My Cat Loved the Stray Video Game as Much as I Did
I’ve always had a soft spot for stray cats. When Annapurna Interactive announced Stray, my interest was piqued. I was completely sold on the idea of a cat journeying through a cyberpunk dystopia then, and I’m pleased to say that the game did not disappoint me or my cats.
You play as a nameless adorable orange cat who lives with a group of other felines in the third-person perspective game from BlueTwelve Studio. Your days are spent doing what cats do: sleeping, playing, and exploring. When an accident separates you from your pet family, life in the sun-dappled paradise comes to an end abruptly for you.
Stray was instantly immersive; the Outside was portrayed as a calm, green, and atmospheric landscape similar to that of a Studio Ghibli film. The Outside Is a World Apart from the Stately Ugly City You End Up In. Ramshackle homes and structures are jammed together, leaving narrow, litter-strewn alleyways. From neon signs and string lights, the dimly lit building walls get a warm glow surrounded by a fog hanging in the air.
The creators expertly captured how cats move, waking up from a nap and stretching, scratching the ground before knocking items off ledges because you can. In these instances, your personality as the player may come through. Are you a sneaky cat who sneaks unnoticed or do you charge straight into battle? You have control over this.
Stray is a new adventure game hero. You’re tiny, helpless, voiceless (except for the occasional meow), and have no thumbs. These restrictions don’t stop you; instead, they necessitate some creativity. You aren’t immediately thrown to the literal wolves, either. After you wind up in the metropolis, you join forces with a tiny robot named B-12. The flying bot dresses you with a backpack full of stuff you’ve discovered.
With your digital companion on hand, the challenges in each chapter call for more planning. Be devious, intelligent, and innovative. Curiosity is rewarded in the game; sometimes these moments are lighthearted and amusing. Exploring and engaging with the environment is how you discover what to do next in the vast metropolis, whether your goal is high stakes or collecting stuff.
Stray is a one-of-a-kind video game that is far more than a vehicle for cat puns. The settings are gorgeous and teeming with characters that are simple to like. Little to no speech is used in the developers’ storytelling techniques, which offer heartfelt narrative experiences with minimal dialogue.
When I started the game with my own two cats nearby, my heart ached during the scene where the cat is torn away from his family. The notion of anything bad happening to this defenseless creature had me petrified. It’s a sign of excellent video gaming when developers turn your preconceptions on their head. It wasn’t long before I stopped being afraid for the cat’s safety. The cat was clever and resourceful. He was a badass.
Another indication of excellent design is when readers become emotionally invested in a narrative and its characters. The cat was wonderful, but I was equally interested in the robots he encountered on his journey. They had personalities, concerns, memories, and families. It was lovely to observe these weary, run-down bots encounter the cat and rediscover hope and bravery once more.
In Stray, the world is your hunting ground, and you have the feline agility to get around it. Don’t underestimate what you can accomplish as a tiny cat from far away. And don’t forget to cause a little ruckus while you’re at it.