Look & Listen: Desolate

Cor, Elliot Collis’ desolate is just gosh-darn beautiful. It’s a hand-painted 2D adventure about emotions and growing up, based on the personal experiences of the solo developer. You interact with the world through context-sensitive actions based around three verbs: touch, speak, and gesture. It’s got some light puzzle-platforming too, but very much as exploratory elements of a narrative-based game rather than serious skill challenges. Elliot’s taken it to Kickstarter to help get it done quicker, looking for 12,500 dollars of the New Zealand variety (about £6,300).

Interestingly, there’s no dialogue, so the speak button is a nondescript cry for attention, distraction or support. It’s all very art and I dig it. The game begins in a village inspired by the small building architecture of Tokyo, where Elliot lives. When shadowy creatures attack, you sacrifice your friends and family to survive and escape underground. Eventually returning to the surface, you’ll discover that your pals are still alive, though changed, and (natch) no longer trust you. Elliot’s keeping very quiet about what will happen after that in terms of the story, about the areas you’ll be in, and how you’ll interact with them.

I’ve been listening to the incredible soundtrack while writing and the debut album of the same artist. I’d recommend it for any slightly cold, grey Scottish day. If you’re as impressed as I am, pledging for a copy of the finished game will set you back about £6. It’ll hit your inbox around June 2015. You can also help it get onto Steam via Greenlight.


  1. El Spidro says:

    The real question is: will the gorgeous art style be enough to overcome my cynical predisposition towards the infamous Kickstarter/Greenlight combo?