Video Games: Five Games to Play if You’re Loving ‘Stray’
If you love video games and cats, you’re probably enjoying the heck out of Stray. But what should you play after?
Stray came out this week and this game of adventure, puzzles, and cat fancy has captured all of our kitty-loving hearts with almost universally positive reviews and reactions. Not super surprising, this is the internet after all. The game follows an orange cat who falls into a world of robots as he tries to return to his family. Along the way, players solve puzzles, traverse obstacle courses, and move through a narrative. But perhaps the best way to describe this is that it’s a game where you’re a cat. You cat along town cattily and do cat things to eventually meet your cat objective. Stray is quirky and fresh and a lot of fun and you’re going to love it. But when you finish you’ll need something else to play.
Remember Animal Crossing? When we all hid indoors from a plague and put at least a hundred hours into our virtual island towns and then virtually visited our friends’ towns that they too had put a hundred hours into? Sometimes I still think, “Oh no, I wonder how my town is doing. I hope My best friend, Cobb, hasn’t abandoned me,” and then I continue to not play. If the reason you’re into Stray is the chilled-out nature of playing a game as a cat, it may be time to bring Animal Crossing back into your life.
Untitled Goose Game
This game had a moment and then it sort of slipped away from all of our consciousnesses. But Untitled Goose Game is the perfect mix of animals, puzzle solving, and total mayhem that you may be looking for in Stray. Each game is relatively short, and when you finish you can restart to terrorize a slightly different town with slightly different puzzles to solve.
Endling – Extinction is Forever
A little bleaker than much of the rest of this list, Endling lets you play as the last mother fox on Earth. The world is harsh and unforgiving and your cubs need you to teach and care for them. This one also may hit too close to home if the threat of climate-driven disaster has had you nervous as of late. But perhaps the cute fox cubs will help you navigate those feelings. Also, like Stray, this game is brand new and earns rave reviews.
Spirit of the North
If you’re enjoying the heck out of Stray, you’ll be interested to hear that Spirit of the North is remarkably similar in a lot of respects. A game with no dialog and little narrative, it follows you, a fox, who meets the guardian of the Northern Lights and goes on an adventure to discover more about the land you live on. It’s a gorgeous game full of puzzles that let you discover more about a lost ancient civilization. But from the perspective of a red fox.
Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods is technically full of animal characters and feels very chilled out to play. But below the surface is a surprisingly relatable yet dark game. Mae is a college dropout plagued with anxiety and nightmares who returns to her hometown of Possum Springs to sleep in her parent’s attic. She meets back up with her old friends, works out old interpersonal conflicts, and accidentally gets to the bottom of the dark secret the town has been harboring for the past few years. The art style is simple but beautiful and the game itself is surprisingly short; I played the whole thing in a series of not-terribly-long plane rides. But once you finish it’s good for a re-play because the choice you make along the way changes a few things later on.
Are you playing Stray? Have you played any of these games? What’s your favorite animal-driven video game? Let us know in the comments!