Loot Hound™
Gameplay 8
Graphics 7
Sound 7

Loot Hound allows you to unleash your dog on different parks in an effort to find the most epic loot. It is a very simple game, but quite addictive and very humorous. The challenge level is quite low, but the abundance of levels and loot increases the replay value. As far as casual games goes, this one is relaxing and entertaining, which makes it easy to recommend.

Gameplay: Not very challenging, but quirky and addictive enough to keep you playing.

Graphics: Fairly basic, but quite charming.

Sound: Great ambient sound effects and a very humorous narrator

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Loot Hound™

Developer: Rhizome Games™ | Publisher: Rhizome Games™ | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Casual / Indie / Simulation / Strategy | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam / itch.io

Killing, stealing or rummaging through garbage are the tree most common methods of accumulating loot in games these days. Thanks to Loot Hound players can now keep their hands free of blood and garbage by letting their trusty dog do all the work. It is a non-violent, casual title that is all about taking your dogs for a walk and letting them scavenge for loot along the way. Your character is a bit of a hoarder though, so don’t expect his idea of priceless treasure to match yours.

The game starts you off gently with a single dog and a muddy backlot to explore. As you progress you eventually get to own three different dogs and get to choose from twelve different parks. The dogs are all different breeds and each comes with its own special ability. Your starter dog is an all-rounder that can dig through rock, while the small dog has a knack for squeezing through gaps that are too tight for the other two. Finally, your large hound can scare way the vermin that sometimes refuse to budge from the treasure buried beneath them.

Locating the loot is as simple as can be. You first pick a dog and then a park where you want to try your luck. Action is viewed from a top down perspective and you use your keyboard or controller to move the character around with his dog in tow. As you move you can use buttons to extend or retract its leash. The former gives it more freedom to sniff out loot while the latter is handy if it becomes distracted by squirrels or joggers and need to be reeled in. If the dog detects loot it will start barking and then circling its prize. During this time you have to get your character out of its way and hope nothing shows up that will distract the dog. The dog will then start digging and if successful a golden ball with the loot inside will pop out for collection.

The actual loot is a strange collection of items to be sure and consists of everything from an angry badger scarf and seagull egg to snake oil and even a 100 year old baguette. These items are ranked from common to legendary and rewards your character with loot points that can be used to improve the statistics of the dogs. Their digging, detection, concentration and stamina as well as luck can be improved to make the task of tracking down loot a little easier. Each dog has a stamina bar that slowly depletes as they walk around and dig up loot, so your goal is to collect as much as you can before they get too tired and must return home.

Loot Hound is a casual title and is simple enough to be enjoyed by players of all ages. In fact, the ease with which it can be played and the charming visuals has made it one of my three year old daughter’s favorite games to play. She very quickly mastered moving the character around using an Xbox 360 controller and can even chase down and retrieve the dog if it manages to slip its leash. About the only aspect of the game that can be considered “challenging” is the City Park Patrol who can be found wandering around. If they see your dog digging holes they will immediately give chase and if caught will evict you from the park. There is no penalty for getting caught though as you still get to keep all the items you managed to scavenge.

While the visuals of the game are not exactly cutting edge they do have a certain charm to them. The painted style backgrounds are pretty neat and the sprites also match the whimsical style of the game. Butterflies flutter about, flies buzz around trash cans and the weather can even turn, causing it to rain. As you wander around with a dog it can be distracted by its surroundings, start chasing nearby people or creatures or even stop to pee against objects. Thankfully you don’t have to walk around scooping up doggie doo! The sound is nicely done with some great ambient sound effects that bring each park to life. The game also features a narrator who describes each unusual object you found with great relish.

Loot Hound is perfect for playing whenever you have a few spare minutes or don’t feel like delving into a more demanding game. Uncovering all 132 loot items in the game will take a few hours and the game was recently updated with new holiday content. The update included two new levels, 22 new holiday themed items as well as the ability to kick piles of snow to see what is buried underneath. Players looking for a challenge or in-depth mechanics might scoff at the simplicity of Loot Hound, but this quirky title kept us playing far longer than expected. For looting without shooting, Lout Hound is your game.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista+
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1GB video card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 390 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Xbox One/Xbox 360 controller recommended
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.7+
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1GB video card
  • Storage: 390 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Xbox One/Xbox 360 controller recommended

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