Stray and its little-cat-that-could is winning over literally everyone, even on PC, where it’s struggled a bit in the performance category. According to Steam250.com’s 2022 rankings, the game’s glowing Steam user reviews now place it above the year’s previous best-reviewed games, including the critically acclaimed Steam release of 2018’s big daddy simulator God Of War and quirky-yet-celebrated titles like PowerWash Simulator and Teardown. It’s a feline frenzy! (I’m sorry).
Stray, the debut title from French developer BlueTwelve Studio and LA-based publisher Annapurna, has been infectiously popular with humans and cats alike ever since its first reveal in 2020 (development started way back in 2015). You play as an unnamed cat, accompanied by a friendly robot drone, trotting and cantering around a walled, cyberpunk-styled city in some distant future when humans have been replaced by robots with TVs for heads. The game was released to widespread adoration last week on PlayStation and PC.
BlueTwelve’s narrative cat-simulator experience was almost certainly guaranteed to win in the “cute department,” but it’s coming for the big boys, too. As spotted on Reddit a few days ago, Stray’s now the most well-regarded game of 2022 based on Steam user reviews, having just cemented its victory by edging out Sony titan God of War, which had until now been the best-reviewed Steam game of the year.
Stray has not been without criticism over certain aspects of gameplay, and even invites some critical perspective concerning its more historically appropriative elements.
That said, it’s not hard to see why it’s been so popular. Though a touch short in length, as noted by Kotaku staff writer Ari Notis in his review of the game, the feline fetch quests of BlueTwelve’s first title are set in some undeniably wonderful environments, filled with delicious opportunities to role-play as domestica cattus. The game is inspiring more than a few kind-of-disturbing mods, and is summoning the best players out there to speedrun through the game without taking a single point of damage.