Stray – A Short Masterpiece (Game Review)

Stray - A Short Masterpiece (Game Review)

James Green, Journalist

Stray, rated E10+ by the ESRB and released in 2022 by Annapurna Interactive, is a game where you, a small cat, fall into a forgotten cyber-city in a world where the sun is widely regarded as a fairy tale and robots are all that was left behind by humanity. There you must escape the city and get back to the surface. The game was well-received upon release with an 8/10 on IGN an 82 on PCGamer and an 83 on Metacritic. Reviewers praised it for allowing you to experience the simple pleasures of being a cute cat in a dark but hopeful cyberpunk world.



I found the game to be very endearing and atmospheric, with the outer edges of the world like the sewers and the apartments being very dark, dreary, and hopeless, being genuinely spooky at times. Inhabited areas like the slums and Midtown were bright, with hopeful, likable characters that, despite only having a little time to shine, feel 3-dimensional in their struggles. The gameplay, at times, didn’t feel very interactive, like at the start of the game when it mainly consists of pressing A at a specific point to jump on top of an object, but later on, genuine puzzles are introduced to make the game much more enjoyable. My favorite part of the game though, was easily how the developers were very clearly able to fit in so many little fun jokes and things that cats just do, like how when you get a little backpack to hold your robot friend B- 12, the catwalks around slowly and weirdly for a little bit, just like my cats have done when similar things were tried.



Overall this game is a ton of fun, the greatest criticism I have is the length of the game, which is only 5 or so hours if you just go through without completely going after quests and side missions, but it’s an extremely charming and fun game which left an impact even with its short length.




The screenshot was taken by James Green, which is a picture of the cat in a bucket moving through the city.


Sources: IGN Stray Review

                Stray on Metacritic

                Stray on PCGamer