Dune Imperium board game box cover
Dune Imperium board game components

Dune Imperium (2020)

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Quick Takes: Crowd icon 1-4 players Clock icon 60-120 minutes Adult and child icon Ages 14+ 2 of hearts Level 2 (a little longer or more complicated than the classics, but still approachable for players)

About the Game:

Fear is the mind-killer. Spice, Arrakis, and an intergalactic mix of houses all determined to get rich and kill each other in this board game. Dune Imperium is a solid merge of deck building and resource management set in the Dune Universe.

Dune Imperium is an economic puzzle where you have to make tough decisions with limited options. All cards come from a market of 5 cards, not all of which are visible at all times. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to get the exact cards you need for the perfect strategy so you will instead need a more fluid strategy based on what is available to you. This forces a varied card deck, where you can’t just buy all the cards from the one faction you are interested in. Finding the perfect worker placement for what you have available is a complicated choice, and the optimal play will change drastically from round to round. This adds a level of excitement and opportunity and a deeper strategy than finding a way to use every card in your hand every turn. Exciting combos may arise at the end of the game, but those are rare. Pulling one off is an impressive feat that feels well earned.

There are eight leaders, each with different abilities and passives. Some of these leaders are from the movie, while others are from the expanded universe. All offer a different playing experience with different ways to optimize. The six factions feel appropriate to the theme. The ones that landed the best with us were the Fremen, pathway to water and troops, the Bene Gessirit, deck optimization, and the Spacing Guild, for the movement of troops and resources.

Dune Imperium is easy to learn. There are just enough rules and exceptions to make you want to keep the rules handy, but you will rarely be glued to the rulebook.

Note that both solo play and 2 player games use a dummy player, and the companion app provides AI opponents. The art is based on the upcoming movie.

Why we chose this game for Board’s Edge:
  • It’s Dune!
  • By the same designer as one of our favorite games, Clank!
  • Solid hybrid of a deck builder and resource management
  • Sharp and clean design
Selected Awards and Honors:
  • Golden Geek Winner for Best Card Game - 2020