Loot Hound is an extremely casual game that immerses you in a little world that’s easy to control and very easy to play. It’s a top down exploration scavenger hunt that allows you to walk your dog around some great, well made maps in search of treasure or loot but is it really that simple? Well.. yes!
I first played this game while watching a film, it doesn’t require that much concentration but it’s relaxing slow-paced gameplay is a stark contrast from games like Helldivers and Fallout 4 I’ve been playing recently. It’s different but in a good way, you start in your apartment until a knock on the door initiates a package being shot into the room.
Your dog leaps out the box and is ready to go for his first walk, the first map is a simple park allowing you to get a feel of the controls (W, A, S & D to move, shift and control increase and decrease the leash) although it does have full controller support, i didn’t feel I needed to use it. Heading into the first park their are six items of loot to collect but I managed to get all but one on my first attempt. You need all six to progress to the next area so I went back in search of the last with not too much issue. Your dog will bark when he finds something of interest and will circle the area until he frantically starts digging, until a gold ball shoots out containing the precious loot inside.
Your first dog “Marley” is a pretty well-balanced all-rounder, he’s a good digger, has average concentration and stamina but every stat is upgradable once you start finding loot. Common items net you a handful of experience like the epic dirty sock I found, then there’s uncommon like coins, rare books and right up to legendary items which gives you a massive experience boost. In total there is over one hundred items to find which should take quite a while to find (as you do sadly find the same things a few times).
However you can pour as many points into your dog as you like, there special traits once you’ve unlocked all three (which is the most I’ve unlocked so far) are locked to each dog, there’s a small dog “WiFi” that can squeeze through small spaces and a large dog “Mr. Anderson” that can scare away wildlife like squirrels and swans who guard their treasure closely.
As you unlock each level they get progressively harder and larger, meaning walking around aimlessly as your stamina meter drains (once empty your dog is exhausted). There are security guarding the parks and if your caught your time us up and there are a mix of narrow spaces to get through, animals to intimidate and ground you may not be able to dig through so multiple visits with different dogs is a must in the later levels.
The dog acts the way a real dog would, they chase joggers, get distracted by things like wasps nests and stop to urinate up trees and lamp posts. The game might get repetitive late game but I find it so relaxing and enjoyable I’m five maps in and determined to find all this glorious loot! I honestly believe it’s a game I would have paid for, there releasing some festive content and probably a lot more in the new year. I give this game 8/10, I really enjoy the concept and simplicity of this game.
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