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Thursday, August 4, 2022

Stray Review: That Cat Came and Went


Short, but sweet is the easiest way to to talk about Annapurna's latest, Stray. The game has you playing as a photo-realistic cat in a dystopian future in a walled-off city with the only inhabitants being robots. They've built a robot culture, based on their former human masters and it looks very much like ours. You've got to get out of the city and that means exploring it...for a little.
What follows is a game of jumping from spot to spot as a cuddly little fur-ball for a few hours. This is immensely fun as the game captures the fast-paced nature of felines jumping on and off furniture, but in the games case, make that buildings. You parkour your little butt-off at the start.

There's some puzzles from the get go and un-like any other Zelda game learning a new technique from said puzzles doesn't pay-off. In one section you might have to knock over something to shut down a fan you need to pass. In another, you've got to dodge and light up some creepy bugs. In another, you've got to outwit some drones. None of which form as bigger puzzle later or some skill you can use later in-game. It's morel like, okay your done with that section, here's something else to try.
Not too bash the game too much. It's mostly just fun to fling your feline around the city and hit a button dedicated to Meows. The game just has spots to scratch or  just fall a sleep. The protagonist is a cat after all.

There's some emotional weight-lifting from the robot drone you befriend as well as some of the side stories of the bots who have started their own lives below.

After waiting so long, it seems the game might have gotten over-hyped in our heads. We remember seeing early footage of the game years back and thought we'd be in the world for a lot more. It's truly just a cute indie game to get lost in for a few hours and enjoy helping some robots as an adorable kitty-cat.

Wait for a sale and snag it.

Stray is out now on PS4/5 and Steam around $30
*The PS4/5 have extras such as haptic feedback for the cat in the PS5 and hearing meows out of your controller on the PS4.