It is the night of Helloween and a mad professor sporting a stereotypical Einstein haircut is experimenting with his latest invention: a worm hole generator. Lightning strikes in just the right (or wrong?) moment and an alien as well as the creatures on its trail along with their space ship are catapulted right into Earth's orbit.
This is where I could like to end the re-telling of the ludicrous plot to our impatient readers. The point and click adventure builds on the most well-worn clichés in the area of ufology and mixes it up with the fairy tale style of the Monkey Island titles so that protagonist Benjamin, although not believable, still comes across as lovable. In his shoes, you will of course be helping this mysterious creature which is being pursued by an evil alien despot who is regularly seen being mean to his underlings. Nevertheless, the adventurer doesn't have to fear for his life: our Benjamin is still the nice boy next door and the only reason for him to die will be of boredom.
The end of a system's commercial lifetime is usually frustrating. Other computers get all the fun while you get some sub-par ports. In retrospect, however, it is a fascinating period, because the few original development which still arrived can only really be critically evaluated in the luxurious position of hindsight. At the time, all of the remaining dedicated press as well as the remaining die-hard fans would praise every single release right to the skies, no matter what it was – just because there was a release! 20 years afterwards, the boiling blood has cooled down.
A beginning is a very delicate time. So, how to start? With some dunes, which shall be stabilised by planting grass on them? With megalomaniacal visions for a cinematic realisation of a highly sophisticated science fiction novel? At the source of a flood of real time strategy games, or one step further at the archetype, which got copied ad nauseam? All of this led, on more or less direct ways, to Dune 2000, a remake of its predecessor Dune II: Battle for Arrakis, with an updated interface, strongly inspired by Command & Conquer, and aesthetics that look like taken right out of Lynch‘s take on the space opera. A melange of many great examples, but does it live up to them? Does it dare to step out of its source’s shadows? Does it offer anything new? Or is it just an unoriginal rehash, simple cash cow cosmetics for a classic game? Let’s take a look!