When Stray launched in July, the positive reactions came rolling in. The indie adventure game about a stray cat in an abandoned cybercity allows players to explore an open sci-fi world with the perfect mix of objective-based gameplay and the freedom to just do cat things. Players fell in love with the heartwarming story, but they weren’t the only ones. Pets loved Stray too, and the videos of cats and dogs getting curious about the tiny cat on the screen were too cute. We previously published a post announcing a project from Sony Interactive Studios called #StrayReactions. Now we have an update!
The cute pet videos gave SIE a great idea. Why not use Stray‘s spotlight to help real strays? Together with the ASPCA, they came up with the Stray Reactions campaign, asking players to share their pets reacting to the game on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #StrayReactions. The submission window ended on September 23, so then it was time to sort out the best reactions and compile them into a digital photobook. This photo book was dubbed the sizzle reel, and it was posted on YouTube as well as SIE’s blog page on September 29.
Eleven videos made it into the sizzle reel below with the majority of reactions coming from fellow cats. In this upbeat little montage, we get to see a whole range of confusion and fascination for the realistic little cat on the screen. Many of the pets ran up to the screen to try to interact with sniffs and tentative taps. One dog just didn’t know what to think of the whole thing. He sat back on the couch and looked over at his owner to see if they were seeing it too. Our absolute favorite was the cat at 0:28 petting the itty bitty cat on the screen. A paw-sized cat would be so confusing but cute!
The sizzle reel was also sent to the ASPCA as well as a generous donation of $25,000 that came completely from Sony Interactive Entertainment. This donation is meant to help the organization in its battle to protect stray cats and dogs from inhumane conditions across the United States. There are millions of animals across the country who don’t have warm beds to snuggle in or food in their bellies. Hopefully, this donation and added awareness will help a few more strays that are just trying to find a home.
Stray was developed by BlueTwelve Studio and published by Annapurna Interactive. Since its release date on July 19, 2022, it still has a Steam review label of Overwhelmingly Positive. If you haven’t played Stray yet, you can play it on PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. And if you enjoy a good indie game, here are 45 more you can choose from!