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Stray Is the Post-Apocalyptic Cat Game I Never Knew I Needed

Let me play this game right meow

Promotional image from Stray

Coming out of the June 2022 PlayStation State of Play, most people were buzzing about the new trailers for Street Fighter 6 and Final Fantasy XVI, or the fact that Resident Evil Village is being adapted to VR. But not me. Don’t get me wrong—those trailers all looked incredible. But I was still completely enamored with the trailer for Annapurna Interactive’s Stray. The trailer showed scenes of a cat wandering around a grimy city populated by robots. At one point, the cat hid from a menacing-looking drone by leaping into a box. I left with the very strong impression that I need this game.

According for Stray‘s page on the PlayStation website, the cat friend you will be embodying in this game is separated from his family. And because the cat in question kind of looks like one of my cats, I am even more determined to help this buddy find his way home. If this cat friend was not enough, the robots of the “cybercity” all look like the kinds of NPCs I want to exhaust the dialogue out of. Many of them have heads that look like computers from the ‘80s or ‘90s and just have a simple smiley face on them. Impeccable. I want this robot and this cat to interact and become the best of friends.

Cats and robots aside, I’d be intrigued by this game for the environments alone. It’s a bit of a cliché at this point, but there’s something about grimy, futuristic, decaying city landscapes as a video game setting. When done right, they’re deeply satisfying to explore. And if designing your environments for your cat protagonist to jump onto roofs and knock over beer bottles qualifies as “done right,” Stray has this in the bag. (Can I have the cat play with bags??)

Annapurna is an American indie developer with a very good track record—they’re behind Donut Country and Outer Wilds, for example. I’m also keeping an eye out for their game Neon White, which was teased in a presentation for the Switch over a year ago and also looks like a (very different kind of) banger. However, Stray was developed by a subsection of Annapurna, BlueTwelve Studio, who are “a small team from south of France mostly made of cats and a handful of humans.” Stray was first teased in 2020, but the State of Play was the first time it got a release date. And it comes out relatively soon, thank the Cat God: July 19 on PS4, PS5, and Steam. I cannot believe how excited I am for this post-apocalyptic cat-and-robot game.

(featured image: Annapurna Interactive)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.