Game: Behind The Dune -> Download Page
Platforms: Windows, Android
Reviewed by: Sihil Writer
The Dune series has already inspired an epic science fantasy adventure named Star Wars but if you’re looking for something even sexier than Carrie Fisher in Slave Leia costume (!) Balsamique has you covered.
LOOKING FOR LORE ACCURACY IN A PORN PARODY IS LIKE TRYING TO MINE BITCOINS WITH A SHOVEL AND A SPADE
Given this game is a parody I have to talk about how accurate it is to the source material but given it’s a porn parody, do I really have to? Yes. Yes, I do. The game only covers the first and the most popular book. It doesn’t exactly follow the plot of the book but rather is “inspired” by it, like Snyder’s Punisher Batman is “inspired” by the Dark Knight returns. So don’t go looking for lore accuracy. Then again, looking for lore accuracy in a porn parody is like trying to mine bitcoins with a shovel and a spade. But what it lacks in plot, world-building, and lore, it makes up in women’s busts. And trust me, there’s a lot of boobages to go around in this game...
The general tone of the game is lighter and the jokes that are in there are generally funny but the game does suffer a little when it comes to grammar. The mistakes do get corrected eventually but if you’re looking to play the game regularly, you might get put off by the English. There’s really not much else to say when it comes to writing. This is the kinda game that is not really trying to tug on your heartstrings as Lady Jessica betrays her loving husband because her son is getting hormonal urges (you may find the situation ridiculous but the characters are already more multi-dimensional than the plot of 80 percent of the landlady-stepson games.)
So yeah, the writing seldom detracts from the game and occasionally its voice does end up adding a few luls.
Credit where credit is due, the music is genuinely good. Not just for a porn game, this could’ve been the theme of a Dune video game if there was to be one right now. It evokes just the right feeling you want from a desert planet with Arabian influences in its culture. The game is not voice acted but since even now, it has an SWF version, are you really surprised?
The general style is intended to be humorous and a little simplistic but don’t let that make you think the artist is mediocre. Far from it, Balsamique is really skilled, hence the bank he’s making on Patreon. If you’re into (outrageously) busty women, the kind that’d make your everyday third-wave feminist go on a screeching spree, then this is the game for you.
The good thing here is that there is no dissonance between the general art and the sex scenes that you might find in a few other games. I don’t know about you all but having two completely different and tonally dissonant art styles really annoys me and this game doesn’t do that. The animations are smooth and are mostly better than the summertime saga, the benchmark when it comes to 2-d animations. Even the still dialog options are kind of animated.
ONLY REAL REASON FOR TRAVELING FROM PLACE TO PLACE IS TO BANG A DIFFERENT GIRL
The sex scenes range from sexy to straight-up fucking weird; a few scenes have me scratching my head and not my boner. The women are all hot and the animations are plenty and smooth as mentioned earlier, there are plenty of CGs so don’t let the file size fool you. There are plenty of female NPCs, almost all of whom you can bang. The ones you can’t are WIP. Overall, this game stands pretty solid in this area. Even the weird scenes are kind of hot in some places and at least he’s creative with those scenes so props for that, I guess.
Okay so here’s where my first gripe comes with this game. The gameplay is so lackluster I wonder if inertia is the only thing that’s holding this game from being a VN. Yes, a few things are going on, like the inventory, the followers system, and the resource management but I don’t see why all of that cannot be translated into a Ren’py VN, especially seeing the resource management system has actually gotten less complex over time. The essence of the gameplay is that you have to create tons of spice to eventually achieve a monopoly over its trade. And that’s fine as a gameplay concept and you might think you need to be strategic about resource allocation but you really don’t so the only real reason for traveling from place to place is to bang a different girl. You are also given an inventory where you can store items and that’s one of the better aspects of the game as showing items to your followers generate unique dialogues.
So yeah, the gameplay is kinda meh and has a lot of room for improvement.
Now, this is an extra category that I felt like I had to add for this game in particular and it’s important if you’re considering supporting the creator after just having played this game. The update cycle of this game is regular and that’s good but in terms of sheer content provided, this game has certainly gone through a reduction to what it used to. Back when the game was in early development, we got medium-sized updates every month for a 2-d game. Now we get shorter updates more or less regularly. The game has already had an ending so deciding to continue it is an interesting choice but in my opinion, so far, it hasn’t paid off. The new content doesn’t really justify its existence (except for anything with Lady Jessica because let’s face it, she is the reason why people get hooked to this game.)
Overall, I do like this game, it’s charming, sexy, and pretty much finished. The dev seems to be a great guy and I do respect him for working on a single project for so long. I recommend supporting him if you have a couple of dollars to spare.