A Void Hope Switch Review: Another Quality Indie Game Or Something To A-Void?

hello world!
Jordan Jurkowski
| March 8, 2024
hello world!

A Void Hope made its way to the Switch on the 1st of March this year, thanks to Swedish developers Elden Pixels. I was fortunate to receive a copy for review, so let’s talk about it without further ado!

A Void Hope is an atmospheric story-driven adventure set in a collapsed city. Players are tasked with finding a cure that has turned people into “empties”, which are essentially people who have lost all their memories and are just husks of themselves. Players follow a couple as they try to evade shadowy threats and beasts that are lurking in the dark.

Indie games these days tend to be of higher quality than most AAA games. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is. So, with this being said, is A Void Hope up to indie game standards? Yes, mostly!

I quite enjoyed my time with A Void Hope, even though the game is not overly huge. I took my time with this game and spent between 3.5 to 4 hours playing it to completion. By taking my time, I played it in short bursts on the go, thanks to the Switch’s portability. I played it docked as well, but I found it to be a fun experience as an on-the-go title. During my time with this game, most of it was spent looking at and admiring the graphics. I do believe that, with less graphical admiration, players could maybe complete this within the 2-hour mark.

Gorgeous pixel art!

A Void Hope is absolutely visually stunning. With beautiful pixel art graphics of characters and environments, the game is beautiful. If you are a fan of the pixel art genre, this is going to be right up your alley. The graphics have so much charm to them; they are quite pleasing to the eye and a welcome callback to retro gaming. The colors in this game are super vibrant and full of life, which only complement the pixel art style. I honestly believe when it comes to the graphics of this game, they are full of personality and give the game so much character.

I did, however, find that, with some platforming, some environmental elements were confusing and made me miss some jumps.

In terms of performance, the Switch runs super smoothly and looks really nice and crisp in handheld and docked modes. On the Switch Lite, this is the same story as the regular Switch. There are no bugs that I ran into either, which is nice to report, especially since this game isn’t graphically demanding or huge in file size, coming in at a whopping 896MB!

The chase begins…

I thought the enemy types were cool…in concept. I really liked how they would chase you and you could shoot them with your gun that recharges. They will temporarily vaporize and come back and continue their chase again. However, I did find them quite easy to avoid, which took some of the challenge away from the game. In this sense, if you’re looking for a shooter, this game will not fulfill you. Also, keep in mind that there is a lot of backtracking in this game, which may put some players off.

I really enjoyed the game world and the little elements the developers have included. I have a hunch that the developers may be movie lovers. When exploring the city, there are posters up everywhere with an eyelid, and it’s very reminiscent of Requiem for a Dream. If you’ve seen the movie poster, you will know what I’m talking about straight away. Also, sometimes shadow figures will turn and point while screaming at you, which prompts another figure to start chasing you. This game gave me serious Invasion of the Body Snatchers vibes.

Speaking of retro callbacks, the soundtrack here was quite nice! It’s a synth-style theme, and it gave off 80’s style horror vibes, which I feel added a lot to the atmosphere of the game. This, mixed with the pixel art, is really, really nice.

By now, you can probably tell them I liked that game. It did, however, have some issues that, for me, are noticeable. The first is replay value, I don’t think there is much here because it is quite a short game, and in Australia, it currently sits at $24. This may be because of the short story too. Without spoilers, the twist is a little unsurprising, and the characters feel rather one-dimensional.

The puzzle-solving in this game is also lackluster, which is disappointing. I found the puzzles to be quite easy, leaving me feeling unsatisfied at times. I feel like the puzzles rely on you unlocking a different item which happens naturally as you play, backtracking to previous areas and moving a few boxes here and there. Pretty basic stuff.

One of the many beautiful environments

Lastly, the dialogue in this game can be quite dramatic, which is good. However, it kind of just gets solved very quickly without much effort. The dialogue seems very short and lacking real substance to really become attached to the characters and their predicaments. I really felt it needed more time to cook and marinate, so to speak.

Also, I may have missed it, but I am still confused as to why the game is called A Void Hope. Possibly because the empty infected people are empty voids? I’m unsure. 

This is a good game, just not a great one. This game clearly has heart, thanks to Elden Pixels, which is refreshing to see in this day and age of gaming. I enjoyed it for what it was, and I would safely recommend it to anyone who likes the backtracking, Metroidvania-esque gameplay with a pixel art style. If this isn’t what you’re normally into, this won’t convert you or change your mind by any means.

This is a good game, which is let down by a lack of replay value, lackluster puzzles and dramatic finesse. A Void Hope is out on Nintendo Switch, via the eshop, and PC, via Steam.

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Drew Lewis
25 days ago

I’m just here to slow-clap for that amazing article title 10/10.

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