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Cozy Gaming: Stray Review

A stunning game about an adorable, orange cat exploring a dystopian, cyberpunk setting.

Stray is nothing short of meow-sterpiece!


Stray game review cozy gaming

In the past, cats in video games usually took on a more cartoonish appearance whilst spurting really cringy one liners, *cough, Bubsy, cough* but BlueTwelve Studios approaches this differently with their game Stray, where you assume control of an intelligent orange tabby cat. He's very realistic in his movements and mannerisms that you genuinely feel like you are one with the cat as you follow him through various locations of what can only be described as a dank and depressing dystopian world.


Stray starts innocently enough; just four cats exploring the ruins of an abdanoned facility where natural, leafy overgrowth has consumed the man-made structures. It's beautiful. Suddenly our games adorable protagonist, slips and plummets into the dark abyss and wakes up injured and alone, in a dark, unpopulated city.

Stumbling upon a lab, the cat manages to uncover an A.I simply known as B-12 who promises to help get him back to the surface and together you embark on this adventure together; exploring dangerous, underground sewers, run down cities and highly secured buildings.


Stray Review cozy gaming

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It's an adventure game with many clever platforming and puzzle segments scattered throughout which need to be approached through the mind of an inquisitive cat- meaning you will have to climb, knock things over and even meow to progress.

Think more like a cat and less like a human!

And as they're just a cat, B-12 will be used to interact with many of the robot occupants of a human devoid city, as the cat himself cannot actually communicate with them. Despite their appearance, the robots are relatively friendly, full of character, with some actually aiding the cat and B-12's escape to the surface.


Typically the dystopian cyberpunk aesthetic doesn't usually appeal to me however whilst exploring the many back alleys and roof tops, I found myself constantly stopping to soak in my neon surroundings- no matter how cluttered or grimey they were! And these crisp graphics are matched perfectly with the disjointed music that livens up various segments of the game- whether it's the driving music when you're narrowly avoiding death by zurks (the main enemies in the game) or the subtle music that plays while you're in stealth segments.

It just fits.

Cozy gaming

Stray's only let down is the length- it's quite short, averaging around three hours. I personally would have loved more excuse to roam around however I think the reason for the game's length is probably due to story pacing.

If it was longer, would the emotions of the story really hit you as hard?


Overall, Stray is a fairly unique game. Yes, the futuristic, doom and gloom aesthetics and puzzle-platforming adventures are nothing new, however the studio's approach of introducing an innocent cat into this environment really sets this game apart from a lot of games.

If you're looking for a cozy adventure with a compelling story and stunning graphics, then Stray should definiately be on your wishlist!


Is Stray available on switch?


 

My thoughts

Instantly when I saw footage of this game, I knew that I was going to enjoy this and when I finally did get round to playing it on my partners PC- it certainly didnt disappoint.

Controlling the cat is seamless and it's very clever how the control scheme just feels right controlling a four legged creature- nothing felt out of place. It was rather cute watching the cat sleep, scratch a sofa, knock things off of a shelf or even meow constantly.


As mentioned, I'm typically not a fan of the setting however I did enjoy the many locations that I explored.

This game is a perfect staple for cozy gaming and will have you emotional- so bring some tissues and hug your fur babies tight!!!

 

DEVELOPER: BlueTwelve Studios

GENRE: Adventure

PLATFORMS: PS5/ PS4/ Steam







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