stray with straying
picture 1 From 4
Meow Parlor always has a rotating staff of adoptable adult cats and kittens, but we had the latter influx for the event — and they don’t care that I’m there to play Stray for the first time, after which the game was released on July 19 for PS5 and PC. After Zazu falls asleep on my lap, another cat cafe-patron shakes his gnome and wakes up with a start, running away before I have a chance to say goodbye. Annapurna’s rep hands me a DualSense controller, but I don’t even get a chance to hit the start button before another cat quickly climbs into my lap, his hind legs dangling away from me, and I have to put his little feet in one of my hands to keep him from falling over. This is Charlie, and he loves to sleep, falling into the REM cycle faster than Zazu did.
It’s clear that all of these little kittens want attention. If my hands were occupied with a controller, they wouldn’t have pets, so they would quickly meow frustratingly or rub them whenever I tried to focus on the stray. After realizing that I wanted to pet more cats, I handed the console to someone else in the café, hoping they would be better interested in the game and I could play via osmosis. I help them solve some puzzles, mindlessly rocking Charlie in my arms before I realize this is the perfect opportunity to get Cats watching stray (Opens in a new tab) Moment. I ask the person playing to press the circle on the DualSense controller (making the stray cat meow as much as it wants), hoping the cats will react. But apparently, when your whole day is filled with muesies, hissing, and giddy games, you’re a little insensitive to cat sounds, because not a single one of them even blinks in a gingerbread cat.
However, they are incredibly concerned about the dangling DualSense USB cord that I unplugged from the console and left it wrong hanging on the side of the counter. When I get the chance to play again, I’m in the middle of a dead city level trying to escape from the zorx when I notice the kittens swinging around the USB cord excitedly, worrying they’ll pull the PS5 off the rather high counter. Zurks quickly confuses me, and I have to restart the section.
picture 1 From 4
This might be the best possible way to play Stray. After all, it is a fairly short and compact game that you can easily beat in a day if you are not looking to complete the game and get all the stray badges or all Stray laptops. But when you’re surrounded by more than a dozen cats and kittens purring, hopping, sleeping, or otherwise cuddly, it’s hard to make any progress. It just means that you can enjoy it for a longer time And the You can enjoy it while you are buried in a pile of kittens.
If I’m being honest, I can’t even make it to the third level, The Flat, during my stray game. I’m just too damn distracted by cats. Two black cats I discovered in the middle of my session actually had very faint streaks – something I’ve never seen on a black cat before. There’s a mama cat who won’t stop angrily at the person closest to the door, who the Miao Parlor employee told me housed her food. There is an older ginger cat that I didn’t even notice until I was getting ready to leave, as she was sleeping inside one of the end tables that doubled as a cat bed the entire time. At one point, Bella the black cat managed to get her paws on a stray pin that Annapurna was offering to attend for free. This quickly became her favorite toy, as she smacked her around gleefully, clearly startled by the plastic rattle she made while sliding on the floor. Soon several other cats were chasing the pin with her, but their joy was interrupted by an eagle-eyed employee who realized that the pin was probably not a good toy for kittens.
But when I or others in attendance actually get some playtime, it’s quite clear how much working developer Blue Twelve Studio put into Stray’s cat animation. The subtle ear click when a butterfly lands on the ear of a sleeping cat is a dead bell of Zazu’s reaction to me as he gently strokes his ear hair with my fingernails. The way the cats in the opening scene treat each other looks exactly like how two of the friendliest cats interact in a cat cafe. And Stray’s cat sounds could just be background noise in Meow Parlor, from the questionable meowing of curious to the angry hissing that escapes the protagonist’s mouth when the robot scares him.
When the team at Meow Parlor says my time is up, I groan audibly in displeasure. I have a stray and three rescue cats in the house, but playing in a little space full of kittens is so magical I don’t want to leave. As I gather my belongings, I am startled by a cat’s head emerging from an egg-shaped bed on the table next to the stray setting. The little spinster was sleeping there the whole time, and I had no idea. I give her a small chin and let out a series of inconsequential cooing sounds before I reluctantly leave. I’m not sure any other gaming experience could beat Stray in a cat cafe, and I’m also not sure if you’ve seen such realistic depiction of an animal in video games yet. Stray is a love letter to cat lovers, and Stray at the cat cafe is how she got the nirvana.
Where is Stray on our list best cat games?