When I saw the announcement for lost , A game where you play as a stray cat in a dystopian world – I was sucked in immediately. i love cats. I can never own a cat (unless I want to get hives and possibly stop breathing, which is not ideal for cat care). I’ve lived the quirky cat-lover life by liking TikTok, catching glimpses of my coworkers’ cats via Zoom, and meowing really loudly with my mouth at the cat who lives in the back alley of my apartment.
play lost, I looked at the game really accurately* Nails are an important element of being a cat. This was the part where the cat meows. through the vault lostIts beautifully dystopian world inspires chitters, chirps and mews. Often, you’re meowing in response to stimuli, but sometimes it’s in the game’s humanoid robots, who are very confused about it because they think the outside world doesn’t exist and they’ve never seen a feline. Haven’t seen. The obvious solution is to make these robots as close to human as possible. The game makes it easy: you can hit circle and meow at any time. That’s how I earned the “A Little Chatty” trophy (on Steam, that’s an achievement) for cutting grass 100 times. I got the trophy in 20 minutes.
Image: Blue Twelve Studios/Annapurna Interactive
I was in the top percentage of mowers, and it only put out the fire. That’s a good amount of grass cuttingI thought to myself as I solved the game’s environmental puzzles. Let’s meow some more.
Here’s the thing: It’s not just one meow, it’s a whole series of them. Prolonged attention-seeking meows, playful short chirps, and sometimes even a gruesome short snoring. I don’t know how many types there are, because I was too busy cycling again and again. But I can confirm the answer to this boiling question: Are meows good? Yes, meows are very good.
Besides being just adorable, this feature is also a useful wayfinding tool. Meowing will often trigger environmental cues, such as turning on a sequence of string lights that instruct the player where to go. It can turn the Zerks (those creepy rat-looking foes) away from critical objectives into a kind of bait-and-switch. It’s actually a delightful way to take something players will almost certainly love – being a cute little cat and play whenever you want – and make it a core part of the gameplay. This is a real meow-icicle of game design.
*not to be that boy, but could it be technically wrong for a society without humans? A study in 2020 noted that “meowing is a common and primarily human-directed vocalization,” although “adult humans show a limited ability to extract specific information from cats’ meows.” In other words, cats meow at us, but we have no heavenly idea what that means, and scientists studied it at one point. (I don’t know what was in the water in 2020, but a study about humans was published in the same year.) Cat-human interaction studies are good, and we should have more of them. Too, lost is a good game.