On a distant edge of an unknown planet, an abandoned structure sits in silence. Constructed by an unmanned research vessel sent from Earth, the Lun Infinus station was designed to run simulations for a five year period, exploring possibilities of human colonization in the case that Earth became uninhabitable.
User reviews:
Recent:
Positive (33 reviews) - 90% of the 33 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (467 reviews) - 93% of the 467 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 5, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Play The Desolate Hope

 

Reviews

“This game has multiple genres, an '80s sci-fi flick art style, and a coffee pot”
Gamespot

“The Desolate Hope, isn't great just because of its stunning artwork, its gripping sci-fi story, and its coffee pot protagonist. It also packs a triple punch with three distinct gameplay types, each skillfully woven together.”
Indiegames.com

“From a gameplay point of view The Desolate Hope mixes platforming with overhead adventure segments and semi turn-based battles. This is already intriguing, but I'm more impressed by its stunning visual style.”
mtv.com

About This Game

On a distant edge of an unknown planet, an abandoned structure sits in silence. Constructed by an unmanned research vessel sent from Earth, the Lun Infinus station was designed to run simulations for a five year period, exploring possibilities of human colonization in the case that Earth became uninhabitable. Developed during an age of ambition and wealth, the project was quickly abandoned when interest faded in the following years.

The last transmission from Earth occurred more than thirty years ago. The Lun Infinus station contained five sentient computers, Derelicts, built with certain levels of mobility in the case of emergency or need for relocation. Each of these Derelicts was to formulate their own plan for colonization based on thousands of hours of simulations. Given the amount of time that has passed however, the simulations have become very elaborate and bizarre. Meanwhile however, a mysterious computer virus has emerged. The virus of unknown origins has been slowly ravaging the Derelicts. Because of this, more and more CPU processing power has been needed for anti-virus measures, leaving less power for the simulations. Coffee is the last mobile resident of the station, a small service robot who spends his days keeping the station and the Derelicts operational as they perform their daily tasks. Since CPU power is slim, Coffee has been cutting corners to find ways around the virus. By using small subsystems and less vital CPU's scattered through the station in lesser devices, Coffee has designed a line of digital helpers, each simply called a D-Co, or "Digital Counterpart", to assist him in fighting the virus and keeping the station operational. Eventually the virus gets the best of each D-Co, and Coffee tries to create an improved D-Co using a different CPU. The latest is D-Co 9, built using the code of a simple computer game. Coffee dedicates his own CPU to be used for the main simulations, putting D-Co in charge of moving his body throughout the station, taking care of the needs of the Derelicts, and fighting off virus attacks when they occur.

GAMEPLAY:
The Desolate Hope mixes several gameplay styles. On the station and in the simulations, the game is a platformer. You will shoot enemies, collect powerups and bits (money) and upgrade yourself and your virtual battlers. When you enter a mini-simulation (the old arcade style screens) then the game becomes an 8-bit overhead dungeon crawler. There you can farm money and gain options to customize your battle experiences. When you encounter a virus boss, the game shifts to a JRPG style battle where you must use the mouse to select from your various options to defeat your opponent. Almost everything outside of these battles is aimed at upgrading your abilities and increasing your stats for these fights, they are the real challenge of the game.

"The Desolate Hope, isn't great just because of its stunning artwork, its gripping sci-fi story, and its coffee pot protagonist. It also packs a triple punch with three distinct gameplay types, each skillfully woven together. The side scrolling action has different platforming elements for each section, the overhead adventure distills fun elements of a classic Zelda (including walls you can walk through or destroy) and the turn-based, RPG-style boss battles are visually mesmerizing and tough." -IndieGames.com

"From a gameplay point of view The Desolate Hope mixes platforming with overhead adventure segments and semi turn-based battles. This is already intriguing, but I'm more impressed by its stunning visual style." -mtv.com

"The Desolate Hope is developed by Scott Games and upon booting it up, you will notice the great artwork the game uses. It combines three gameplay genres, side scrolling, overhead adventure and a turn-based RPG styled battles. It might sound like a messy mash up but the game is able to pull it off without a hitch and gamers are in for a unique experience. Offering hours of gameplay, a unique leveling system and a day-and-night cycle." -TheBitBag.com

"The Desolate Hope constantly plays with the very idea of playing a video game. Unlike many modern games, it is hyper-aware of its gameness. There are games inside of games, simulations inside of simulations, mini-games inside of boss fights. And the fact that you’re playing as an AI that developed from a computer game is a very hard wink at the exhaustive level of metagaming that’s going on." -GamesThatExist.com

"There are plenty of hours of gameplay, a nonlinear path allowing for exploration, and detailed art design. Now you can't beat that..."
-GameSpot.com

"I very much enjoy a lot about this game; it’s takes on platforming, dungeon-crawling, and RPGs is unique and well mixed together so that one type of play benefits the other. It also has some incredible visuals, with very detailed character designs and a classic cyberpunk attitude, but not also without a bit of whimsy as well (one derelict has given up on his mission, becoming a toymaker and has begun recreating his simulation with child-like automatons)." -GamingSymmetry.com

"So after encountering this on Rock Paper Shotgun, I was ready to declare my indie game of the year. Because any game made rock solid out of derelict, insane robots just makes my not-so-inner geek squeal. How insane are the robots? Each is actively running a matrix like test bed, and.... Well, one was building a mining simulator, decided that was too depressing, and started making toys. Another is trying to capture the artistic essence of the soul, but cant seem to make anything run for more than five seconds. The next is attempting to rebuild humanity out of two tissue samples. Then there's the one still running straight, he seems curiously nice... And the last one's dead and frozen. But still drawing power...Then there's the coffee pot. Which is you. Sort of. And hey, bonus! You've got fifteen days to live, and you're the ninth attempt at straightening things out. Good luck!" -an enthusiastic fan

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon or equivalent
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Positive (33 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (467 reviews)
Recently Posted
tugglife2828
( 10.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 28
I abosutely love this game. It is probably one of the best games I have ever seen. and believe it or not, I have seen some incredible games, but this? This is just brilliant. Great story, great gameplay, great graphics... everything an amazing game needs. I recommend this game to RPG game lovers over a MILLION times. There is just too much to say about this game. And none of those things are negative.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dr.Jizmo
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 26
This is better then any fnaf game Scott has made he this needs a reboot!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Slenderquil
( 9.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 25
This game is extremely overlooked. The story, music, visuals, and gameplay are amazing with each other. The fanbase is rather small though, so there isn't much fan art for this hidden gem. It's free so pick it up today (FOR FREE!). Not recommended for those with eyesight problems though (It's painful). One last thing, it's super difficult. Have fun
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Magicraftcat
( 11.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 23
This game is amazing. Great job, Scott!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Le Mario B)
( 7.9 hrs on record )
Posted: April 21
Actaully good and for the first time more terryfing that fnaf
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mqwiemer
( 10.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 20
Most depressing ending ever...........
Helpful? Yes No Funny
pjr211
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: April 15
Great game i feel pretty sorry for the creator (Scott) because his other games get no attention its only FNaF that does I like FNaF but it would be great if they looked at his other games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nathanheit
( 9.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 9
this game is VERY fun it has a lot of fnaf world and Chipper And sons easter eggs so cool so much fun lots adventure and free roam!

(
( )
Helpful? Yes No Funny
gregoryeawilson
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 7
Good and tough. This is the game FNAF World's RPG battles wre like, but much harder.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Oddesu
( 7.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 6
This is a great creation of beautiful visuals, nice and varied gameplay, awesome OST and even philosophical value with its writing.
Please make more games like this, Scott.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
lolz_hax
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 2
Not a huge fan of this game. Its controls are confusing too.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Xayn
( 17.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 29
This was one hell of a motherfking grind. I've clocked in around 17 hours, and saw some people finish it in half the time, not exactly sure how. But yeah, the grinding. My god. Full immersion into a miserable long-forsaken space station right there.

This game is amazing, and I highly recommend it as long as you have the adequate amount of time to kill grinding. The main problem here is that boss battles don't properly scale with the gameplay; so it starts out innocently enough, yet becomes more atrocious with every new one. So why do I recommend this game?

Well, I don't always care about gameplay first and foremost. While it's true I will be highly attracted to original games (and this one is all over the place), I'll play anything that has a great story. You can find a shtload of mysteries to progressively dig through, along with a cast of characters with different philosophical perspectives. I couldn't ask for more. (Actually, I wished for more dialogue. There was definitely untapped potential there.)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
maksoseka
( 4.9 hrs on record )
Posted: March 29
I like it, but why is there limited power level?! :(
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Raid
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: March 26
The Desolate Hope is a very unique mix of platformer and JRPG from the creator of Five Nights at Freddy's. It has a great aesthetic and an engaging science fiction premise. The game is relatively simple and provides for some decent challenge, and a fun story to playthrough that provides for some interesting contemplation afterwards.

It's a fun and free game that is graphically better, and has a superior story than many pay to play games on the market.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kolya
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: March 26
GO SCOT
LE S GO
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Earthdragonninja
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 25
I think this is a very fun game. Originaly I thought that because of how little money scott made in his charity thing, that all of his original games were crap, But i was soooo wrong
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Oogalook
( 11.1 hrs on record )
Posted: March 21
Astonishing. A work of art, both visually and story-wise. This game features some of the best visual work I've ever seen, with a real '90s hyperfuture feel. Gorgeous. Story is subtle and effective, a tale of isolation, helplessness, and the terror of uncertainty. Characters are philosophical and devastatingly tragic, doing a good job of exploring the big question: Why do we even?

I know why I even. To jack up spooky cybertards with the help of my robot pals. In the not-too-distant future.
Great fun game, ten out of ten, here's my firstborn.

I was thrown at first by the simplistic gameplay. You derp around on rails to access the main platformer levels and eventually do some goofy top-down goofing. I eventually figured out the roles of these parts of the game: Basically you need to earn FAT STACK$ and buy hella upgrades to have any chance of winning the game, and you gotta do it fast-like before the landlord flips the breaker and things go dead. Yeah.
But you're here to fight a virus, and that's the main draw of the game. The battles are intense, complicated, and unforgiving; they're the only serious or difficult parts of the gameplay. You need to derp around the research station to access all the simulated worlds and to level your characters for battle. You need to explore each simulation carefully to find upgrades for your fine robo-dudesmen to use in battle, and to actually locate and challenge the manifestations of the Virus to initiate battle. You gotta enter the source-code world to get sweet conditional buffs for your battles. You gotta GIT GUD to beat the living hell out of robotic cyber-nightmares. IN BATTLES.

Found a little glowing fireball? Activate it. Pull up your big boy pants.
...
And yes, you have to fight THAT. No, don't slam the escape key. Not that you can beat it first time. Haha, no.
You gotta GIT GUD.

It's time to micromanage four different characters with different move sets JRPG style, but *in real time*, trying to out-murder a terrifying robo-devil of some description while he is continuously jacking up yo boys with MIND LIGHTNING. Like a good frantic multitask in the morning? The final moves of each of your characters start little minigames *to be played at the same time* on top of the main battle in order to get some powerups. All this, and the virus is no sissy either. The difficulty ramps steeply, and the game is unforgiving if you are too slow or waste a move.

Fortunately, you get a practice arena in which to learn the ropes and PLENTY of fights in which to hone your skills. And failing a fight only sets you back in time- no resources are permanently used up, and you can try again. It's a good implimentation of super-crazy death challenges.

It's astoundingly addictive. Loads of fun.

P.S. I note how most other reviews have either fewer than 3 or more than 10 hours of play. I reckon a first-time playthrough would take ~9 hours, so there's how you tell if somebody actually finished the thing. I definitely took a full hour to get familiar with the game, but then I was hooked good and firmly.
The ending is delightfully bittersweet. I hope you enjoy the heartfeels.

P.P.S. Malentz is my favorite character. His outlook on life is eerily similar to my approach to College. I like how he's the biggest, spikiest, spidery-est robot, but collects toys and spends his time tinkering in his Farmville-style hermitage. He's also got the best moves, though there's competition from that big loveable teddy bear Alphon.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
I think this is a very fun game. Originaly I thought that because of how little money scott made in his charity thing, that all of his original games were crap, But i was soooo wrong
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
22.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 7
Awesome Game!!! This game has really good graphics and really cool battles, thanks Scott!!!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
The Desolate Hope is a very unique mix of platformer and JRPG from the creator of Five Nights at Freddy's. It has a great aesthetic and an engaging science fiction premise. The game is relatively simple and provides for some decent challenge, and a fun story to playthrough that provides for some interesting contemplation afterwards.

It's a fun and free game that is graphically better, and has a superior story than many pay to play games on the market.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Weird-♥♥♥ shit, but great visuals.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2015
This is a must-play for people who like the RPG genre. Though in the beginning, it is pretty slow... But then, it picks up super fast and you love it! Also, the battle system is amazing! The graphics are pretty good, the gameplay is awesome.
P.S. Alphus is my favorite.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2015
WAT you don't know ? that game make legendary Scott Cawthon. So that game have awesome soundtracks not bad story and very hard enemies, for me always a mystery how that one guy make soundtracks, 3D modeling, and how he will be artist.

Scott Cawthon go working in dreamworks.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Scarier than FNaF
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2015
Un excelente juego , grandiosa historia grandiosos personajes y un soundtrack deleitante son unas de las pocas cosas que ofrece esta juego. ( por cierto muy divertido de jugar y puede llegar a ser muy dificil pero nada que sea imposible )
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2015
This honestly deserves the amount of attention that FNAF has gotten.

Actually, no it doesn't, because I don't want to see fetish art of a ♥♥♥♥ing coffee pot.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
264 of 279 people (95%) found this review helpful
169 people found this review funny
Recommended
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 9, 2015
Paid for this game a week before it became free... no regrets...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
92 of 99 people (93%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Recommended
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
This has easily become one of my favorite games. A good story told over the course of Metroid/Megaman-esque overworld gameplay, zelda-esque mini dungeons & seizure inducing RPG boss battles. This has been one of the few games I've purchased and did not feel disappointment with in years.

Update: This game is free now. PLAY IT.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
185 of 230 people (80%) found this review helpful
121 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 1, 2014
You get to play as an antrhomorphized coffee pot, and that really speaks to me
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
60 of 63 people (95%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
Recommended
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 12, 2015
Yes, Freddy. You're good at what you do and you have an enormous fan-following. But I think I'm gonna step aside for a sec and admire Scott's lesser appreciated work, and a game which has quickly become one of my favourite games of all time.

Sadly, I cannot remember if I came across this game by browsing "Games under £4" or if I only heard about it through Five Nights at Freddy's. But I'm so glad I found this game either way.

So what's the thingy happening, then? Well, you play as the re-programmed CPU of a video game controlling the body of a feisty coffee-pot with legs. You're stranded in a space station an unknown distance from Earth with 4 (once 5) super-computer robots who are trying to find a way to perfectly colonize distant planets for humans. Viruses are starting to take their toll on the simulations and the space station is on it's last shred of power, so it's up to you (and the AI of the coffee-pot) to gather as much resources as you can to take out the viruses before they ruin the mission.
Just like FNaF, this is a really original concept.

The gameplay is broken up into several segments, all being from different genres of games, and you're constantly under a time limit; something you don't see in a lot of games. It's very reminiscent of Majora's Mask, in a way. This kind of gameplay mechanic would work in so many games which ignore it, like all the games where a big event is about to happen, but you could do a lap of the world before it even begins.

Some may argue that the gameplay gets very repetitive after a short while, and I'll admit there are a few places that get rather tedious, but fortunately it's much more engaging than FNaF. Also, just like FNaF, it's feels amazing to beat the game because of how much work goes into it.

And as for Scott's signature art-style, this game is gorgeous! Scott captures the creativity, the vision and the desires of the Derelicts perfectly in their simulations. And as for the space station and surrounding area, it's awe-inspiring how lonely it feels. Don't even get me started on how good the soundtrack is.

You get all this, and a ton of depth and story, for just £3.99. It's a longer game than the Freddy Trilogy as a whole, and it's perfect for what it's trying to acomplish. I just finished this game clocking in 7 hours of gameplay and I can't wait to play it again. Tenaouttaten
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
62 of 68 people (91%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
For such an addictive and unique game, I fail to see the reason why I should not recommend this to other people, especially for those RPG gamers that would like to taste a new "flare" from the RPG genre.

Pros:
-The combat system is unique.
-Memorable characters along with a compelling story.
-An atmosphere that you just gotta take a moment to admire.

Cons:
-Gameplay may get repetitive collecting chips and the like.
-Outside of the simulation, walking is slow.
-Lack of tutorials and intros for the mechanics which will leave you wondering for quite a while.
(I know I did the first time I fought a virus.)

The Desolate Hope isn't perfect, the game may "lag" and/or freeze in a millisecond (I don't know if it's my PC, but i've tried it on another laptop and it still has that issue). Other than the lag, the game is basically a work of art.
Scott's art direction is really immersing me to play this game; maybe because it's the nostalgia that makes me want to play the game further until I finish it. Furthermore, it's a hybrid mix of mainly two genres: RPG and Platformer.
The game as a hybrid genre is a good thing, it doesn't just tire you with countless battles, but you also get to explore the world in a 2D way.

Score: 4.5/5
I could've given it a perfect 5, but I just have a feeling that it could be better than what it is.
The game gets repetitive, but at the same time addictive.
Overall, the game is good and it's on my list of "favorite unappreciated games."

P.S.: Even though it's free now, it's still the best $5 I've ever spent.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
42 of 46 people (91%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Recommended
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2015
I am less than affluent (i.e. broke), therefore I will wait for anything and everything I want to play to go on sale. Yes, even already cheap, obscure indie titles go on my wishlist until I see old man Steam is having one of his episodes and will trade me games for the unnamed contents of my pockets. It also doesn't help that the obscure titles are less reliable in their overall ratings, so that I find myself owning games that give Steam refunds their raison d'etre.

The Desolate Hope, however, is not one of these. The Desolate Hope is a game that, after playing it, I felt guilty for not kicking a couple bucks to before it became free. To wish I had paid money for a thing I got for free is easily the highest praise a cheap ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ like me can give.

Alright, so what is The Desolate Hope? Every time I try to explain its premise to someone, I come off sounding like a kid that's upended a forty of Pixy Stix. So here goes:

Imagine that you are playing as Minesweeper. No, not playing Minesweeper. You are the computer program, Minesweeper. You came preinstalled and have been idling in memory for someone to enjoy your frustrating trial-and-error gameplay. Finally, you are activated; not by an eager player, but by a greater intelligence, the likes of which you can barely begin to circumscribe with your puny Minesweeper brain: the AI for a robotic coffee pot.

Your new coffee pot overlord has downloaded you into its body, while it oversees the vital functions of the space base you both occupy. Your mission is to explore the base (long abandoned by humanity), gain the trust of several derelict robots that were once in charge of terraforming the planet, and seek out and eliminate a virus stealing data from the simulations they are running. And you must do all of this before the station runs out of power in only a few days time.

During the day, you will explore the Derelicts' dream worlds, the visualization of their efforts to build a home for humanity: their simulations. At night, you will roam the barren wasteland of the forgotten planet the base rests on, looking for lost artifacts of humanity to offer up to the Derelicts so that they might offer their help to fight the virus.

You will face challenges that lesser coffee pots would buckle before and uncover the hidden secrets of the base, for all is not as it seems. Also, there's a magic wrench and a spider named Sigfried.

Truly, a tale as old as time.

The visual aesthetic is quite impressive. Though it does have that Sega CD/Saturn era pre-rendered style that looks kind of old and janky now, I hadn't realized that I do have some nostalgia for that.

Regardless, the character models and environments in the simulations are very imaginative. The Derelicts and viruses appear almost like something out of Aztec or Hindu mythology; towering over their private realms that are certainly science fiction, but have a magical feel about them. But it wasn't until I was walking on the planet's surface as a tiny, lone silhouette against the void of space that it really hit me what a beautiful game this is.

Of course, you want to talk gameplay. Like the premise, it's hard to describe the gameplay without sounding like I'm vomiting up the product of a the orgy between a big pile of ideas (eww). I have a feeling the game design document reads something like this:

"Yo dawg, I heard you like video games. So we put some video games in your video game so you can play video games while you game."

Outside the simulations, the game is at its most reserved. Your coffee pot body is exceptional in that it can move around. But that's all. At this level, the game is an adventure game where you explore and collect items... and play Space Invaders at certain times, but that's neither here nor there.

Inside of the simulations, you are playing a free-roaming platformer where you can jump and shoot energy blasts and other such feats of percolation heretofore unknown to coffee pots. You can dive into sub-simulations where the game becomes a top down vector-based shooter where you kill enemies to gain cabbages. Makes sense? What if I told you a vector rabbit follows you around and translates them into free memory you can use to upgrade yourself?

When you locate the virus, the screen swirls into a disco wonderland and the game becomes real-time JRPG style combat where you control the four Derelicts against the virus. And if that wasn't enough, we can go one deeper. Within the real-time JRPG combats, one of the best moves for each Derelict is to call up a mini-game (each of the four gets a different one and you can have them all running simultaneously) that you can play to get buffs.

Some would say that sounds schizophrenic. Normally, I'd agree, but the Deolate Hope manages to take these disparate gameplay styles and use them to inform, further, and juxtapose the others. It creates complexity, where I would label something else randomness.

Your lonely sojourns on the planet's surface are quiet, somber, and low on action. It gives the player a break from the intensity of the platforming and RPG combat while also giving us a stark "real" world to stand against the fantastic dreamscapes of the Derelicts and the psychedelic fury of the RPG segments. And "leveling-up" the Derelicts is a matter of earning their trust so they will dedicate more system resources to your task.

Gathering free memory in the sub-simulations will allow you to purchase upgrades from vendors you find by exploring the main simulations. And these upgrades and other power-ups you find are your ticket to success in the menu-driven battles against the virus. You will need to gather every resource and have a full understanding of all systems to have any hope of success when suing the 1% - err, defeating the late game bosses

Unlike some computer RPGs where combat is a placeholder for action until the boss fights, The Desolate Hope's RPG combat is fixture of strategy and challenge. You will need to master buffs, debuffs, status effects, running mini-games, storing points, using hack items, and a slew of other systems before taking on the later bosses.

In fact, this is one of the few complaints I have. I do love that I'm being challenged, when other titles in the genre often don't. However, there is so much going on in these RPG segments that are the center pieces of the game and no explanation to guide you through them. It becomes overwhelming. I felt like an outsider taking a journey to the depths of superhero fandom message boards: just one incomprehensible wall of text describing powers and systems and the interconnectedness of it all that made me want to back out slowly and cry.

Here's a tip: you won't figure it out for yourself. Go get a guide. There's a lovely one in the Steam Community pages.

My only other criticism is that the game is badly lacking in polish. It's clear that this is Scott Cawthon's early work and there are some things missing that I expect in a paid release. The game doesn't adjust itself to suit my native resolation, but rather resets my resolution to make itself fullscreen. And there's no volume control or pause button. Pressing escape just instantly closes the entire game. You get the idea.

Still, I obviously really like The Desolate Hope and would have been almost as enthusiastic if I had paid. There's nothing game-breaking missing, though it would have been nice to see this one get just a little bit more love before being published.

Ultimately, The Desolate Hope is unique, compelling, fun, and free. So why aren't you playing it?

P.S. If you know or are Scott Cawthon, please tell him I will play Five Nights at Freddy's even though I don't like resource management or jump scares. But I would like him to make another big sci-fi cluster♥♥♥♥ of whimsical ideas and gameplay.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
29 of 30 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2014
It's kind of a JRPG/Platformer hybrid with metroidvania elements.
You control a coffee machine on an outpost on a distant planet that's inhabited by 4 large robots that are supposed to run simulations and figure out ways for colonizing the planet, but a virus is interfering with the project and it's your task to enter each robot's simulation and defeat the virus.
The game is split in two sections: Day and night.
The main part happens during the day. Here you enter the simulations, which are the platforner/metroidvania segments. You jump around, shoot enemies and collect stuff. You can also enter system panels to close security holes the virus may use. The game then switches to a zelda-ish style with topdown view and each screen representing a room with enemies in it.
Throughout all this you collect system resources you can spend on various upgrades.
During the night you just go outside the base, walk around the barren surface of the planet and collect items that you can give to the robots which will increase their levels.
All that leads up to the battles against the virus, which are semi-turn based battles akin to common JRPGS, but the battle system also has it's own unique twists and turns. These battles are the center of the gameplay, as nearly everything you do is to prepare for them. They can get a bit frustrating towards the end because of some pretty nasty enemy abilities, but overall they are fun and challenging and I didn't need to do any grinding to get through them (not counting the night segments, which are basically just that... plus a little bonus :P)
The art and music are amazing, and I really enjoyed the story. The gameplay is fluent, but in itself nothing too special. Basic platforming for the most part, but the JRPG battles really stick out though.
The only other thing worth mentioning might be that the game is relatively short. I got through it in 6 hours. I *might* do a second run to get those 200% (only had 168% this time), but there doesn't seem to be any major replayability. So if you want something epic, don't look here. If you want a really nice, atmospheric and uniqe sci-fi short story, get this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
32 of 35 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
26.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 6, 2015
Game is separated into distinct parts where the gameplay is different. There's the platforming to navigate the world, 4-direction top-down shooter in a mini-game to get unlock upgrades, and real-time turn-based hybrid RPG-like combat as boss fights. The platforming and the shooting are simple while the boss fights can pose a challenge and look intimidating, but there's a reasonable learning curve from the first boss to the end of the game.

There's no restriction or linearity to dictate where and when to progress; so, some trial and error to find which boss is the party as is, is equipped and upgraded enough to handle.

Aside from the aspects of gameplay, The Desolate Hope strays a bit from the standard with user interaction. Pausing is bound to unconventional keys (F2 or ALT) [while ESC immediately closes the game]. The manual makes no mention of this; minor-ish issue, but more significant than usual as the game is under a time limit, ticking down in most areas of the game.

Misc. Info
Bought At Full price ($4.99)
Expectations My first exposure to the game was a YouTube video demonstrating a boss fight. Though I think the boss fights are very entertaining (but leaning to the same strategy of applying all party buffs and chaining high damage moves), replaying encounters is limited to the two final bosses for a save.
Steam Features Steam Overlay doesn't work with the game, which means taking screenshots and broadcasting must be done by other applications.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
54 of 74 people (73%) found this review helpful
20 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
10/10 presentation
9/10 music
3/10 plataforming & dungeon crawling
10/10 boss battles
10/10 mechanics depth
pretentious/10 ending
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
33 of 39 people (85%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
Though Scott Cawthon is known for making Five Nights at Freddys, it isn't the only gem he has made as The Desolate Hope is another piece of work that is as good as FNAF. Best way to describeThe Desolate Hope is Megaman/Metroid meets the timed battle system you would find in a JRPG, complete with nice looking pre-rendered backgrounds and characters. Bought the game after seeing it was on sale. Needless to say, it was worth the $1.24 spent on it.

Most of the time, you'll be controlling an autonomous coffee-pot, entering the simulations of AI's in the day, and the surface of a planet at night. Within the simulations, the gameplay centers on the likes similar to Metroid and Megaman, jumping over pits and shooting bad guys. When it comes to fighting bosses however, control switches to the four AI's, switching perspective towards that of a JRPG like Final Fantasy VII. Combat as the AI's at first will seem a bit intimidating at first but once you understand each moves the AI's have, you can try to steer the odds to your end, so as long as you pick the right skills. Levelling up the AI's is also rather simple as the night segments as the coffee pot lets you find certain items to give to the AI's, allowing them to level up as opposed to the grinding you'd find in other RPG's.

Though Scott Cawthon's fame may lie with Five Nights at Freddys, The Desolate Hope is another gem of Cawthon's work, one that is good mixture a platforming, turn-based fights, and artistic design.

tl;dr The Desolate Hope is a gem from Cawthon like FNAF, but instead of evil animatronics, it's platforming, turn-based fights like FFVII, and nice pre-rendered scenery.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny