‘Stray’ – the video game where you play as a cat – breaks the internet

'Stray' - the video game where you play as a cat - breaks the internet
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The cat is out of the bag — and probably all over your Twitter feed.

“Stray”, a new video game for Sony
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PlayStation and Microsoft
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Windows lets players explore an underground, cyberpunk city as a ginger tabby trying to get back to his family.

The $29.99 third-person platform adventure and puzzle game — from French development studio BlueTwelve and published by Annapurna Interactive — has been generating a lot of hype since it first went on sale during the 2020 PS5 reveal. (A more recent trailer, released on June 2, has already been viewed more than 1.7 million times on PlayStation’s YouTube account.)

Now the long-awaited “cat game” is here – and players and their feline friends are already obsessed.

Some mild spoilers follow: The gist of the game is that you play a lost, stray cat who wanders through an underground city inhabited by robots. The goal is to get back to the surface world where your cat friends live. Your slingshot is soon teamed up with a sentient drone called B12 (which can talk to humanoid robots for your cat character), and the two of you explore the city and discover what’s going on with all the people, solving puzzles to find your way home. along the way – at the same time avoid the hungry monsters who want to eat this cute cat almost as much as the players.

With over 363,000 tweets by Tuesday afternoon, “Stray” was near the start of the game on Twitter both Monday and Tuesday. And perhaps the most adorable early trend was players posting videos of their cats being passed around by a nameless, clawed protagonist.

Game developers BlueTwelve Studio were not immediately available for comment. But they found out PlayStation blog post They focused on making the street at the heart of the game feel as realistic as possible cats. (Except for showing cat holes, apparently.) And the finished product resonates just as well with real-life cats and their people.

Some dogs were also coming in.

The PlayStation blog post also introduced the three cats that inspired the game’s lead cat. Among them is a former abandoned orange tire named Murtaugh, which was found under a car in Montpellier, France. He now lives with the co-owners of BlueTwelve Studio. And a hairless Sphynx named Oscar was the inspiration for the master cat animator, who animates the cats by hand rather than in an animated suit to nail the subtleties of their movements as they run, pounce, scratch, scratch. grunt ”and climbs. Both cats were regular visitors to the development team’s studio. “Having real cats right under our noses throughout development has certainly been very helpful in many ways,” the blog post said.

Murtaugh, a real-life rescue cat, inspired the lead role of “Stray’s” cat.

BlueTwelve Studio

Initial reviews of the game have been largely positive—the Washington Post called it “meow-sterpiece”, and the Verge called it “One of the best games of the year.” However, some critics have said that the game is not always there “Get down on your feet” so to speak, its charm wears off quickly.

However, much of the highest praise has gone to how well the developers have captured the feeling of being a cat – the way in-game stretches, rubs against each other, scratches trees or nonchalantly knocks over glass when standing up. They go because they have a “special meow button”.

Perhaps that’s why “Stray” has become a cat for gamers to share on social media – the home of the cat meme. After all, there are millions of cat videos on YouTube, and a Google search for “cat meme” returns about 198 million results. (Actually a cat in Japan named Motimaru Last August, it broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the most viewed cats on YouTube with 619,586,260 views..)

There is even a growing body YouTube videos are focused on cats (aka “cat TV”), which features images of birds and squirrels to keep cats occupied when they’re home alone. Maybe now cat owners can also leave the Stray loading screen or open a working game guide for their fur babies.

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