Updated: Dec 9, 2022
The world’s greatest game from the POV of a cat in a post-apocalyptic world where all known humans have been exterminated.
Let’s get this out of the way first. I’m sure, like me, as soon as you saw “you can play as a cat” you threw your money at your screen and immediately bought it. But Stray is a more than a #cat game. Stray is a journey. And to properly lead you into that journey we may uncover a few very minor spoilers. So, if you want to avoid any spoilers, TL:DR. This is a Must Play. No doubt about it.
As stated before, Stray is an adventure game where you play as a cat in a post-apocalyptic world where all known humans have been wiped out. Your cat lived outside the walls of a human city that was totally enclosed in a dome due to a… let’s say…. an advanced, man-made, biological entity that wiped out human life. Through a series of unfortunate events, your cat must make its way through the city to return to the outside world, where the rest of your cat buddies await you.
Aside from your cat, the inhabitants still remaining in the city are sentient robots who were once the assistants to the humans. After the humans were wiped out, they continued living in a manner similar to their creators. Some of them, started businesses, some started religions, some of them made sweaters out of wires. You know, normal human things. Their life span is unknown, of course as their parts can wear out or become broken beyond repair. However, with proper upkeep, who knows how long they can live. These robots only know life within the confines of the dome. Some wish to leave the dome as they have heard tales of the world outside, but there are warnings that the entities that removed the humans have also evolved to be able to destroy metal. So, many are scared to leave the city. Not to mention, none of them have ever seen the outside world, so many are afraid that it has already been destroyed and turned into a wasteland unfit for any life.
Your journey through the city is anything but safe. You hop, skip, and meow your way through #puzzles only fit for a cat who is being controlled by a human playing a video game. Which kind of takes me out of it a little bit. If I were to recreate the puzzles in real life for my cat, Pixel, he would look at me like I’m crazy, bite my leg, and then take a nap on my favorite spot on the couch. But if you can suspend your beliefs for the 6 or so hours it takes to finish the game, then the puzzles are great. It requires you to think, albeit sometimes to think like a cat.
Shortly into your first exploration of this dilapidated city, you find your forever companion in the game. A little drone buddy who immediately puts a backpack/harness on you so he can ride on your back. In classic cat fashion, you have some immediate protests to wearing the equipment, although you do get over it quickly (unlike Pixel who refuses to wear the harness I bought for him so I can take him on walks). You cannot understand robot speak, but luckily he speaks cat! So, he acts as your translator as you go through the city. Throughout your journey, you meet and learn the stories of the inhabitants. You help them with tasks, and they reward you by helping you continue your quest through the city. Much of the city is infested with biological enemies remnant of the creatures that took out humanity, so many times you are sprinting through these infested areas to work your way to the next section.
The city and the areas you visit are beautiful, well crafted, and perfect for a cat to climb on, scratch up, and knock everything down to be a general nuisance. The models are well crafted, the world is filled with “life”, everything looks like it has a purpose, which, most of it does. The cat moves like a cat and the robots like… well... robots. The team at BlueTwelve Studio did an amazing job with this game. The #story is in depth, meaningful, and is worth listening to. The puzzles aren’t too tough to turn people away, but fun enough to keep you entertained. Stray is easily worth the $30 price tag and in my opinion, worth waay more.
Our rating: MUST PLAY!
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