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: Very Positive (367 reviews) - 94% of the 367 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 5, 2014

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

“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.”

“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.”

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.

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..."

"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

    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
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 of the RPG combat to have any hope of success against the late bosses; just like the Easter Bunny and lawsuits against rich people.

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.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
It is a very Fun Indie game to play, in my opinion...this has to be one of my Faviorate games on Steam. Thank you Scott Cawthon, you are an insparation to me and others :3
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
litterally better that FNAF
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Five Nights at Freddy's, feel free to remove yourself from the spotlight.

Welcome to The Desolate Hope. I've only played .8 hours at the time that I'm writing this, but from what I've played so far, this game is amazing. Its varied visuals allure the player into the many themes that this game has running through it. The simulation mechanics reminiscient of Inception fit perfectly into the game, allowing it to flow smoothly. The FNAF-like aspects of the game are just enough to make the player think about the game in a deeper sense, rather than making them feel like Scott just copy/pasted a bunch of stuff. The amount of these aspects also prohibits MatPat and nine year olds on reddit from getting in a big screamfest over how the two games exist in the same universe. Cause they don't. (Sorry MatPat, you're still awesome.) The story and diolouge of the game causes you to think, rather than just rushing through it. Also the soundtrack is so good, you might even play the game just for that. Which I don't recommend. Cause this game is awesome. And you play as a coffeepot. No other comment needed. I've encountered a few minor bugs, but nothing game-breaking. Other than that, I deeply recommend this game.

Update: Don't get me wrong, I still love fnaf. But this game is definitely better; it's a work of art.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 31
Being a fan of FNAF and wanting to see Scott's past games for a while now, I'd have kept my eye on this until I could pay for it. And now it's free and I got the chance to play it.


And random encounters don't annoy me, for once!

I think this game is the PERFECT example of how innovation should dominate over games that copy basic formulas, focusing more on the AMOUNT of content than the actual content PUT IN to it!

Bravo, Scott. I applaud you. :)
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