Dune Imperium is one of the recent examples of how a popular franchise can be turned into excellent board games. It has a lot of great expansions as well, but if you’re looking for something fresh we’ve got 15 games recommended for you if you like Dune Imperium.
In this article we’ll be looking mostly at board games with a Science Fiction theme, games with medium to heavy complexity, games with asymmetric player powers, as well as worker placement games. There are of course lots of exceptions in this list so stay focused 🙂
This list was also published in video format on YouTube, if that’s more your thing:
15 – Twilight Inscription (2022)
In number 15 we have Twilight Inscription, a roll and write game set in the universe of Twilight Imperium. If you like the different powers offered by Dune Imperium’s Houses and families, you might enjoy Twilight Imperium’s factions.
14 – Clank! In! Space!: A Deck-Building Adventure (2017)
At a first Glance, the Clank series has little in common with Dune Imperium. Beyond the obvious Sci Fi theme of Clank in Space, what you should know is that Clank was made by the same designer as Dune, Paul Dennen. Although this isn’t a guarantee you’ll like the game, usually if there are game mechanics you like in a game from a given designer, you might enjoy their other games as well. In this case, one common point between the two games is that deckbuilding is part of the gameplay, but not its core mechanic.
You might also like: If you like Clank in space, check the original Clank game, its legacy version and, Fallout Shelter.
13 – Beyond the Sun (2020)
Beyond the Sun doesn’t rely on a popular franchise, but some have said that it is more thematic than Dune Imperium. It remains a euro-style game, and is a worker placement game, with its technology tree being the core of the gameplay.
You might also like: For other great euro style games, check A Feast For Odin, Obsession and Clans of Caledonia.
12 – Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy (2020)
In Number 12 we have Eclipse. Now here I have to say that except for the sci fi theme of planetary conquest, Dune Imperium and Eclipse have very different gameplay mechanics. Eclipse is a 4X game, meaning there is a more direct “conflict” aspect in the game, that you do not find in Dune Imperium.
You might also like: For more thematic games with Area control mechanics, check : Kemet: Blood and Sand, Ankh: Gods of Egypt and Star Wars: Rebellion.
11 – The Search for Planet X (2020)
We stay heavily in the science fiction world with The Search for Planet X, a game where you play as Astronomers who have to find the location of a planet. This is a deduction game, but although the goal is to find planet X, it remains a game with Victory points at its core.
Terraforming Mars, Ares Expedition is a Set collection game that mixes Terraforming Mars with Race for the Galaxy mechanics. The gameplay is very different from Dune, there is no worker placement involved, and instead there is an action selection phase. Due to that, interaction with other players is less direct than in Dune Imperium. Some would say it’s inexistent, I’d prefer to say it’s subtle. For what it’s worth, I personally Prefer Race for the Galaxy.
Lost Ruins of Arnak came out roughly at the same time as Dune Imperium, and the two games are often compared, because they both use a mix of worker placement and Deck building. The theme is obviously very different, but you should try it if you really like that kind of mechanic.
You might also like: People who like Lost Ruins of Arnak also recommend Cascadia, The Isle of Cats, and It’s a Wonderful World.
8 – Root (2018)
Root is a game of war and area control set in a forest, where you play as factions of cute animals. It is very different from Dune Imperium as far as gameplay goes, in particular since it involves direct conflict and wargame mechanics. However if you like Dun Imperium, The variable powers of the different factions might be what draws you to Root.
Blood Rage is another non science fiction game in this list. I would say it is actually more similar to the 1979 Dune, than to Dune Imperium, but it will give you a different twist on Battles using cards and card Drafting.
We’re back to science fiction with Anachrony, a very Euro game of victory points, despite the appearances. Anachrony has a nice mechanic of Time travel, where you can request resources from the future, but have to pay that debt eventually. It’s worth mentioning that Anachrony has a great solo bot.
You might also like: People who like Anachrony also recommend Trickerion: Legends of Illusion, Endeavor: Age of Sail, Gaia Project.
5 – Viticulture Essential Edition (2015)
We’re switching themes here, far away from Science Fiction or Fantasy, with Viticulture. Viticulture is also a race for victory points with worker placement mechanics, less direct conflict than Dun Imperium, but also a very thematic game.
You might also like: More euro Style with refreshing themes include : Wingspan, Raiders of the North Sea and Tapestry.
4 – Spirit Island (2017)
[generated]Spirit Island is a cooperative game in which you have to protect your Island against invaders. Spirit Island has great variable player powers and synergies that make it a strategic mix of Area control and card hand management. It is a cooperative game though, so that aspect will be different from Dun Imperium. Spirit Island can also be played Solo.
You might also like: You can also have a look at Underwater Cities, Architects of the West Kingdom and Glen More II
2 – Terraforming Mars (2016)
In Terraforming Marse, you compete with rival CEOs to make Mars habitable and build your corporate empire. If you’re looking in particular for a sci-fi solo experience, it’s usually a great recommendation, but kep in mind that unlike dune Imperium, you’re not really fighting against opponents controlled by an AI, but more trying to beat your own score.
Finally, in number one recommendation, we have Scythe. Although the games are very different, they both have a strong theme, some card driven battles, different factions, great solo modes. All in all, they’re both victory points games with a very strong conflict theme, while still having significantly different gameplay mechanics, which makes them both worth having in your collection, in my opinion.