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Stray: The New Cat-Based Video Game Causing a Major Stir

Many people love nothing more than kicking back and playing video games to relax after a long day at work. Many people fire up YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok and get their fill of laughter-inducing cat videos. So why has nobody ever combined the two and created a cat-based video game? Oh, but they have, and it has taken the video game world by storm.

BlueTwelve Studio was not a name that even the most die-hard video game fans were aware of until recently. Founders Colas "Koola" Koola and Vivien "Viv" Mermet-Guyenet previously worked for Ubisoft Montpellier but began working on Stray in 2015 because they wanted to work on independent projects. The game was initially known as HK Project before settling on the Stray name in 2016. Gamers enjoyed their first glimpse of Stray when BlueTwelve Studio released some in-game footage on Twitter, which prompted Annapurna Interactive to approach the company and offer to become the game's publisher. Annapurna Interactive saw something in the project and knew players would use their online sportsbook bonuses to bet on Stray winning the coveted Game of the Year Award.

What Is The Concept of Stray?

The developers drew inspiration for Stray from the founders' cats, Murtaugh and Riggs, and the studio's in-house cats, Jun and Oscar. Murtaugh is a former stray cat found in the developers' city of Montpellier and is the main inspiration for the game's protagonist. BlueTwelve Studio set about creating a game that was a love letter to their beloved cats, opting for exciting gameplay over total realism. It is fair to say they achieved their goal and then some.

Stray is set in a futuristic cyberpunk world, a setting that is frequently seen in the gaming world. However, the player takes control of an everyday, run-of-the-mill cat. The cat does not have special powers; it is just a cat, which makes Stray so special. Cat owners the world over often wonder what their beloved puss gets up to when they let them out into the backyard. Now they know, thanks to Stray. OK, maybe their cat does not get lost in a cyberpunk world and struggles to find its way home, but Stray puts you in control of a typical house cat embarking on an adventure.

The game's animators deserve much applause for capturing exactly how a cat walks, runs, sits, and jumps. Everything is fluid and, for want of a better term, cat-like. You can make your cat meow, and it sounds through the PlayStation 5 speaker. Indeed, meowing is not only possible but encouraged by the fact there is a trophy for anyone who meows at least 100 times. Honestly, play Stray and try not to meow; that would be more of a challenge!

Stray is a simple, easy, yet remarkably fun title that everyone of all ages can play. There are some simple platforming puzzles along the way to keep the game from simply being a walking simulator, but part of the beauty of Stray is its simplicity. The game is sort, with an estimated length of only five hours – there is a trophy for finishing the game in two hours – but those five hours are a complete joy.

Gaming Community Loves Stray

Stray was penciled in to launch in October 2021, but BlueTwelve Studio and Annapurna Interactive dotted the i's and crossed the t's quicker than expected, so they launched the game on July 19. The game is available for $29.99 on the PlayStation Store and Steam. However, it is free to subscribers to the Extra and Premier tiers of the PlayStation Plus subscription service.

Almost 63,000 concurrent players were enjoying Stray on PC shortly after launch, according to Steam. This makes Stray Annapurna Interactive's most successful launch ever; its previous best was 8,021 players for the game Twelve Minutes. The game's official Twitch channel now boasts more than 37,000 followers!

Reviews are mostly positive, with players loving the writing despite there not being a single line of spoken dialogue in the entire game. Stray is fantastic, perhaps purr-fect, even if you are not the biggest fan of our feline friends.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies.