I Played Stray, and Now I’ve Got Cat Scratch Fever!

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Written by @Aaron Jacobs
It’s here, and I’m calling it: It’s cat season! And with the release of Blue Twelve Studio’s Stray on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC, why shouldn’t it be? This was a game I’d been awaiting for what seemed like a mewlenium—not only because I've been waiting to write another review filled with cat puns, oh no, but because I am and always have been on team cat, of course!
(Me and My Furbaby Mao Mao traveling from China)
If you’re unaware, Stray is the highly anticipated (currently non-mobile) game where you play as a stray cat separated from its family in a long-forgotten city. And it’s AWESOME! This game let me scratch carpets and let out furrocious meows, all while avoiding killer robotic ticks that were out to suck my feline blood. I've never been so invested in helping an onscreen video game protagonist in my life. I suppose you could say it scratched a desire I had to role-play as a cat without going through the hardships of buying a costume and heading to a furry convention.
There is claw-ful news, however. An unfortunate side effect of Stray is that it gave me a case of cat scratch fever. That is to say, I had a sudden desire to see what other games could fulfill my urge to climb, scratch, and purr my way into cat game paradise. Add to that the fact that August 8 was International Cat Day, and you have the purrfect storm for a week of hiss-sterically fun cat-themed games. For the cat enthusiasts in the audience, there's no need to thank me. It was an epic journey I undertook, and it started by traveling back in time.
If you’ve read my review of Cats in Time, you know it’s one of the few games I’ve awarded five stars. This free-to-play puzzle game tasks players with finding cats by solving puzzles and riddles across 3D-rendered environments from different ages in history. It’s absolutely worth any animal lover’s time or, of course, if you're suffering from the stray cat strut like me.
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What really sets Cats in Time apart from any random good game is the real-world charitable addition to the gameplay. For every one hundred thousand cats saved in the game, developer Pine Studio has pledged to buy ten kilograms (or about twenty-two pounds) worth of cat food for the nonprofit cat rescue association Prava Šapa, which means "true paw" in Croatian. I kept Cats in Time installed on my phone for quite a while after the completion of my review. I always like to return to it, both because it's fun and because I’m doing something valuable with my time by contributing to the cause, one virtual cat rescue at a time. Still, an essential part of my Stray-inspired furvor was finding new cat games to play, which eventually took me to outer space!
Cats truly are amazing creatures. So incredible that I bet you didn't know they can create little spaceships and fish in space! However, Sailor Cats 2: Space Odyssey proves that this shocking scenario is not only possible, it’s common too! The primary mission of the game is to retrieve lost furbabies in space after a cardboard rocket exploded. It’s exactly the type of adorable plotline that the kawaii art style led me to expect.
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If you're unfamiliar with the term “kawaii,” it’s a Japanese word that means “cute.” And boy, is Sailor Cats 2: Space Odyssey kawaii. From the dozens of skins and costumes I could place on my lost kitties to the animations when feeding and grooming them, this game goes out of its way to make these sailor cats appear as adorable as possible. And honestly, it works. The art is colorful and vibrant, and the kittens have a unique enough look that collecting them feels meaningful. But this only puts me on Tuesday! I had an entire week to fill. A responsibility of claw-some proportions.
Next, I had to go with a recommendation from my colleague @JB, who reviewed Cat Museum and gave it four stars. When I finally got the chance to play it for myself, I found it was most certainly a weird one. For starters, you don't play as a cat which generated an immediate hiss reaction from me! Instead, you play as a human finding his way through a creepy museum.
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To be fair, there are cats involved in this game. Your main companion on this mission is a blue furball that offers up heartwarming meows that serve as clues, and there are plenty of cats and cat-themed relics to be found in the museum. But what I found so interesting about this game was its overall tone.
Cats and cat games are often associated with being cute and cuddly, so it's nice to see some other genres involving cats. The unsettling artistic backgrounds of Cat Museum mixed with the onscreen cats was something I’ve rarely witnessed in games, cat videos, or reality as a cat parent. It’s definitely something to try if you're looking for cats with a side of strange and unusual.
Cleansing the palate with something lighthearted, I ask a simple question: Have you ever wanted to own a cat cafe? Of course, you have! To this, I say welcome to Furistas! In Furistas Cat Cafe, this is precisely the goal of the game. Back when I lived in Shanghai, I had the opportunity to visit a few of these places, so I really wanted to grasp how running one might look, at least from a gaming perspective. In this casual game, I owned a cat cafe and was tasked with matching adopted cats with the right customer. It was quite an enjoyable experience.
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Even if you aren't a cat lover like me, the graphics here are pretty impressive and make the cats even more cuddly! The adorable virtual depictions provided added incentive to keep adopting cats. When compared to Stray or Cat Museum, Furistas was absolutely more relaxed and left me feline fine.
It helped that the gameplay itself was pretty easy to grasp. I could easily have picked up how the mechanics work here, even without the tutorial that begins the game. Adopting cats and matching with customers—it’s that simple. Some cats are playful, some are sweet, but all are lovable. Just note that this game requires internet access to play, which I found weird, because although you can level your cats, it’s not like this is some sort of MMORPG. Nevertheless, Furistas Cat Cafe managed to leave an impression and is worth any cat lover’s attention.
So, now it’s Friday, but it might as well be Caturday, because I’m still hungry for more cat-themed games. Hence, It was time to pick up some Cats & Soup.
To be clear, eating the cats is not this game’s goal. Cats & Soup is an idle game where you can just chill and watch cats make soup. You progress by buying various stations. I bought a tree for my kitties to rest at, but I also purchased a chopping station for carrots so that I could make new soups. You gain gold by selling soups; with more gold, you can buy fresh ingredients and upgrade your stations. In addition, you can purchase costumes and unlock rewards to keep you coming back for more.
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The music adds to the relaxing feel of the game, and the environment of the forest changes throughout your gameplay. Despite popular belief, cats aren't lazy! They're hard-working creatures! Nothing proves that more than watching an army of cats boil soup in heavy rain. Although there are many elements to manage in Cats & Soup, the gameplay is casual and nonaggressive. This is in stark contrast to Cat Quest, A game where dragons ravage the land and only cats can defeat them.
I couldn't go an entire seven days and not play an RPG, so this is where Cat Quest fit into my catathon week. This action-RPG sets you off on a quest to locate your missing sister, but in order to become powerful enough to find her, you’ll have to journey the land and defeat dragons. It’s not an overly complex narrative, but it gets the job done.
The gameplay of Cat Quest is set in a colorful open world where you can interact with objects, boost your stats, and raid dungeons. I particularly liked all the cat puns when it came to names of locations, and I loved how the map itself becomes the landscape you actually explore in the game.
While said map is large, a handy arrow pointed me in the direction of my quest objectives, so it was tough to get lost. There’s no class selection in Cat Quest, but developer The Gentlebros has done a great job of balancing this catventure by focusing on equipment. Seeking out different items to equip will help determine whether your feline is more handy with magic or melee attacks, for example.
Although Cat Quest isn’t long, it has decent replay value. After completing the game, you can put various handicaps on yourself, like not being able to level up, if increasing the challenge is more your forte. For me, it was just the purrfect game to end a cat-filled week.
And this was my fun, furball-filled week. You may be asking,
“Aaron, what's the lesson here? What did we learn?” Well, quite frankly, it's that if you play Stray, you’re liable to fall into a portal of cat games. This is a scientific fact. But luckily, I’ve done the leg work, clawed out the gems, and have a solid base for you to start.
💬 Of course, there are so many cat games I’ve yet to play or discuss, and as an avid cat lover, I’m always looking for more recommendations. Leave your favorite cat-themed titles in the comments!
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gugugu
gugugu
54
And here's my own furry bully. He always snuggles down where I usually sleep and I have to kindly ask him to find another place before I go to bed.
08/12/2022
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cheddar
cheddar
29
He looks so grumpy
08/12/2022
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BugsBonnie
BugsBonnie
47
Happy International Cat Day ~ CAT PAW-ER!
08/12/2022
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StaggerLee
StaggerLee
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StaggerLee
26
Yes! Team cat unite!
08/12/2022
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Dxsu
Dxsu
37
I see that game and i start to get a cat
08/12/2022
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oblox DEVELOPER KITS
oblox DEVELOPER KITS
36
this Is my cat ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
08/13/2022
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cheddar
cheddar
17
Hii 😻😻
08/13/2022
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EVERYBODYPOOPS
EVERYBODYPOOPS
XD Community Manager
EVERYBODYPOOPS
27
My fur baby noticing my attention on other cats
08/15/2022
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LadyDead
LadyDead
27
its my Graff
08/14/2022
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Veyrith Jia
Veyrith Jia
3
Whoaa.. Handsome!
10/15/2022
Kef
Kef
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Kef
22
I LOVE MAO MAO SO MUCH 😭
08/12/2022
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Degas
Degas
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Degas
11
Kef, You're Cute. HAhahahaha
08/13/2022
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shawn Johnson
shawn Johnson
12
That cat is so Cute I can't I love that cat
08/12/2022
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Kef
Kef
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Kef
7
it's such a good cat!!!
08/13/2022
Darius Turner
Darius Turner
5
this is so cute
08/17/2022
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