Emperor Frederick IV of House Corrino is desperate for the harvesting of the valuable spice melange, only found on the planet Arrakis, to pay off all of his debt incurred on internecine wars with family members. To achieve this, he now offers the sole governorship of Arrakis to the House which delivers the most spice for him out of House Atreides, Harkonnen and Ordos. War begins as deputations from all three Houses arrive on Arrakis.
The player takes the role of a commander of one of three interplanetary houses, the Atreides, the Harkonnen or the Ordos, with the objective of wresting control of Arrakis from the two other houses. House Ordos is not featured in the Dune novels and is mentioned only in the non-canon Dune Encyclopedia. The basic strategy in the game is to harvest spice from the treacherous sand dunes using a harvester vehicle, convert the spice into credits via a refinery and to build military units with these acquired credits in order to fend off and destroy the enemy.
When the Commodore Amiga version of Dune II was released in 1993, it was met with positive reviews. CU Amiga magazine rated the game highly with 85%, praising the smooth gameplay and controls. Dune II received Amiga User International’s Game of the Month award when it was reviewed in September 1993. The AI of Dune II was one of the first used in RTS games.
The Amiga floppy disk port is nearly identical in interface and game play to the PC version, albeit with less detailed graphics and frequent disk swapping — the game uses 5 disks. Save games are stored on a specially formatted disk. The game could also be installed to hard drive.