Stray is a 2022 adventure video game created by BlueTwelve Studio and published by Annapurna Interactive. The story depict a stray cat who falls into a walled city populated by robots, machines, and viruses, and sets out with the help of a drone companion B-12 to go back to the surface.
The game is designed through a third-person perspective. The player traverses by leaping across platforms and climbing up obstacles, and can interact with the environment to open new paths. Using B-12, they can store items found throughout the world, and hack into technology to solve puzzles necessary to progress the narrative.
Throughout the game, the player must evade the antagonistic Zurks and Sentinels, both of whom will attempt to kill them.
The game’s development began in 2015, led by BlueTwelve Studio founders Colas Koola and Vivien Mermet-Guyenet, who wanted to pursue an independent project after working at Ubisoft Montpellier.
They partnered with Annapurna Interactive to publish the game, known by its working title HK Project. Stray was influenced aesthetically by Kowloon Walled City, which the developers felt could be appropriately explored by a cat.
The gameplay experience was specifically inspired by the developers’ cats, Murtaugh and Riggs, and the team studied several images and videos of cats for research. They found that playing as a cat led to interesting level design opportunities, though they also encountered challenges in balances design and gameplay.
The team decided to populate the world with robot characters, which further influenced the development of the narrative and backstory.Stray was announced in 2020, and became highly anticipated.
Following some delays, it was released on 19 July 2022 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Windows. It received generally positive reviews, with particular praise directed at its artistic design, cat gameplay, narrative, original score, and platforming elements; critics were divided on the combat and stealth sequences.
After releasing a teaser trailer in 2020 and more gameplay videos last year, we can’t wait to finally play. According to the game’s website, Stray takes place in the seedy underbelly of a decaying cybercity.
It instructs us to “be stealthy, nimble, silly, and sometimes as annoying as possible with the strange inhabitants of this mysterious world.” Sounds like a cat. Apparently, according to Polygon, if you meow enough in the game, you even get a “Little Chatty” trophy on Steam.
And it sounds like there are many different meow sounds our favorite cat can make. We love that for everyone.