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Stray – How a cat took the gaming world by storm

"You're the only one small and quick enough to evade the Zurks. We need you, little Outsider. Bring us to the sky!" — Momo

Everyone’s on vacation and there are not many new video games. However, BlueTwelve Studio and Annapurna Interactive decided to release a game called Stray. Already upon its announcement, this game caught the eye of many people due to its peculiar appearance, as well as the fact that the main character is an adorable orange cat. It falls in the puzzle-adventure category and was released on the 19th of July. Since then, many famous YouTubers and streamers have since played the game and it has received overwhelmingly good ratings. So, what’s so special about it?

Stray – Main Premise

Stray will take you on a post-apocalyptic journey, an adventure where one moment you are playing with your cat family, and sooner than you know it, you will be in a dark street whose gloom is only broken by the occasional neon advertisement. Alone and lost in that unfamiliar environment, you try to find your way to your family.

The gameplay

Our nameless hero is a very ordinary cat, but that’s what makes him a very interesting choice for the protagonist. You don’t have any special abilities other than running, jumping, and meowing. However, the meowing ability is really interesting. It has its own dedicated button and when you press it – the environment reacts to your meow. Sometimes it’s just a casual glance from a harmless passerby, while in certain situations the meow results in alarming all possible enemies around you.

Jumping is a bit clumsily because you can only jump to a certain place and that is when the jump button appears on the screen. So, you can’t really jump at whatever you want, even when it seems you should be able to. That being said, the struggle with camera alignment during jumps can be a little irritating, especially when you’re running away from enemies. Fortunately, the controls can be completely customized

Another problem with the jump is the animation. Sometimes it won’t seem as fluid as it should be. That is quite contradictory considering how well the entire game feels and looks.

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Things that made Stray feel special

It is no secret that people love Stray and that is for a good reason! The game has added a lot of interesting details that make the game feel different. For example, you can sharpen your claws on carpets, walls, or doors! If you’re feeling a little more naughty you’ll be delighted to know that you can push and knock down almost anything in your path. As with any real cat, sleep is an integral part of life and Stray offers an achievement if you sleep enough during your gameplay!

Characters in the game

Stray is full of distinctive characters, from those more important to the main story to those completely secondary. The characters are robots, but they think, dress, speak and act like humans. Therefore, you will be able to find them slacking off at work due to a hangover, drinking in a nightclub, or knitting sweaters for other robots. You can expect good dialogue and wacky jokes, from those related to quests to those that you might not notice if you don’t explore the environment well.

You’re probably wondering how can an ordinary cat communicates with robots. This is where our protagonist’s sidekick, a tiny drone named B-12, enters the scene. While not hiding in the mitten on the cat’s back, B-12 will translate what other characters are saying, illuminate dark areas, or serve as a backpack. B-12 stands side by side with our cat and is almost as important in this story. One would not succeed without the other, but together they become something more than the heroes of this story.

The hidden story of Stray

In addition to the main premise, which is the return of a cat to its family, Stray also tells the story of the disappearance of humanity through the collection of memory fragments in the environment itself.

In the open areas of the city, you can explore, collect certain things, talk to other characters, etc. There, the emphasis is on vertical movement. Linear areas where you solve not-so-difficult puzzles or run away from enemies are more action-focused than casual sightseeing.

The graphics

As for the appearance itself, Stray looks wonderful. The level of detail that gives this world a note of uniqueness and charisma is visible at almost every step. The stunning design of narrow dark alleys and the colorful neon lights that flow through the smog are just some of the things that make Stray recognizable and special. The attention paid to the visual and character details of the characters is noticeable everywhere you turn.

Closing thoughts

This little kitty should entertain you for about 6 to 10 hours, it all depends on how thoroughly you dedicate yourself to exploring the world around you and how interested you are in collecting various things. This is a relatively short game, which in this case is a good thing: the developers didn’t draw out the story unnecessarily, nor cluttered it with boring or tedious content.

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Part time Web Designer and amateur muscian/artist. Plus a contributor at BIZZNERD
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