Desolate (text version)


This is an adaptation of the Desolate boardgame by Grey Gnome Games, in reality a one-to-one translation to digital form. The creator has kindly given me permission to distribute this. You can find an official print-and-play edition of Desolate on PnPArcade.

The game is available for free (with optional donation) on

The video below shows an example of a single play through an early version of the game.

How to play

Your goal is to collect 5 power cells without running out of health or oxygen. The game has an exploration deck (a card deck that is part of the boardgame) that represents rooms to explore and encounters with aliens.

The game is split into “levels”, which represent one use of the entire exploration deck, after which it is shuffled and a new level starts. Each level contains multiple “turns”. Each turn consists of drawing two exploration cards. You are shown one and must decide whether to resolve that card or the unknown second card. When a level ends you consume 2 units of oxygen. If you reach 0 then you die.

Rooms provide you with the stated reward directly. Power cells can be found in Engineering. Conflict cards have an associated value, shown for example as “Conflict (4)”. This value is added to a randomly generated value (1-6) to give the alien’s health. When combat starts you automatically take a random amount of damage (0-4). You decide how much of your ammo to use in each combat round. Each unit of ammo gives you a dice roll, which are all added together to give the damage caused to the alien. If you haven’t killed it then it damages you again (0-5 points) and a new round starts.