Elland The Crystal Wars : Almost 20 years after being canceled, Dune: Ornithopter Assault has just been released as Elland: The Crystal Wars. It had to be shelved after the developer, Soft Brigade, lost a business partner, Cryo Interactive, to bankruptcy. During Dune: Ornithopter Assault, players would have assumed the role of a pilot for House Atreides on the planet Arrakis.
As a result of raising over $20,000 on Kickstarter, Dune: Ornithopter Assault has finally been released in the form of Elland: The Crystal Wars by Retro Room, a preservation company.
“In 2001, development began on an ambitious Game Boy Advance game based on a popular franchise,” Retro Room explains. “Maybe the project was a little too ambitious because it was canceled in 2002 and the team walked away. Twenty years later, this game finally sees the light of day, albeit without the original franchise license. Experience the game now in this enhanced, emulated version.”
Due to the inability to obtain a license, Retro Room had to make some adjustments to the game, the most significant of which was the change of the game’s name. In Elland, players explore a “harsh desert world on the outskirts of the galaxy” instead of Arrakis.
The developer explains that “with nothing but scant indigenous life, the planet is controlled by the cooperative Elland Incorporated which mines the abundant minerals and crystals used in the construction of Galactic Star Cruisers. The mining operations and the abundance of crystals have transformed Elland from a dusty wasteland into a glittering and much envied prize.” Players have to defend these from the Trafford Corporation, described as the “largest constructor of Space Cruisers and weapons in the galaxy.” The company is “infamously aggressive, using its financial muscle and military power to always get what it wants.”
There are a total of 23 levels in Elland: The Crystal Wars. There are also a number of modern improvements included in the game, such as the ability to save anywhere, support for controllers, cloud saving, and image scaling. You can find Elland: The Crystal Wars on Steam.