My dreams of enjoying a post-apocalyptic world with a cat are finally coming true. Annapurna Interactive is debuting a game called Stray to PS5 that combines my two favorite genres into a purrrfectly beautiful game. Cats and the apocalypse are like peanut butter and chocolate. It’s an a-meowzing combination that you might not imagine, but it makes so much sense. I CANNOT WAIT to play this. I really can’t wait. I’ve been preparing for this since I wrote my Cat Bugout Bag article.
STRAY Looks Beautiful, with a Mesmerizing Story
First, the teaser trailer. Try to tell me that you aren’t mesmerized right away.
This world is rich, beautiful, and oh-so-detailed. Something happened and the humans are all gone. Only robots remain. See the RIP humans sign below and the cat sitting right in front of it? I have to wonder if the robots drew that sign themselves.
Here, we see graffiti that reads “No Escape” as robots live on the streets and our hero cat walks by.
Sometimes he has on a backpack/harness of some type. It’s interesting because in that first scene (below) it looks like there’s a human there. Hmmm. But everywhere else he goes after that, we only see robots.
The scenes in the trailer are just so beautiful, with a cyberpunk feel.
And so much loving detail went into creating our hero cat.
The description reads: “Lost, alone, and separated from family, a stray cat must untangle an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten cybercity and find the way home.”
The game is coming to both PS5 and PC in 2021. It’s a long wait, but I bet it will be worth the wait.
The game is developed by BlueTwelve Studio and published by Annapurna Interactive.
Here’s a longer description from SteamPowered:
Lost, alone, and separated from family, a stray cat must untangle an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten city.
Stray is a third-person cat adventure game set amidst the detailed neon-lit alleys of a decaying cybercity and the murky environments of its seedy underbelly. Roam surroundings high and low, defend against unforeseen threats and solve the mysteries of this unwelcoming place inhabited by nothing but unassuming droids and dangerous creatures.
See the world through the eyes of a stray and interact with the environment in playful ways. Be stealthy, nimble, silly, and sometimes as annoying as possible with the strange inhabitants of this foreign world.
Along the way, the cat befriends a small flying drone, known only as B12. With the help of this newfound companion, the duo try to find a way out.
Stray is developed by BlueTwelve Studio, a small team from south of France mostly made of cats and a handful of humans.”
The trailer debuted at Sony’s Future of Gaming Show on June 11, and the game was first funded in April 2017. Before that, they were just a crew of two plus their cats, according to their blog. They’ve come a long way in three years. Back in 2016, they shared some of their early work on cat behavior, and the video is amazing.
We’ll get to actually play the stray cat as we handle threats and solve mysteries. PlayStation Blog provides a little more information, sharing that that game was formerly called HK_Project. Viv, the Creative and Game Director for BlueTwelve Studio, wrote about the game’s development. Viv said the goal is to create a unique experience playing a cat, and they’re inspired by their cats Murtaugh and Riggs. Viv wrote: “Most of the team are cat owners as well, giving us all a lot of helpful first-hand references. Cats are always so playful, cute and lovingly annoying that it’s an endless stream of gameplay ideas for us.”
Playing from a cat’s point of view feels really fresh, Viv said, and the inhabitants are often not even aware that you’re there. It sounds wonderful.
I Love Cats in the Apocalypse
Now, this isn’t technically the first time that cats have been featured in some form in the apocalypse. One of my personal favorites is Skidmark on Fear the Walking Dead. I cheered every time he was on the screen.
The game also reminds me a little of another game in development that I’ve been following on Facebook called Peace Island. This is an open-world adventure game about cats. Here you’re also solving a mystery, but it involves a group of cats on an island town on the coast of Maine. The description reads: “Welcome to Peace Island! A quaint little island town off the coast of Maine. Join in the quest with a group of local cats in this open world adventure to discover the whereabouts of the missing humans.”
You can support Peace Island on Patreon. They recently shared a development chat video that we’re sharing below:
Because humans are missing in this game too, it has a bit of an apocalyptic feel too, although not as distinct as STRAY. The developer for Peace Island, Eric Blumrich, talked a bit about STRAY in the video above and said: “More cat games the better!” He said that he didn’t believe his game was ripped off, they just had a concurrent idea. Blumrich said that his game’s world and play mode looks like it’s going to be very different from STRAY. It sounds like we’re going to have two great cat games to enjoy soon. STRAY is city-based with robots, while Peace Island takes place on a coast. They’re very different experiences.
Here’s the Kickstarter video for Peace Island:
I’m so excited about both games and plan to play both of them.
The post-apocalyptic genre needs more cats, and we finally get to experience them. I can’t wait for STRAY. It looks beautiful.
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