A game that was previously meant to have been an official Dune adaptation that was ultimately cancelled has been released under a fresh name 20 years later.
You might have heard about the upcoming open-world survival MMO based on the Dune series that's slated for PC and current-gen consoles, but quite frankly it's got nothing on the unreleased GBA game Elland: The Crystal Wars. Oh, you haven't heard of Ellan? Well, there's a small chance you might have heard its original name, Dune: Ornithopter Assault (thanks PCGamer).
Elland, as it is now known, was meant to come out in 2002 from Hungarian developed Soft Brigade, who was supposed to be working on it with Cryo Interactive. The problem? Cryo Interactive declared bankruptcy, meaning Ornithopter Assault was unfortunately cancelled, even though it was basically finished.
In the game you played as a House Atreides pilot on Arrakis, where you'd protect spice harvesters from the Harkonnen (I don't know what any of that other than pilot means either. Sci-fi!)
Now, the game is back as Elland, and was recently successfully raised $21,222 through Kickstarter to finally complete the project, though obviously sans-Dune licensing. The new setting is the titular Elland, also a desert planet, obviously, which is filled with Brem-Nar crystals that many seek to gain riches from (still the same kind of sci-fi jargon).
The graphics are genuinely quite impressive, opting for a first-person perspective with the kind of 3D that makes you think 'how the hell did they manage this on a GBA?' A physical version of the game on actual cartridges in GBA style packaging is one of the rewards for the Kickstarter (which is now finished), a very nice touch and something for the avid collectors out there.
You can already get the game on Steam as of today (October 3), but if you want it on the original hardware, you'd best keep an eye out.