Dune: Spice Wars PC Preview

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From the Publishers and Developers of Northgard, Shiro Games comes Dune: Spice Wars for PC. Dune: Spice Wars is a 4X real-time strategy set in Frank Herbert’s Dune universe, where spice is the most valuable resource.

This game pique my interest as I really liked Northgard, so I was only expecting good things from Dune: Spice Wars.  It’s currently available on PC via Steam, but it’s still in early access, but the Official Dune Discord server is stacked full of up-to-date developments of the game.

The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.

Frank Herbert

With my Love of RTSs (Looking at you C&C), I was really looking forward to what Shiro Games had in store for me.


For a game in early access, I was very impressed with the options available.  First 0ff, you select one of 4 factions:

The 4 factions to choose from

Me being me, Of course, I chose the Smugglers because who doesn’t want to go smuggling spice, right?

As always with an RTS, you have to start somewhere.  Here in Dune: Spice Wars, you set up a few military units to “build” while you set your Ornithopter off to auto recon neighbouring sections of the Arrakis desert.

This gives ample time to discover local tribes and what resources they hold so that you can plan your attack to gain footholds in those villages and use the resource for yourself:

This is your base along with neighbouring locals to plot your attack to expand.

Any dune fan will know, spice is the most valuable recourse and in Dune: Spice Wars, it is used to pay off your bribe each year. It’s a good idea to get as much of this as possible, as if you miss a payment, you will get negative effects that start building up on your other resources. They are:

  • Solari

    This is the official currency unit used in part when upgrading buildings and military units.

  • Plascrete

    This is used to build buildings. Without it, you cannot advance your villages.

  • Manpower

    Along with Solari, Manpower is also used to build more military units. So, need to keep this up if you want to expand.

  • Fuel Cell

    This is many used when buying machines such as transport units or Ornithopter.

  • Water

    This is one I keep forgetting about, but it’s needed mainly to keep your captured villages in good standing, so it doesn’t lead to unrest.

  • Authority

    Another one that can be missed, but it’s needed in order to take over a village.

Don’t forget, when spice is mined or attacking and defending from other factions, there’s a chance of a sandworm.

Attack of the Sandworm!

Along with the resource management, you have the opportunity to enhance various items under the developments section.  This has 4 trees of advancement to make your faction run a lot smoother.

The development tree.

Another thing that took me a little to figure out was “monthly” voting on who gets different powers for limited times.  It can get quite interesting further down the “years” as you can make some good trade deals that could heavily sway the system.

Make sure you vote!

Once you start learning all these elements, the picture slowly comes together where you start learning different tactics or start learning advantage points on the map in combination with teaching.  There are many avenues you can take and I myself got so far into games, I decent to start fresh and take a different approach to see if I can learn and start playing it differently.

Graphics & Audio

Honestly, you wouldn’t have thought this was an early access game.  The graphics are crisp and spot on.

Spice up your life in the Arrakis desert at night.

There was a slight issue with loading the game in Direct X.  it only shows at 1920×1080.  If you don’t have a resolution bigger than that, you won’t realize it.  I’m on a resolution of  2560 x 1440 and there was a nice neat square in the middle of the screen.

However, Dune: Spice Wars official discord came to the rescue and ensured me that I could either edit the config file or simply load the game in OpenGL version as there is a slight bug with DirectX at the moment which was a fairly straightforward fix.

The music is as epic as the desert and lets you immerse further into the game.


An RTS based on Dune in early access already has the potential already to be played for {insert endless, many hours here}.

In all honestly, in its current state, I have seen people talk on the official discord they have sunk hundreds of hours already.  This game has a long way to go to mature and can only see good things for the future

Sandstorm Incoming!

Final Thoughts

If this was a fully released game, I would be very happy with the standard already. There have been “micro” fixes coming through on steam, which is a good sign that devs are actively working and ironing out an already great early access game.  I can wait until it goes gold.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this preview.

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