Bathe in The Gamer Sludge Like Vlad Harkonnen With These 7 Dune-Like Games

Bathe in The Gamer Sludge Like Vlad Harkonnen With These 7 Dune-Like Games

So you’ve watched Dune 2, and now you’re fiending more spice, arid desert climates, and big fuck-off sandworms in your life. Well, maybe not in your actual day-to-day life, because life on Arrakis seems like a literal hellscape, but you crave to consume more media that gives you the same feeling as the new epic (and Frank Herbert’s novels). Maybe you’d like to emulate Baron Harkonnen, sitting in your tub of goo, vaping, staying in your own lane by playing some games that evoke the feeling of Dune. If so, we’ve got you sorted with a range of titles that are either inspired by the Dune universe (Duniverse?) or have similar vibes, either setting, story, or worldbuilding wise.

There’s been a number of games created that are directly based on the Dune universe, although a majority of these are from the early 90s-2000s and aren’t easily available via regular storefronts. Dune 2000, the partial remake of the Dune II game, is an RTS that comes to mind first – but again, isn’t easily available beyond some deep internet ROMs so we’ve left it and other similar titles off the list. 

Dune: Spice Wars

Dune: Spice Wars is a 4X real time strategy game, where you’ll lead your faction to battle for “control and dominance” over Arrakis. You can start the game from one of the iconic houses like Harkonnen or Atreides, vote on political resolutions in the Landsraad, and explore the planet in search of precious resources. With the option of 2v2 or all-out four player multiplayer, you can rope your mates into playing if they’re also craving more of Dune 2.


Journey is a more reflective, relaxing look at desert landscapes through a narrative adventure. With no dialogue or combat, it’s a step away from Dune 2’s gritty planet of Arrakis, but still captures the environmental feel of the rolling sand dunes, hot desert sun, and expansive world that seems to go on forever.

Conan Exiles

Conan Exiles is Funcom’s 2018 venture into multiplayer survival games, based in the Conan universe. As one of the many outcasts stranded in the mysterious Exiled Lands, battle against dangerous creatures, powerful foes from varying factions, and fight to survive in an unforgiving environment. Craft, build, and conquer alone or with others to try and find your way out of the fringes of the world. As a stranded lone figure in a strange, hostile land, you’ll have to adapt to live as you work your way to the top.  While not directly Dune 2 inspired, there’s plenty to get stuck into that might scratch that itch for more of Herbert’s universe. This is in part thanks to the arid environments and desperate struggle for survival, as well as the range of human factions with differing ambitions and strange powers. 

Sand Land

Sand Land, the action RPG set in the world created by Akira Toriyama, isn’t out until late April, but it makes the cut nonetheless as a future recommendation for Dune 2 fans. Develop tanks to navigate the desert alongside your ragtag gang of misfits in search of the Legendary Spring, interact with other inhabitants and navigate the dangers of this vast world when it drops on April 26.

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is the most recent Homeworld title (although Homeworld 3 will soon bump it off of that spot). The ground-based RTS is a prequel to the iconic games, and sees you amassing a fleet to clinch victory in the desert world of Kharak. Manage resources, assemble your fleet and research technologies as you survive and fight against enemies throughout the dunes. Desert combat and innovative strategies for survival makes this game the perfect title to try out after Dune 2.


Bethesda’s 2002 RPG has been repeatedly lauded as The Elder Scrolls answer to Dune. Explore a massive open-world and get involved in political intrigue in a fantasy world. Morrowind sees competing factions and opposing religious ideologies collide and the player tasked with making philosophical choices that impact the world around them. If you’re after the expansive story and world-building aspects of Dune 2, Morrowind is a top-notch choice.

Dune: Awakening

Another unreleased entry into the list, Dune: Awakening is Funcom’s next project – and obviously, is set squarely within the Dune universe. Survive on Arrakis, become a Bene Gesserit, learn untold knowledge from Mentats and try not to die to Sandworms. Building upon the survival crafting elements of Conan Exiles, this title tasks you with not only surviving, but thriving on a strange planet fraught with danger. Build bases and equipment, becoming a Minor House and engage in the game’s MMO elements through aligning with varying factions to dive deep into more political intrigue than Paul could poke a stick at. There’s no set release date just yet, but closed beta testing is ongoing with signup available via the official website.

So there you have it! There’s plenty of other great titles to try out that directly or indirectly take inspiration from the Dune universe and expansive storytelling such as the KOTOR games, but we’d be here all day if we went into them all.

What are your go-to recommendations for games that scratch that Dune 2 itch? Let us know in the comments.

Image: Niko Tavernise (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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