Stray Cat Crossing is best described as an adventure-horror, indie game, made by developers Jurlo and Jetpackgone. According to their website, they were inspired by other adventure type RPGs such as The Witches House and Ib. They also drew inspiration from works of literature and film, most notably Alice in Wonderland and Pan’s Labyrinth.
I first came across the game a few months ago when I played the free demo version available at that time; I instantly fell in love with the game and couldn’t wait for it to be released.
“That’s great, but why would I want to play this in 2015?” you may ask.
Well, let’s look at the pros and cons.
If you have seen screenshots of the game, you probably guessed what my first point is going to be. It is, of course, the gorgeous pixel art. The vivid, colorful pixels add a new dimension not only to the environment, but to the characters as well. As you embark on your epic quest, you encounter a number of memorable characters. Actually, I can already promise you that if you look back on this game a year from now, you will still remember most of the characters. They are either too cute or too disturbing to forget.
The music adds another layer of enjoyment to the gameplay. I can easily imagine listening to the soundtrack without playing the game, just because it’s fun. It doesn’t get repetitive or annoying, which is important if you consider that you might spend more time in certain areas than others, depending on how quickly you can figure out the puzzles.
It took me about three hours to finish the entire game, although I knew how to do the first part already. Most of the game depends on solving puzzles and after beating the first boss, the game gets a lot harder. This didn’t bother me, because I like the challenge, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some people would look at this as a flaw. The game doesn’t hold your hand at all, so you have to figure things out for yourself. (Or cheat. It’s ok, I won’t tell anyone.)
Another thing I should probably mention is that full screen mode doesn’t work. It’s not a terrible surprise, since it is mentioned in the read me files and most of these games are played in small window format anyway. It might work for you, but for me the screen constantly flickered when I turned it on, so I just didn’t use it. Although, it would be nice to have an option for re-sizing the window to make it a little bit larger.
Overall, it’s a solid game, definitely worth checking out. I enjoyed playing every minute of it (even when I got stuck for 30 minutes). I also recommend looking at the official website, since the game is full of Easter eggs and the website sheds light on some of the references that they used. There is fan art, trivia and other fun stuff that can keep you occupied for a while, if you don’t mind reading through it.
“Cool. Is there anything else?”
Well, talking about Easter eggs and such… I discovered something extremely creepy by pure chance. I was recording a let’s play video for the first part of the game. After I finished recording, I wanted to fix the audio, so I put the track into Adobe Audition to edit it. There is a button that is called “Spectral Frequency Display”. Basically, it turns the track into something that looks like the Bifrost. Everything was fine and innocent, until I got to the boss fight.
This is the second the boss spawns, and it looks like this:
See anything? No? Let me help!
Is that creepy or what? Talk about subliminal messages.
I hope you weren’t planning on sleeping tonight! (mwuhahaha)
Anyway, thanks for reading this far, hope you enjoyed! If you want to hang out with me and this awesome game, you can click on the video below. Let’s beat this game together! I play until the first boss fight. (Where the demo ended.)