A Void Hope review

by on March 1, 2024
Reviewed On
Also Tested On
Release Date

February 29, 2024.


Most of the time when we get a chance to play a portion of a game for a preview, we get a pretty good idea of how much we’ll enjoy the finished product. After around an hour of most games you’ll just know if it’s the sort of game you’d want to keep playing, and I’m usually left excited for a release that’s not too far away. There are exceptions to this though, like A Void Hope. When I previewed this platformer just over a month ago I just couldn’t figure out where it was going to go next. Were complex platforming puzzles just around the corner? Was A Void Hope more about the narrative than anything else? I didn’t have a clue, but now I know the answer to these questions and soon you will too.

A Void Hope tells the story of Gilda and Keegan, a young couple living in a big city and planning on starting a family. Their plans are put on hold though thanks to an outbreak of a devastating virus, which humanity is struggling to find a cure for. Being infected by the virus causes you to lose your memories, and eventually become violent to anyone around you. In this tumultuous situation our protagonists decide that moving to their lodge in the country and waiting it out might be the best way forward.

It’s a nice idea, but unfortunately it’s too little too late. Once they arrive at the lodge Gilda finds herself having the same conversations over and over with Keegan, and the idea of the one she loves losing himself drives her to take drastic action. She thinks she knows what scientists are missing when trying to create a cure, and sets off on a dangerous journey back into the city. The story is one of the more interesting parts of A Void Hope, with some seriously emotional moments as you progress.

A screenshot of A Void Hope

The gameplay of A Void Hope is really simple. I suppose you’d call the game a platformer, but if you’re expecting to have to nail tricky jumps across gaps and to bounce off enemies’ heads then you’ll be disappointed. The platforming in A Void Hope is more functional. It’s a means of getting from one side of the screen to the other, while taking in the sight of a city that has seen better days, or a building site full of people who you’re never quite sure if infected or not until it’s too late.

The enemies in A Void Hope are infected humans, who will approach you aggressively. One touch from them will kill you and send you back to the last touched checkpoint lamp, and with no way of being able to tell if someone is infected or not until you get close this will happen often. Early on avoiding the infected is the only way to progress, but before long you’ll obtain a flare gun which after shooting them with a charged shot causes them to phase out of existence for a while so you can wander past. It’s a slow process to charge and fire, but thanks to the slow speed of the infected it’s rarely an issue.

A Void Hope

The gun is useful for more than taking out zombie-like husks of humanity, it can also be used to shoot switches to open doors. As you progress you’ll get a variety of items that you’ll need to find everything A Void Hope hides in its levels, from a rope you can use to descend down certain holes to a crowbar that can open doors blocked with wooden planks. You’ll be returning to levels you’ve already completed a lot to find alternate routes to new levels and computers that’ll get you in a mysterious vault, so keep an eye out for anywhere you can’t access and make a mental note to return.

It was the mandatory backtracking through the same levels of A Void Hope where the game became more of a chore for me, especially since every stage is made up of branching paths through buildings that lead to nothing at all. The amount of time I went to explore in a direction only to be met by a pointless dead end really started to frustrate me, and when you have to play through a level two or three times and keep going back to the same empty building it just gets a bit much.

A screenshot of A Void Hope

More than anything I just wanted more from A Void Hope. I wanted to enjoy some tense platforming, solve a puzzle that didn’t involve pushing a single box from one side of the room to the other, or get more than a few lines of dialogue at a time as a reward for going through a level. A Void Hope is a walking simulator in platformers clothing, and while the vibe of the game is undeniably interesting it just made me want to play something more substantial.

I do have to admit though that A Void Hope has a couple of things going for it: gorgeous pixel art and one of the best synth soundtracks I’ve ever experienced in a video game. The soundtrack especially is sensational, with those slightly sinister Stranger Things vibes pumping out the speakers as you explore this mysterious world.

A Void Hope is a game with an interesting setting and some emotional story beats, but you spend far too much time slowly wandering around empty levels to get to them. If you just want to experience some pretty 2D visuals and listen to a banging soundtrack for a bit then you’ll probably enjoy just letting the synth wash over you, but the very limited gameplay wasn’t engaging enough to keep me invested for the few hours it took to see credits.


A sensational soundtrack
Lovely visuals
The story is interesting


Platforming gameplay is almost nonexistent
Having to backtrack to old levels gets annoying
Way too many dead ends and buildings there's no point exploring

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

A Void Hope has a great soundtrack and emotional story, but if you're expecting puzzles or platforming then you'll be sorely disappointed.