Stray is a puzzle / traversal game, with a couple of coordination challenges, in which the player controls a cat.

Apart from how much fun driving the cat is, including moments where knocking things off shelves is a major mechanic, the most impressive thing about this game is how breathtakingly beautiful it is.

For folks who’ve lived in reclaimed warehouse spaces, this boho-scrap look will be familiar – I remember there were folks at Glebe’s Cyberspace warehouse who came close to this look with their spaces.

The whole game is infused with this beautiful melancholy, that leaves me in mind of Linklater’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly.

The pain…
… so unexpected and undeserved…
… had, for some reason,
cleared away the cobwebs.
I realized I didn’t hate the cabinet door.
I hated my life, my house, my family…
– Are you okay, Daddy?
– What happened?
… my backyard…
… my power mower.
Nothing would ever change.
Nothing new could ever be expected.
It had to end, and it did.
Now in the dark world where I dwell…
… ugly things and surprising things
and sometimes little wondrous things…
… spill out at me constantly…
… and I can count on nothing.

I’m taking this game’s art direction as an inspiration for some architectural modelling I’m doing – moving away from whitebox Modernism, and to a more cozy retro-boho style. Dark wood, patterned wallpaper, etc.