Unless you’ve been unplugged from the internet for the past few days, you’ve probably noticed that pretty much everybody loves Stray, an adventure game starring a cat from a small outfit called BlueTwelve Studio. We gave it a glowing 82% (opens in new tab) in our review, calling it “a sparkling feline adventure that always lands on its feet.”
Stray’s launch appears to be landing on its feet too. As noticed by Benji-Sales (opens in new tab) on Twitter, Stray is already the biggest launch ever for boutique publisher Annapurna Interactive. Stray garnered nearly 63,000 concurrent players on its first day on Steam.
While concurrent players don’t inherently tell us how well a game is selling, Stray’s numbers are orders of magnitude higher than Annapurna’s other recent launches, including the excellent speedrunning FPS Neon White (opens in new tab) and last year’s 12 Minutes (opens in new tab). As I write this, Stray is still the number 1 global top seller on Steam. That’s not to mention that Stray also launched on PS4/PS5, where PlayStation Plus Premium members can claim it for free.
Hype for Stray has been slowly building over the past year as the occasional gameplay trailer reminded us how fun it sounds to navigate a dangerous post-apocalyptic world as an adorable kitty-cat. The excitement got to be so high that Stray managed to steal the spot of Steam’s most wishlisted game (opens in new tab) from another post-apocalyptic adventure, The Day Before.
There is clearly a big appetite for games starring cats (which we argue is much better than a game starring a dog (opens in new tab)). It also helps that Stray’s feline hero is one of the most convincingly animated animals I’ve ever seen in a game. The beauty of Stray is almost enough for me to forgive it for being a boring puzzle game most of the time. Its automated platforming and simplistic logic puzzles should’ve checked me out hours ago, but I keep trudging on, looking forward to the next cozy spot where I can press Y to take a nap or spam the triggers to scratch up a fresh rug.