Stray is a 2022 adventure game developed by BlueTwelve Studio and published by Annapurna Interactive. The story follows a stray cat who falls into a walled city populated by robots, machines, and viruses, and sets out to return to the surface with the help of a drone companion called B-12. The game is presented through a third-person perspective. The player traverses by leaping across platforms and climbing up obstacles, and can interact with the environment to open new paths. Using B-12, they can store items found throughout the world, and hack into technology to solve puzzles necessary to progress the narrative. Throughout the game, the player must evade the antagonistic Zurks and Sentinels, both of whom will attempt to kill them.
The game’s development began in 2015, led by BlueTwelve Studio founders Colas Koola and Vivien Mermet-Guyenet, who wanted to pursue an independent project after working at Ubisoft Montpellier. They partnered with Annapurna Interactive to publish the game, known by its working title HK Project. Stray was influenced aesthetically by Kowloon Walled City, which the developers felt could be appropriately explored by a cat. The gameplay experience was specifically inspired by the developers’ cats, Murtaugh and Riggs, and the team studied several images and videos of cats for research. They found that playing as a cat led to interesting level design opportunities, though they also encountered challenges in balancing design and gameplay. The team decided to populate the world with robot characters, which further influenced the development of the narrative and backstory.
Stray was announced in 2020, and became highly anticipated. Following some delays, it was released on 19 July 2022 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Windows. It received generally positive reviews, with particular praise directed at its artistic design, cat gameplay, narrative, original score, and platforming elements; critics were divided on the combat and stealth sequences.