Ruby Recommends: Stray

Ruby Recommends: Stray
Image: Ruby Innes / Kotaku Australia

Hello darlings! It’s time once again for a different kind of Ruby Recommends!

As you know, Ruby Recommends is usually my little place to tell you to watch a certain YouTube video or YouTuber, as it’s something that I love doing. Sharing interests? Yes please!

However, there was also a time where I recommended some good Steam demos to try out during Steam Next Fest. From that point, I realised that Ruby Recommends is a great opportunity for me to freely recommend anything that I’m really loving, but with a regular focus on YouTube content in most of my posts.

In saying that, I feel like my recommendation of Stray is akin to me recommending a YouTube video. And, to the best of my abilities, it will be spoiler-free.

I love the cat game very much so

Considering we’ve already got a review in the works, as well as the review from our lovely Ari, I don’t really feel it necessary to say what has already been said by many in so many words.

In saying that, I really do want to recommend Stray, in my own words, for a few reasons.

1. You can play through Stray in a couple of days, or take your time with it

stray
Screenshot: Annapurna Interactive / Kotaku Australia

I finished Stray in two days because when I picked it up, I really didn’t want to put it down. The only reason I did was because I needed to sleep.

Stray is one of those games where its average play time of 8-10 hours felt perfect for it. If it were any longer, it would probably become a bit of a drag.

However, being a little cat for a few days trying to find my way home was a perfect way to fill my time.

2. It somehow manages to take itself seriously while also being a bit silly

Ruby Recommends: Stray
Screenshot: Annapurna Interactive / Kotaku Australia

I mean, it’s hard to avoid being a little silly when you’re a cat.

The story of Stray, in terms of both the main character’s journey as well as the world around them, is actually quite sad. Perhaps it’s the claustrophobia of the city streets, but I couldn’t help but feel myself absorbed in every second of it.

You can go up to a robot and have them tell you something horribly bleak, and then proceed to nuzzle up to their leg and have a love heart pop up on their face-screen. The duality of man.

3. There’s a few random difficulty spikes that surprise you

stray
Screenshot: Annapurna Interactive / Kotaku Australia

If being a cat doing cat things and making friends with robots isn’t enough to hook you in, Stray is actually more than a walking and meowing simulator.

There are these little freaks called Zurks that want to eat you and they’re fucking gross. Not just that, but they come in absolute droves. Avoiding them can get really hard.

There were also a few puzzles I ran into that I personally would normally look up a solution for. However, once I finally figured them out, I felt like a Big Silly Dum-Dum.

4. There is a little cat who is besties with a little robot, and I think that’s beautiful

Ruby Recommends: Stray
Screenshot: Annapurna Interactive / Kotaku Australia

Every time the cat and B-12 interacted with each other, I smiled. Honestly, any time the cat interacted with anything I smiled.

Yes, I cried playing this game. However, I also giggled and smiled a lot during my time with Stray. In fact, I felt a wide host of emotions while playing Stray. It was confusing.

Not only are you a little cat, but you are in a world that almost feels made for a little cat to explore and traverse. This game just feels right.


If you are looking for a cat game with a lot of love for not only cats but also a desire to portray true cross-species connections, play Stray.

Stray is available on PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, as well as available through PlayStation Plus Extra and Deluxe.

Comments

  • Not gonna lie, I really wanted something akin to Untitled Goose Game but it does look kinda interesting for what it is.

    • I would consider it to be a very tragic and deep version of Untitled Goose Game, sans goose. You still are allowed many opportunities to be a cheeky little bugger, trust me!

  • I started this on PS+ Extra this evening. It has charm out the wazoo. Which is where charm comes from.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!