The newest offering from one of the most innovative gaming studios in the world looks like it will also be the cutest. Annapurna Interactive, the indie publisher behind critic and player favorite games like What Remains of Edith Finch, Kentucky Route Zero, and Outer Wilds has a new game coming out on July 19th: Stray. The game looks cool but when I saw the game’s protagonist, I knew I would do anything for them.

So brave.

I’m a new cat owner myself, I adopted two lil’ strays earlier this year and I am ALL IN on cats now. My home is littered with cat toys and accessories. I have leashes, toothbrushes, scratching posts, and most importantly, a vehement, newfound need to protect all felines. When the preview for this game dropped during June 2022’s Sony State of Play, I gasped. 

What is this brave kitteh doing roaming around a gritty, possibly post apocalyptic city? Why are there so many robots but no visible humans? What the heck is a “Cat Badge” and how can I collect all of them? The preview was certainly intriguing and with Annapurna’s excellent track record, Stray will surely be worth at least one play through. 

Gotta catch 'em all, whatever they are.

I watched in breathless delight as this smol orange beast navigated a grungy city, hopping daintily over obstacles and through scary looking passageways. When a drone bot started shooting laser bolts at the cat, I gasped again. How DARE you? Do not touch a single, precious whisker on that cat or I will reach through the monitor and rip your little drone wings right off you. 

Run Marmalade!

It’s an interesting premise, having a protagonist that doesn’t talk or display emotion in the same way a human does. At the same time, having a cute animal as your lead is a surefire way for the player to form an instant emotional connection. On top of that, having a silent protagonist allows players to more easily map their own psyches and experiences onto the character. 

The game will probably be really good and innovative, it's the freshman game from the team at BlueTwelve Studio and is being published by Annapurna Interactive. But even if it gets a 2.6 on Metacritic and turns into a bigger flop than Cyberpunk 2077, I’ll still play the heck out of it just to spend more time with my fuzzy friend. Who I am going to name Marmalade. 

Someone alert r/teefies immediately.

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