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Stray

Summary

 

Stray is a solo adventure puzzle-solving game where players control an adorable cat who gets separated from their friends. Throughout this game, you travel around a futuristic city filled with robots after a plague wiped out all the humans. Stray is rated PG (parental guidance recommended), but we would say that this game can safely be enjoyed by ages 7+. The only thing to be aware of is that at the beginning of the game, it can be quite distressing as there are scenes of the cat getting injured. If your kid is younger or sensitive to viewing these kinds of things, you may want to play for them in the beginning and get the “The Flat” area (shown in the picture below) which is after the big chase sequence, then from here, they are good to go.



Stray can be played on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC through the developer Steam. This game is all about solving puzzles and talking to friendly robots to find out what happens in the story, all while avoiding the enemies that make the journey even more intense. So make sure you're ready for one heck of a crazy, fluffy adventure!



Gameplay

 

Stray offers a unique and captivating experience where players control a stray cat navigating a futuristic city filled with secrets and challenges. Playing as the cat provides a fresh perspective, utilizing sharp senses and agility to explore complex landscapes. The controls are user-friendly, emphasizing the cat's nimbleness as it jumps across roofs, navigates tight spaces, and interacts with the environment. The game seamlessly blends stealth, puzzle-solving, and adventure, distinguishing it from others. Stray can be completed in around 5 hours from start to finish, but players who want to complete all the little challenges throughout the game to get 100% completion may spend over 10 hours on the game. While replayability may be limited (as once you finish the story the story stays the same the next time you play), the fun and exciting storyline makes up for it.



One thing that makes Stray stand out is how well it handles small details. The people who made the game went the extra mile and motion-captured REAL CATS in action to make sure that the main cat character was as lifelike as possible. This dedication to realism makes the experience of the game better overall and lets players connect with their virtual feline friends. The game also has optional side quests like collecting memories, finding music sheets, and finding secret scratching spots which all add depth to the experience making it more fun to explore and get involved. What really makes Stray unique is how much it focuses on nonverbal communication and telling stories through the surroundings. The story of the game is told through visuals and environmental cues instead of standard dialogue. This helps players feel more connected to the mysterious virtual world. Also, with an autosave feature, players can take their time to play the game and come back where they left off.


 

Education


In Stray, players have to find their way through a world that is full of challenges, puzzles, and things that get in their way. Players must figure out how to get past different obstacles and move forward in the story using little to no hints which helps promote problem-solving and critical thinking. This can help to improve players' cognitive skills, logical reasoning, and ability to think tactically by figuring out clues and navigating difficult environments. These parts of problem-solving make learning and problem-solving more interesting and fun in places other than standard schools.


 

The environments and scenery in the game are very detailed and make it fun to learn about the exploring and movement during the game. As players guide their cat, they will come across a variety of settings and obstacles, each with its difficulties and surprises. Your cat can jump over the buildings to get to places or knock down paint cans to open new pathways. The game subtly encourages exploration as a way to learn by giving players the chance to find hidden secrets and see how everything in the game world is linked. This reinforces how important it is to be curious and pay attention.

 

Violence/ Adult Themes

 

Stray creates an immersive experience by using a dark and moody tone which sets the stage for an interesting but eerie journey. The spooky atmosphere of the game is highlighted by the subtle tense and scary music that builds suspense and makes the gameplay even more exciting. The settings were carefully designed to add to the game's mysterious feel, putting players in a world that is both intriguing and mysterious. It’s important to be aware though that if the music and effect sounds are a bit too much for your kid, the music and effects volume can be turned down in the settings menu at any time during the game. Stray also doesn't shy away from making you feel things through touching and sometimes sad scenes which adds to the depth of the story. These elements make for a game experience that stays with players long after they put down the controller but may be a bit too much for younger or more sensitive players.


 

While the game may have an overall dark mood, one important thing to keep in mind is that Stray doesn't use blood or gore, and the story is pretty mild overall. The cat DOES GET HURT at some points in the story, which may make players feel upset and worried. You will see cut scenes of the cat falling and limping which can be upsetting. This scene is near the beginning of the game and you cannot skip it. Also, the cat can die during the game if attacked by enemies which is either little Zurks jumping on the cat, or laser being shot by drones. While it may sound bad, when the cat ‘dies’ you just see the cat fall to the ground and the screen will go red. Again, no blood and no gore. There is also an option in the settings to turn off the cat's death so that instead you just see the red screen telling you that your cat has died. While it may sound upsetting, only the cut scenes are the upsetting part, the gameplay deaths are not as detailed.


 

Monetization

 

Stray allows players to fully experience the game for a one-time fee of $40 to $50. There are no hidden fees or ongoing charges after the purchase. For about $10 to $15 extra, you can also buy the original soundtrack for people who want to continue to enjoy the music even once they have stopped playing the game. The only in-game currency is energy drinks used as a special currency that players find throughout the game. These energy drinks are useful for both the main story and extra side quests and there are only about 4 of them so you need to look carefully to find them. Other than this, Stray puts more of a focus on letting people enjoy the story of the game rather than putting in monetary obstacles.


 

Safety


Stray is a game that's perfect for kids because it's a solo adventure without any of the online stuff. That means no chatting with strangers online, adding or playing with people online, or clicking on links that take you to different websites or chat apps. It's like a cozy and safe digital world just for them. In a time where online games can be tricky and complicated, Stray makes sure everyone is safe while playing. It's a simple and secure gaming experience, giving families peace of mind.



Tips and Tricks

 

Follow the signs… no literally. Throughout Stray, you can see lit-up signs, yellow items, and clear messages literally lighting up your path and where you need to go. It can be quite easy to get lost in this big foreign world, but this game also makes it clear where you need to go.


 

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