Stray review: Explore a forgotten City as the cutest cat

Stray is a wholesome game to play with an unexpected emotional twist

Stray review: Explore a forgotten City as the cutest cat
(Image: © Annapurna Interactive)

Laptop Mag Verdict

Stray is a truly emotional and fun puzzle experience for anyone out there that loves cats (so everyone).


  • +

    Beautiful visuals

  • +

    Fun gameplay

  • +

    Amazing concept

  • +

    Charming story


  • -

    Some glitches and bugs

  • -

    Small maps with short gameplay

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Do you ever just stare at your little furry friend and wonder what it’s like to be them for a day? Stray does a perfect job of capturing the life and attitude of a cat while also bringing the player into an immersive world they never expected.

Stray pulled me into a bright neon, broken city jam-packed with side quests and puzzles that truly encompass the lifestyle of a cat. The puzzles and missions were challenging, leaving me stuck to ponder or restart certain things. The mini-missions are so hard to find and fully complete, which is frustrating because by the time you get to the end, you’ll see why you want to complete them all (it’s still going to take me a couple of re-tries to collect everything).

Unfortunately, Stray did start off a little laggy and blotchy, but don’t let that fool you. The graphics improve later on in the game. However, what Stray does best is display its take on a dystopian future. It’s so immersive that you’ll be rushing to the end of it, waiting for the big reveal as you wade through the abundance of plants, neon signs, decayed buildings, and endless garbage. Stray is easily one of the best PS5 games and best PC games to play.

What is Stray all about?

Stray is a third-person puzzle game. You experience the tragic tale of a stray kitty who plummets into the depths of an abandoned world where only droids are left. It’s there that you can interact with your environment in a playful kitty-like way to try and find a way “Outside.” In the process of trying to find a way out, you help a small group known as the “Outsiders” with their quest to try and escape their broken cities.

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

When I say a “playful kitty-like way,” I genuinely mean it. While completing some quests and puzzles that you receive from your new cyber townsfolk, your exploration around town is full of cat-like opportunities to take part in. Cat toys, napping spots, and the most perfect places to scratch can be found all around the city, among many other cute opportunities. Don’t forget to interact with the environment too, because in the midst of your exploration, Stray leaves some pretty funny achievements to be unlocked (like dunking a basketball in a trash can). 

To help you with your journey, you carry around a little droid with you in a small backpack. It becomes your job to help the little droid named B-12 find their memories (aka the mini-mission within the bigger missions) all the while they help you translate the cyber-dialect, hold items, provide lighting, do a little hacking, kill some baddies and keep you on track with your missions.

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Stray doesn’t come without its enemies either. All of your newly found droid friends gave up hope of returning to the outside world from the slums in which they live. But danger is right around the corner from them. Living gated outside of their community are these little virus-beings known as Zurks, who suck the life out of anything and everything. So while doing small missions in town, you also help the droids by running through Zurk-infested alleyways to solve the bigger missions. 

There are a number of small areas in Stray for your cat to hang around in, and there is a handful of content for you to participate in outside of the main story. This could include the side quests you’re sent on to acquire certain items and materials for people (some of which aren’t really story related). 

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

The mini-missions refer to finding all of the memories for B-12, which are located in every area after acquiring B-12. Stray also doesn’t make it super easy for you; you do not, I repeat, do not get to return to certain checkpoints. Once you leave an area, there’s no going back. Don’t worry though, your droid friends will tell you when that’s the case. 

Emotional damage

I had an emotional attachment to my new little kitty friend. Back in April of this year, I lost my best furry friend of 20 years and I’ve been an emotional wreck without him. Though I do wish Stray gave you the opportunity to choose the type of kitty you can play as, the game still brings me comfort all while enjoying the exploration of my vivid surroundings and broken cities.

I wish the story was a little longer. The first city was great, as it was filled with so many quests and adventures, but as the story went on each city got smaller and less interactive. Otherwise I was enthralled in the game. It made me feel so many emotions during the kitty’s adventure, which included me bawling like a baby at the end. 

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

I only ran into a few small problems when it came to gameplay, which included a droid being invisible, stuck in one spot, with levitating clothes. The next issue I had was in the second map, where the world disappeared and I nearly fell through the map. Thankfully, it only dropped me to the first floor of the map. I also ran into an issue of not being able to speak to anyone, and although there is a reason as to why you can’t at first, I couldn’t speak to any droids after that was resolved. 

Bottom line

Stray takes you into the life of a cat who’s forced to explore many broken cities, all while befriending different droids and helping them in their own adventures. You’ll experience wholesome moments, action-packed adventures, stealth break-out missions, and an overall emotional story. 

I 100% would recommend this game to those who love their little furry companions. The joys of being a cat and roaming around reeking some havoc is adorable. Just because this game is about a cat doesn’t mean it has a super easy gameplay to it. You’ll be forced to find your own way through the cities and figure out most of the clues and memory locations on your own. 

I’m totally down for a second game BlueTwelve Studio, show me what the outside is like!