We've covered some of Pixel Games UK's baffling publishing choices in the past, but they just seem to get weirder and weirder with each passing week.
When they're not publishing games like Pud Pud in Weird World or Grumpy Gumphrey: Super Sleuth, they're getting ready to release old sports titles like Actua Soccer 2 and Actua Tennis. And the latest in this confusing "strategy" - if you can call it that - now seems to be publishing canceled licensed games, under legally distinct names (as spotted by the Twitter user The Spaceshipper). Enter Elland: The Crystal Wars, a game originally developed by Hungarian studio Soft Brigade 2 decades ago based on the Dune license, before its publisher Cryo Interactive decided to cancel it.
Obviously, it's a bit odd to see this one come out all these years later, but we have to admit it's an exciting prospect. Usually, players only get to experience this stuff when historians get together to archive it and make it more readily available, and that typically requires that someone both knows about it and is interested enough to go to the effort of releasing it online.
As far as we can tell, the game is a collaboration between the publishers' Pixel Games UK and Retro Room Games, with AUK Play updating Soft Brigade's original work to remove any references to Frank Herbert's novel.
You can read the synopsis from Steam below:
"Elland, a harsh desert world on the outskirts of the Galaxy. With nothing but scant indigenous life, the planet is controlled by the cooperative Elland Inc, which mines the abundant minerals and crystals used in the construction of Galactic star cruisers. The mining operations and the abundance of Brem-Nar Crystals have transformed Elland from a dusty wasteland into a glittering and much envied prize.
"Notorious for its precipitation, the neighboring world of Mank is home to the headquarters of the Trafford Corporation, the largest constructor of space cruisers and weapons in the Galaxy. Trafford is infamously aggressive, using it’s financial muscle and military power to always get what it wants. At this moment in time it wants to control Elland and it will use all and any resources to get what it wants."
If you want to take a chance on it, you can buy Elland: The Crystal Wars now from Steam for around £11 at the moment. There are also more expensive options for physical editions from Retro Room Games.
Is this something you'd like to see more companies do? Let us know in the comments!