This past week, everyone in the gaming world has been obsessed with a new title that just dropped on Tuesday called Stray. Once you read the following synoposis of Stray, you might easily be able to ascertain precisely why it has my attention:

Key art for Stray.

Lost, alone and separated from family, a stray cat must untangle an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten city.

Stray is a third-person cat adventure game set amidst the detailed, neon-lit alleys of a decaying cybercity and the murky environments of its seedy underbelly. Roam surroundings high and low, defend against unforeseen threats and solve the mysteries of this unwelcoming place inhabited by curious droids and dangerous creatures.

See the world through the eyes of a cat and interact with the environment in playful ways. Be stealthy, nimble, silly, and sometimes as annoying as possible with the strange inhabitants of this mysterious world.

Along the way, the cat befriends a small flying drone, known only as B-12. With the help of this newfound companion, the duo must find a way out.

Stray is developed by BlueTwelve Studio, a small team from the south of France mostly made up of cats and a handful of humans.

Stray official website

As if I didn’t already have an affinity for story-driven narratives and dystopian cityscapes, but now you’re telling me that a CAT is the main protagonist?! How many times can I sign up? It’s like they basically developed this game FOR me.

But I’m apparently not alone! Stray has been out for less than a week as of the writing of this post and has already amassed more than 60,000 concurrent players on Steam. That’s not even taking into account the number of players that may also have purchased and played the game on PlayStation consoles, where it’s also available. People all over the world are relishing the opportunity to get their inner cat out, and I just happen to be one of them!

I haven’t been able to get my hands on the game just yet, but I’ve watched plenty of footage of other people playing it on Twitch this week and it looks beyond beautiful. The main player cat actually reminds me of my own Rufus, which is strange because Rufus is black and gray, whereas the in-game cat is orange like my Cinnamon. But the cat in Stray is smaller and leaner and has the same big eyes as he explores the world, whereas Cinnamon is a bit of a chunk. Watching the cat run around in the game makes me envision a little bit of what life may have been like had we not rescued Rufus before he and his brother were chucked out on the street. Which is a little bit hard to watch, but also makes me want to strive to complete the game and get the kitty back to his family all that much more!

What strikes me the most about the game are some of the tinier details that they put into it. The in-game cat rolls around on the ground as if paralyzed when first equipped with a harness that houses the B-12 drone like a real cat would. It takes catnaps on the warm bellies of some of the city’s friendly inhabitants. It walks across keyboards and pianos. It scratches up walls, doors, furniture, and window blinds. There’s even a dedicated button with which to make him meow! You can, without a doubt, tell that the team that made this game owned cats themselves and studied them, and used them as inspiration.

Once I acquire the game, I’ll likely be streaming my playthrough on Twitch as well. You can probably count on that happening within the next couple of weeks. If you’re interested in watching when I do, be sure you’re following me on both Twitch and Twitter so you know when I’m about to start broadcasting.

Until next time…

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