Stray, the video game that cats love

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Stray , the video game cats love

In a universe à la “Cyberpunk », the game «Stray» puts players in the shoes of a cat.

The video game Stray, whose protagonist is an alley cat, has won over many people since its release in July. More surprisingly, the title also arouses the fascination of felines.

On Twitter, the Cats Watching Stray account (Cats watching Stray), which lists the craziest reactions of cats observing the adventures of the mustachioed hero, already has more than 37,000 subscribers.

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In Stray, a furry quadruped roams an underground city populated by humanoids and strange creatures. Using a drone, the tomcat must solve a series of puzzles to get back to the surface.

We made this game with a real passion for our companions, explains to Agence France-Presse (AFP) Swann Martin-Raget, producer of BlueTwelve, the French studio behind this production.

Much of the team owns a cat, and Swann Martin-Raget himself shares his home with two furry housemates, Tao and Litchi.

Top rated best outings of the year, according to a ranking of the Steam platform, and having an average of 83/100 on the review site Metacritic, Stray is available for PlayStation and PC.

< p class="e-p">If critics regret a simplistic adventure, most praise its graphic qualities, its dreamlike atmosphere and especially the satisfaction and the feeling of freedom that it gives to embody a cat.

From the dog of Dog's Life to the wild wolf of Okami passing by the goat of Goat Simulator, the games proposing to direct an animal are legion. However, until Stray, feline references were rare.

One ​​of the major development challenges, according to Swann Martin-Raget , was to create a realistic animal.

For the visual aspect, BlueTwelve was inspired by Murtaugh, a stray cat adopted by the people who co-founded the studio. And Oscar, the sphinx of one of the team members, served as the model for the animations.

Straypurrs, curls up for a nap and takes malicious pleasure in damaging the furniture. A button even makes it meow.

“You couldn't play a game with a cat without a couch to scratch on. »

— Swann Martin-Raget

On social networks, photos and videos of cats intrigued or hypnotized by the mustached hero in the screen are numerous.< /p>

Every time I play, the silhouette of his two ears blocks the bottom of the screen, says Curtis Amrein about Bebe, his short-haired companion.

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Eight-year-old Hobbes gets particularly curious when Stray's cat meows and I change the camera angle to zoom in on his face, describes his owner, Enzo Yaksic.

These reactions can be explained by the realism of the hero, according to animal behaviorist JoAnna Puzzo, of the British shelter Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, in an interview for the specialized American site Gamespot.

The game's creative heads captured many of the cat's natural social behaviors, such as grooming or group rubbing, observes the expert. They also added subtle details, such as his pupils which dilate when he is alert, his ears which fold back and his defensive posture.

The phenomenon delights the developers, who claim not to have anticipated such enthusiasm.

“When the studio cats started reacting to what was happening on our screens, we thought we were headed in the right direction.

— Swann Martin-Raget

But you never imagined so many cats would try to jump on TV, adds the BlueTwelve producer.

Another sign of the enthusiasm for Stray: fans of the game have created mods, these computer modules which allow in particular to change the appearance of the main character.

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Garfield or Marie (the Aristocats kitten) are among the options. It is also possible to transform the hero into an adorable puppy.

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