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Tramp – a video game in which you play as a cat – breaks the Internet

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The cat was pulled out of the bag – and probably all over your Twitter feed.

Stray is a new video game for Sony Sony.
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PlayStation and Microsoft MSFT,
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Windows allows players to explore a cyberpunk underground city as a ginger tabby trying to get back to his family.

The $29.99 third-person puzzle-adventure game from French development studio BlueTwelve and published by Annapurna Interactive has been generating a lot of buzz since it was first teased during the 2020 PS5 reveal. (The new trailer, released on June 2, has already been viewed more than 1.7 million times on the PlayStation YouTube account.)

And now the long-awaited “cat game” is here – both players and their feline friends are already obsessed.

Minor spoilers follow: The essence of the game is that you play as a lost stray cat traveling through an underground city inhabited by robots. The goal is to return to the surface world where your feline friends live. Your stray soon teams up with a sentient drone named B12 (which can talk to humanoid robots for your cat character) and the two of you explore the city and solve puzzles to find your way home and find out what happened to all the humans. along the way, and also avoid the hungry monsters who want to eat this cute kitten almost the same as the players.

“Vagabond” was trending on Twitter on both Monday and Tuesday during the game’s launch, garnering over 363,000 tweets by Tuesday evening. And perhaps the most adorable early trend was for gamers to post videos of their own cats enchanted by the unnamed pawed protagonist.

Game developers BlueTwelve Studio were not available for comment. But they revealed in a post on the PlayStation Blog that they made sure the strays at the heart of the game looked and felt as real as they could. (Well, except for showing cat asses, apparently.) And the finished product seems to resonate with both real cats and their people.

Some dogs also got into it.

The PlayStation Blog post also featured three cats that inspired the main feline in the game. Among them is a red tabby cat named Murtaugh, himself a former homeless man, who was found under a car in Montpellier, France. He now lives with the co-owners of BlueTwelve Studio. And a hairless sphinx named Oscar was the muse for the head feline animator, who reportedly animated the cats by hand, rather than with a motion capture suit, to capture the subtleties of the feline’s movements as they run, jump, scratch, “boops.” snut” and climbs. Both cats were regular visitors to the development team’s studio. “Of course, having real cats under our noses throughout development has been extremely beneficial in many ways,” the blog post reads.

Real-life rescue cat Murtaugh inspired the role of the feline protagonist of Tramp.

Studio BlueTwelve

Early reviews of the game were mostly positive, with The Washington Post calling it “meow-suffering” and Verge calling it “one of the best games of the year so far”. But some critics also say the game doesn’t always “get back on its feet,” so to speak, and its charm can fade quickly.

However, much of the highest praise has been given for how well the developers have captured the feeling of the cat’s plight – from the way in-game hobos stretch when they stand up, rub against each other, scratch trees, or casually knock over bottles. pass by, to the fact that there is a “dedicated meow button”.

Perhaps that’s why “The Tramp” has become for gamers something like catnip, which they share on social networks – the home of a cat meme. After all, there are millions of cat videos on YouTube, and a Google search for “cat meme” yields about 198 million results. (In fact, a cat from Japan named Mochimaru broke the Guinness World Record for being the most watched cat on YouTube last August with 619,586,260 views.)

There are even a growing number of cat-focused YouTube videos (also known as “cat TV”) that feature footage of birds and squirrels to keep felines busy while they’re home alone. Perhaps now cat owners will also be able to leave the Tramp loading screen or open a gameplay tutorial for their furry babies.

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