Lost and Hound is an adventure game where you play a Corgi named Biscuit who finds herself tasked together with their human with helping folks they meet along the way in this one of a kind blind-accessible game.
As a game that prides itself on being an accessible game for vision impaired players, right from the off you’ll notice or I should say hear one of the main accessibility efforts that goes into this game. As you boot up the game every option menu that you have your cursor or selection on is narrated, so you’ll know what selection option you’re on. Being accessible, the volume for this can be adjusted whether you need it to be increased, lowered or simply don’t need it in the audio settings.
The tutorial at the start helps to teach you what the mechanics of this game are and how they work. Being a sighted person, one won’t know how tricky and challenging and over reliant we are on sight until the missions starts. As most of the mission areas tend to be quite big and open, everything looks similar, so that is where you have to rely on the game’s audio and its auditory hints to help you along. But do know that there’s the option to scale down the difficulty to casual which will provide visual hints if required.
The game’s use of sound is its strength as its main focus which then has the other sections of the game built around it. The way that the sounds are used in each level’s soundscape is clever and one that I rely on heavily as the game requires one to. You would have Biscuit sniff which would then send out a bell-like sound that continues to hum when you’re still. It gets louder when you’re facing the right direction of your intended goal and goes away when you’re facing the wrong way. So using Biscuit’s sniff action sorts of ping and pinpoints where you are going.
Using Biscuit to sniff to ping ever so often is normal as the levels’ layout tends to look very similar (might be deliberate, so as to not have the player rely on sight). Some mission levels are made in a way that has the weather and environment purposely obscure your vision and using Biscuit to sniff at the right moment (when there’s less wind etc.) to help guide you on where to go is crucial.
With its strengths being its audio, Lost and Hound unfortunately does have some downsides to it. Being a game so reliant on audio, visually Lost and Hound on the surface looks colourful and well made. But if one were to be nitpicky and take a closer look, you’ll tend to see some clippings here and there between assets, you can pass through trees at times and navigating through foliage to find things makes things look messy and could use some polish.
Corgis Aren’t That Fast
Other minor issues include audio levels for dialogue for the characters that seem to be of different levels from one another. If you’re using the controller, you can have Biscuit move at blazing speeds until you hit the “sprint” button which would tend to have Biscuit revert at the supposed speed.
Lost and Hound certainly have made strides in making it a game that is built on being accessible for vision impaired players from the ground up. With the developer actively seeking out feedback from players on improvements from forums, streams and gameplay videos, this shows the level of commitment and care that Lost and Hound has in its heart that it has built around, making games more accessible.
Hailing from a small Island. Huge football fan. Drinks too much tea.
Survival, Roguelikes, Turn-based or Indie games in general are my go to genres but I like to dabble in all kinds of genres. I tend to have a soft spot for Shmups and Hidden Object Games once in a while.