The first real-time strategy game?
Okay, not the very first — that honor goes to Herzog Zwei for the Sega Genesis — but 1992 PC game Dune II (subtitled “The Building of a Dynasty” and staged in writer Frank Herbert’s 23,000-years-in-the-future sci-fi universe) deserves credit for putting real-time strategy on the map.
Instead of plunking pieces around boards taking chess-like turns, players in Dune II directed units across maps in continuous or “real” time, thus melding slower strategic planning with quick-click tactics.
In Dune II, this involved staging vehicles to harvest spice on the planet Arrakis (Dune), in turn used to support construction and modification of a home base and military units. Players could choose one of three houses: Atreides, Harkonnen or Ordo, and winning involved capturing enemy territories and eventually dominating the surface of Herbert’s storied desert planet.
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