Wars”, the latest video game in the “Dune” setting has now gone into early access.

“Spice Wars” is a classic global strategy game. In 4X-Marnier, exploration is carried out (explore), dominions are expanded (expand), resources are exploited (exploit) and opponents are exterminated (exterminate). So far so good, yes, fits the scenario of the battle for the desert world with its mystical spice called melange, which, among other things, makes interplanetary space travel possible.

Trading, hewing, building houses

Players can choose between the house Atreides (nice), the house Harkonnen (evil), the smugglers (profit-oriented) and the Fremen (the tough natives). Each faction has its own abilities – but the gameplay is always similar. Expand territory, exploit resources (spice), research technologies, build buildings, earn money, be careful that the sandworms do not eat the harvester. You know so far.

“Spice Wars” initially plays slowly, but later the budgeting of money, water and other resources becomes extremely complex. In addition, there are also political elements such as submissions to the Landsraad, the Galactic Parliament. In the best case, they bring advantages for their own faction and disadvantages for the opponents via the currency influence. The political process is sometimes difficult to understand, sometimes disturbing for the flow of the game.