Stray lets you go full chaotic cat and trip up robots
Our virtual feline friend is just as mischievous as a real cat
Stray will let you cause maximum chaos for the city's mechanical inhabitants.
Adorable kitty-themed adventure Stray is pouncing onto PlayStation and PC in less than a week . The game places you in the fluffy paws of a cat, who must navigate through a strange robot-filled city to find their way home. In order for us to get better acquainted with our feline friend, PlayStation has created a spoiler-free introduction to the game.
As the webpage shows, developer BlueTwelve Studio has given this hero kitty all the characteristics of a real cat, including their fondness for making mischief. With hoomans nowhere to be seen, this cat has to get their kicks by tripping up robots instead. One of the videos shows our cat pal standing at the top of some stairs when a robot, blissfully unaware of their presence, spectacularly trips over the animal and ends up eating pavement.
A lot of meowing is essential in the everyday life of a kitty, and in Stray, there's a dedicated button for doing just that. Additionally, cats typically spend around 15 hours of the day sleeping, so taking a nap is always an option. Snoozing makes use of the PS5's controller's haptic feedback and speaker to "make it feel like you're holding a sleeping kitty in your own hands." You can also keep your furry companion's claws sharp by scratching furniture and other surfaces.
You'll have to fully embrace the way of the cat if you want to earn all of the trophies in Stray . Silver trophy 'A Little Chatty' is only unlocked after you've made the ginger fellow meow 100 times, and sleeping for more than one hour is needed to net the trophy for 'Productive Day'.
Take a look at our Stray preview for our first impressions of this charming indie.
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Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.
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There are several types of robots in Stray . Between them they comprise the entirety of the non-player Characters within Walled City 99 .
- Companions : Androids, "designed to caretake for all life forms". These are the most common, and all have unique names and personalities.
- Helpers : Androids with names like Helper 477 , designed as "autonomous cleaners".
- Peacemakers : Enforcement android with names like Peacemaker 22106 .
- Sentinels : Unnamed and armed drones, used for enforcement.
- Laboratory droids : Roughly box-shaped robots that, if activated, will follow whoever activated them.
- Drones: Small robotic planes that move by hovering in the air, featuring with B-12 .
Navigation [ ]
- 1 Characters
Stray's cutest robot friends.
There are many interactions to be had with the robots scattered around the cities of Stray, but some of those robots are much cuter than others.
While Stray seemed to be a game about being a cat and exploring a cyberpunk-esque landscape in its early trailers, many may have been surprised that this cat's story was far more than expected, and that they would encounter some loveable robot NPCs. With three central locations throughout the game, all having decent vertical traversal, Stray 's story, characters, and gameplay are much more extensive, with plenty to explore for collectibles and intriguing worldbuilding. The cities are well populated and almost every robot can be interacted with. In a video game where every character has unique responses and reactions to what players do, finding interesting and fun scenarios throughout the game doesn't take much effort.
[Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Stray.]
Doing cute cat things in Stray is just some of the fun that can be had in the 2022 adventure game. The game revolves around a cat that is separated from its three cat companions and falls into a walled-in city. Traveling through the city, it is over-run by an infectious, florescent orange organism that breeds small, one-eyed creatures that eat everything. A small section of the festering city is not overrun by disease and is considered a safe zone, called The Slums, where robots have been trapped for many years. A group of robots called The Outsiders seek to get to the top of the city in hopes of opening the walls and returning to the outside world.
Related: How Stray's Voice Actor Brought Life To Its Main Character
Although there are many things to be learned from the dystopian cyberpunk city of Stray , there are also tons of character interactions to discover. Many of the robots have their own personalities and special dialogue when players first meet them. Even though most of the conversations are small and only repeat after players first speak with the characters, there are still many lively interactions to be had. Some conversations are purely overheard and not directed toward the player, some are just reactions to what the player is doing, and some are sweet, gentle reminders of humanity in a dystopian world.
Ledoc The Silent Blushing Bot Is One Of Stray's Cutest Characters
This cute bot is the first character players can meet after climbing up Antvillage and entering Midtown. Like many of the cat-like things players can do in Stray , rubbing up against this robot elicits a flushed expression to appear on the bot's face monitor. All bundled up and seated in a makeshift room, Ledoc seems to have a very cozy corner, undisturbed by all of Midtown. Even though Ledoc has nothing to say to the wandering cat, the character's response to the orange tabby's affection is quite sweet.
Stray's Cat Can Cosy Up To A Slumbering Cowboy
While exploring Midtown, players will wander across a robot taking a snooze on a couch. Jumping up onto the bot's belly will startle the character awake, where the bot will look toward to viewer with a question mark on its face monitor. The robot's head will then turn to look at the cat, now curling up to sleep on its stomach, and the monitor will change into a heart symbol. Although Stray shows players want to be annoying critters , this interaction reveals that maybe players also want to be cute critters too.
Reuniting Doc & Seamus Is One Of Stray's Best Moments
Doc and Seamus are both main characters in the storyline of Stray that are met towards the end of the players' adventure in The Slums. Meeting Seamus in the bar with Momo, this robot will tell the player going to The Outside is pointless because his father, Doc, left to find it and never returned. Missing him and wanting to find him, the player works with Seamus to find the location of Doc and reunite father and son.
Related: Cats Can't Get Enough Of Stray, According To Fan Videos
Reuniting the estranged robot duo is one of Stray 's best moments. Doc pulls Seamus into a hug and a shocked Seamus returns the hug, a bright red heart appearing on the robot's monitor. This scene is so heartwarming and one of the cuter interactions in the game.
B12 Is Stray's Adorable Robot Companion
Even though there is no news on whether Stray will be getting a sequel , not having B12 as the player's companion in a Stray 2 doesn't feel right. Bringing life to this little drone at the beginning of the game, B12 is a player's guide through the world of Stray and has many experiences with the player throughout the traversal of the cyberpunk cities. Moments of rescue, triumph, and working together build a strong connection between the two characters and make B12's sacrifice at the end of the game that much more heartbreaking. B12's design is aesthetically cute and tucking itself away in a backpack furthers this robot's charm.
Momo Is One Of Stray's Best Robot Characters
There might be a lot of cool secrets, Easter eggs, and references in Stray but Momo takes the lead when it comes to cute robot friends. Momo is the catalyst character to figuring out how to get to The Outside. Being one of the members of The Outsiders, a group of robots trying to get out of the walls of the cities, this robot helps guide players in the right direction to finding the other Outsider in hopes of finding a way out. Players will spend a great deal of time with this bot as they work together to contact anyone above The Slums and venture into the sewers to find Zbaltazar.
Momo is one of the most expressive robots throughout the game and the robot's dialogue feels the most human. Since Stray 's story explains what happened to the humans , dying off long before players fall into the city, Momo feels like one of the closer representations of humans. Particular faces the character makes, interactions with the cat, and dialogue make Momo a very relatable and cute character. When first meeting Momo, he has a downturned mouth and eyebrows, upset over the transceiver not working and this will later shift to a joyful expression when all of The Outsider's notebooks are returned to the robot.
Once players visit each of the locations with outsider symbols and obtain all of Stray 's notebooks, returning them to Momo will prompt a shocked expression that shifts to smiling. In the bar, Momo will pat the top of a stool for players to jump onto and then pet the cat's head. There is also a particular line of dialogue when the player and Momo part ways where the robot says, " When you find Zbaltazar and Clementine, tell them I was brave. " With the many expressions the character makes, the body language reactions to story beats, and relatable choice of words in the dialogue, Momo is one of the cutest robot friends players get to interact with in Stray .
Next: Stray's Cyberpunk Setting Was Inspired By A Real Life City
Stray's 10 Best Robots, Ranked
As players navigate the world of Stray, they encounter a variety of robots with unique personalities.
As one of the stand-out games of 2022 so far, it's no surprise to many that one of Stray's strengths is its quirky cast of characters. Despite the player character being a small, stray cat, every other character they encounter throughout the game, except the enemy Zurks and the cat family at the beginning, will be a robot. Unfortunately, humanity in Stray has long since perished by the time the game begins, and these robots have taken their place.
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In a heart-warming twist, however, it's revealed that the robots began miming human behaviors after the latter went extinct. Keeping the personalities and dreams of their previous masters alive, the robots in Stray all have unique, distinct wants and needs, and some stand out from the rest.
10 DJ Matcee Brings The Funk
During the Midtown section of the game, the player will eventually end up in the local nightclub, home to DJ Matcee and his partner spinning some great tunes on their DJ decks. Unfortunately, DJ Matcee doesn't do much for the game besides providing some light-hearted entertainment, but the not-so-subtle Daft Punk reference adds to the hilarity.
The Cat can actually get up onto DJ Matcee's decks and do some scratching of his own. What makes the DJ so great is that he doesn't even complain, instead allowing the furry creature to mess with his set while loudly proclaiming how happy he is to be there.
9 Elliot Appears Terrifying But Is Just Really Cold
If the player stumbles into Elliot's Programming before the story progresses, it's an oddly creepy place. Guarded at the door by another robot called Nestor, once the player gets inside, the music changes for some unknown reason, and upstairs sits Elliot, shaking with tremors at his desk full of monitors.
RELATED: 15 Anime Characters Who Are Smart (But Lazy)
Except, they're not tremors; when the Cat needs a device fixed later on, they can bring a shawl to Elliot, stopping his shaking and allowing him to work. This utterly nonsensical addition makes Elliot especially more likable than other brief NPCs because he seems to be mimicking humans in the strangest ways. Elliot is a robot who loves tinkering with tech, and its susceptibility to the cold shouldn't work, but it does.
8 Grandma Knits The Coziest Clothes
Found in a back alley of The Slums, Grandma is a kindly robot who's taken on an elderly caretaker persona, hence her nickname. The first time she meets the Cat, she offers to knit them a sweater if they can find the materials, and from talking to other residents, it's clear she knits many clothes for many robots.
Although she offers little more story progression or intrigue after the player gives her the materials she needs, she's a heart-warming addition that shows the soul of this unique world. Entirely unselfish and kind, Grandma sticks with the player long after they move on.
7 Zbaltazar Is A Ghost In The Machine
One of the best, brief interactions in the game is when the player meets the illusive Zbaltazar, who is the third Outsider the Cat will meet but by far the most intriguing. Zbaltazar is somewhat different from the other robots, for he appears slumped over as if unconscious, but his actual sentient self is displayed on the multiple TV screens behind him .
His otherworldly appearance is attributed to Zbaltazar being more spiritual than other robots, with this multi-screen experience being his version of meditation. Unfortunately, Zbaltazar tells the Cat how to much on from his area almost immediately. With no sidequests to complete for him, the player doesn't get as involved with him as they do the other three members of the Outsiders. Still, he's unique enough to provide a shocking first encounter.
6 Morusque Is A Musical Marvel
An optional character who can be found in The Slums, Morusque is a music-loving robot who loves nothing more than to play songs on his DIY-ed guitar. He has a friendly disposition and seems positive despite his living conditions, but what makes him so special is the pieces of music he can play.
RELATED: 10 Talented Anime Musicians (Who Are Not From A Musical Anime)
By finding him some sheet music, the player can hand these over to Morusque and listen to him play eight different songs, each capturing a specific vibe. Better yet, there's a nap spot right next to Morusque, encouraging the player to take a moment to relax and enjoy his musical stylings.
5 Guardian Takes His Job Seriously
The first ever robot the player and the Cat come across in the game is Guardian, whose name reflects the incredibly important job he's taken on. As the protector of The Slums , the Guardian is the one who puts themselves at risk during an alert to defend the others, as shown by the fact he was the one to confront the Cat when the robots initially thought they were an enemy Zurk.
Guardian certainly dresses for the part, too, draping himself in red material and wielding a length of pipe not too dissimilar from how a human might wield a bo staff. Yet, despite his imposing appearance, he's the first person willing to help the player and does so without question.
4 Doc Is A Brilliant Homage
Doc and his son, Seamus, are lovingly based on the iconic Back To The Future duo, Doc Brown and Marty McFly, right down to their appearances and habits. That's only the first cool thing about him, though, as Doc's plotline is one of the best in the game and luckily can't be missed.
RELATED: 10 Best Secrets And Easter Eggs In Undertale
Having disappeared after leaving The Slums to test the Defluxor, a weapon to use against the Zurks, the player can find him just outside of his home area, trapped in a small apartment building by the very enemies he was trying to destroy. Through Doc's arc, the player gets access to his Defluxor, and they get to watch the reunion of Doc and Seamus, which is a tear-jerking moment for anyone that loves a happy ending.
3 Momo Shows The Power Of Hope
Momo is the first of the four Outsiders that the player stumbles across in-game, having holed himself up in his apartment in The Slums after regretting not trying to get to the surface with his friends . At first, he's distracted and seems to not care about what the Cat and B-12 want, but once the pair reunites, his hope and true personality shine through.
Momo is a devoted friend who tried so desperately to reconnect with his friends, so simply finding out that they were alive was enough to give him a renewed sense of purpose and bravery, finally pushing him into action to help the Cat reach the surface.
2 Clementine Fights For What She Believes In
The one Outsider who made it the furthest in their journey to reach the surface, Clementine is a fighter, a survivor, and an explorer . Occupying a seemingly abandoned apartment in Midtown and already being on the run from law enforcement when the player arrives, Clementine makes it clear why she was the one who made it the furthest.
RELATED: 10 Best Video Game Adventurers
She and the Cat get a great prison escape sequence together, at the climax of which she willingly sacrifices herself to help the player achieve their goals and reach the surface. Despite that being the one thing Clementine had wanted for years, she gave it all up to save B-12 and the Cat, and luckily the end of the game shows she's still alive and gets to witness the miracle she had a hand in creating.
1 B-12 Is The Best Buddy Everyone Wants
As the deuteragonist of Stray, B-12's existence is a bit more complicated than everyone else's . It's revealed that B-12 isn't a complete robot after all, but instead, the human consciousness of a scientist transferred into a small, robot drone body. On a technicality, though, they're most certainly the best robot.
Having been by the player's side since early on in the game, B-12 isn't just responsible for the Cat's survival, but its communication too. Without B-12, the player wouldn't be able to fix any of the issues the Cat comes across in-game, and they never would've returned to the outside world without them.
NEXT: 10 Best Video Games With Animal Protagonists
Review: ‘Stray’ video game argues that sci-fi dystopia is better with cats
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“Stray” was announced in summer 2020, and shortly thereafter it colloquially became known as “the cat game.”
After spending nine hours with and completing “Stray” — sorry, the cat game — I can confirm the following:
- You can, as a cat, make biscuits.
- A cat traveling throughout an underground city in a bucket affixed to a rope is as adorable as it sounds.
- There is a puzzle that involves meowing, and one button on the controller is dedicated solely to meowing. Meow often.
- It is a joy to knock things over as a cat. This also solves a puzzle.
- Sometimes you can just listen to music and sleep.
- Other times you can curl up on a robot’s tummy, and its computerized face flashes a digital heart.
“Stray” is a cat lover’s dream. Cats, those household pets that still double as the king of online memes, have of course been given the video game treatment before — narrative adventure “Night in the Woods” or mobile platform game “Super Phantom Cat” among them. And yet I can’t recall a game that treats cats, in this case a spry orange feline, with as much reverence as “Stray.” Though bearing a sci-fi dystopian setting, “Stray,” from French firm BlueTwelve Studio, works hard to capture cat movements, cat behavior and cat idiosyncrasies, even down to its themes — a mixture of loyalty, independence and personal rebellion.
The game, available for PlayStation consoles and PCs, nods to bigger-picture ideas. There are hints of a plague that wiped out humanity (thus it’s 2022 topical). Largely good-natured robots, apparently once designed to be subservient to humans, are torn between following the status quo or taking part in an insurrection. The glory of nature, and its preservation — or lack thereof — is a central fixation, as a wrecked environment has led to the creation of one-eyed mutated vermin that eat most everything in their sight, including robotic metal and furry kitty cats.
These ideas are glanced at rather than hammered into the player’s mindset. Many robots are scared of the outdoors, believing humanity left it uninhabitable before the species died off. But the game begins with the cutest tutorial I have ever played. We are just an orange cat frolicking in a field with buddies, even at one point rubbing against and licking our black-cat pal. Whatever effects climate change had, eventually cats survived. While there aren’t glimpses of other familiar animals, we take it for granted that cats — the little invasive species with occasional bratty tendencies — are one of the mammals that endured an apocalypse.
That’s good for us, as playing as a cat in “Stray” is a joy. The game is mostly exploration and puzzle solving as we run around an underground city loosely modeled after Hong Kong’s fortress-like Kowloon Walled City, one where stars are digitized and nearly busted monitors play static-infused images of the outside world. The puzzles mostly involve helping the robot denizens of “Stray’s” world — finding sheet music for a busker, or trading electrical cables for a poncho. “Stray” encourages us to linger and to enjoy the cat life. Whenever our robot musician would play a song, I would instruct the game’s cat to curl up on a pillow and would set the controller down.
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There are some tense moments. Those come from avoiding the so-called Zurks, those one-eyed sewer-dwelling rodents that can tear us apart. We do this by running and jumping rather than pure fighting (we do get a simple light-based weapon at one point), and later our feline pal will have to stealthily avoid the surveillance state. I found these action-game overtures just the right amount of challenging, and thankfully they largely stay true to cat behavior — that is, we run, sneak and duck into cardboard boxes and tiny crevices. We also scratch couches and pull apart computer wires, the latter part of destroying a security system.
I feel it’s important to note that when it comes to playing “Stray,” I am biased. I am a cat owner, and relatively obsessed with my 12-year-old feral black cat. And “Stray” does an excellent job at forging a connection between player and digital cat.
At the start, we are among cat friends and living what appears to be a leisurely nomadic life. That is until a jump goes wrong and our cat goes tumbling into an underground city with apparently no way out. The look on our video game cat’s face will tug at the heart of any cat owner, as we all know that cats, for as much as they value their independence, are pretty loyal companions at their core. Twice while writing this review, my own cat has pounced across the keyboard, which just so happens to be an action we take late in “Stray.”
But once we tumble, we have the quest of the game, which is to go up, treating the Asian-inspired city — good fortune, beckoning cat maneki-neko figurines are a staple in nearly every robot household — as something of a giant cat tree. The goal is to climb through lower- and middle-class worlds and finally once again reach the triumph of the natural world.
But don’t be surprised if you want to hang out in “Stray’s” dystopian city. Jumping across neon signs and air conditioner units can lead us to rooftops, where we can discover hidden robot hideouts. We want to hang and talk to all the robots, be it those drunk and slouching in the bar or the frustrated laundromat owner who is tired of cleaning up paint outside his shop (our cat may be partly responsible for such a mess).
For much of the game, the robots are genial. We even have a little one as a companion — a little drone-like feller named B-12. The latter affixes to our back — at first causing our cat to moan and crouch and not want to walk — but B-12 is a helper bot, able to translate robot speech and render all sorts of objects as a mysterious collection of molecules that allow our cat to transport them around town. There’s an underlying mystery with B-12, and “Stray” is patient in unveiling its secrets, as with B-12 the quest shifts. We no longer just need to escape; we need to open the city roof. We discover this mission largely through conversation with robots throughout various underground locales — a hippie town in a sort of giant treehouse was my favorite.
The final act focuses heavily on stealth missions, rescuing some robot friends and even a prison escape. My favorite moments are torn between two — the aforementioned puzzle solved by meowing, or our cat taking control of a subway train. It all leads to a thoughtful ending, one that answers some questions, leaves some open and celebrates acts of resistance. What I remember most, though, is something B-12 says at one point to our cat: “You’re a good friend.” Such a sentiment is how I feel about “Stray” and its virtual orange feline I hope we see in further adventures.
Developer: BlueTwelve Studio
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Platforms: PlayStation consoles, PC
Release date: July 19
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Todd Martens joined the Los Angeles Times in 2007 and covers a mix of interactive entertainment (video games) and pop music. Previously, Martens reported on the music business for Billboard Magazine. He has contributed to numerous books, including “The Big Lebowski: An Illustrated, Annotated History of the Greatest Cult Film of All Time.” He continues to torture himself by rooting for the Chicago Cubs and, while he likes dogs, he is more of a cat person.
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Chapter 8 - The Sewers
Welcome to IGN's walkthrough for Stray Chapter 8 - The Sewers. This page features information on navigating the Sewers with Momo, and finding a path through to Antvillage.
When you’re ready to leave The Slums behind for good, head through the large open passage that will seal behind you, and you’ll find Momo waiting on a small boat to take you deep into the Sewers.
Explore the Sewers
It’s a somewhat creepy ride, but you can sit back and relax as Momo guides you through. Luckily the Zurk can jump to you, so you can watch as you’re led through twisting tunnels and large open areas.
When you reach a locked gate, it will be up to you to find a path forward. Slip through on the right to enter a large area with a main platform over on the left. As you skirt around towards it, you’ll find that the switch to open the gate is surrounded by Zurk eggs.
These will start to wobble once you draw close, and if you stay too long, they’ll explode as Zurks swarm you. Luckily you have the Defluxor to put a stop to them, just be sure to try and corral them first to take them all out with a single burst or you’ll risk running down the power.
Once you open the gate, Momo will row forward, and you’ll be able to jump back on his boat as he continues rowing deeper into the sewers. In a large open area, he’ll dock over to the right in front of a large sealed gate.
Unfortunately, this is where your paths must diverge, as Momo won’t be able to find his own way forward, but can at least lift the gate slightly for you to slip past. It will be up to you to find the other Outsiders, so use the floating barrels to proceed under the gate.
Now on your own, jump up to the catwalk above and head left into a lit corridor. The narrow path down the stairs is lined with eggs along the walls, so be ready to fight back if you get too close and they all hatch as you go forward.
The Sewers Memory 1: Water Filtration - As you head down the narrow path, a small alcove on the left is lined with eggs all over. Destroy them and the Zurks within using the Defluxor, and then check the left wall of the alcove for an open sewer gate to find a small path to a water filtration system. Inspect the large room to trigger one of B-12’s Memories.
The Sewers Memory 1
Return to the narrow corridor and head to the very end to find a series of walkways you need to jump down. Go down the stairs and then jump along the pipes on the wall to the left before crossing to the other side and continue forward along the right wall - and then the pipes along the middle.
Leaving the pipe room behind, you’ll come out into a large room full of Zurk eggs all around. It’s possible to bypass most of them by going around to the right, and then back left, where you’ll find another switch guarded by eggs on all sides. It’s up to you if you want to pre-emptively explode them or just try to activate the switch and run, and then head through the newly opened doorways behind the switch.
Continue down the main path here among the infestation and be ready to dodge or explode a small swarm of Zurks before entering the next room.
Here you’ll come upon a truly unsettling sight, as more Zurks are alerted to your presence. You’ll now need to alternate running forward while evading Zurk egg clusters, and either dodging to eliminate the swarms of Zurks that are summoned to come your way.
Use the small platforms to divide and conquer the Zurks or as a way to dodge around them, and keep moving forward quickly but carefully. If your Defluxor runs out of juice, you’ll need to evade for a short duration until you can reach the far door and drop down onto some pipes.
The Sewers Memory 2: The Organism - As you land on the narrow walkway full of pipes, look left first to find a set of small pipes on the left wall to bypass an obstruction and find a secret room full of something disturbing to trigger B-12’s Memories.
The Sewers Memory 2
Back on the pipes, look for a passage into a hall lined with infestation, waterways, and Zurk Eggs all around you. A large gate at the far end has two separate locks that B-12 will have to activate, but will require you to take a long trip around to get to the other side and activate the second lock.
Whichever path you choose first, be ready for Zurks to start chasing you repeatedly, requiring you to both avoid the other eggs yet to hatch, and the endless stream of Zurks coming to stop you. Utilize the gaps to jump across so the Zurks jump and miss, and be careful with your Defluxor bursts to zap them only in large groups.
Escape the Sewers
When you reach the other lock, you can quickly head through the unsealed door and into safety.
You’ll soon enter a large and truly terrifying room, as a cutscene plays out and the Zurk attack.
When you regain control of the cat, you’ll be on the defensive once more, as B-12 will be out of commission. This is another pursuit sequence, which means running fast and hard, while constantly out-maneuvering the leaping Zurks.
You won’t have the power of the Defluxor anymore, so keep zig-zagging as you race away and up the stairs towards large flashing gates.
Once you get to a series of stairways and pipes, alternate the left and right sides, and know that you can duck under the some of the pipes to give the Zurks the slip.
Keep running forward until you get through the last gate to leave the Sewers behind, and B-12 will regain mobility to help deactivate a fan - which you can take to leave the Sewers behind as you reach Antvillage .
Up Next: Chapter 9 - Antvillage
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Stray: How to acquire the Poncho and where to use it
You’ll need the Super Spirit Detergent and Electric Cable to warm up Elliot the repair robot
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Share All sharing options for: Stray: How to acquire the Poncho and where to use it
In Stray , you can collect a variety of items and give them to the various robot NPCs around the world. Some of these items — like Sheet Music and energy drink cans — are totally optional. Others, like the Poncho, you’ll need to complete the main story quest.
In this Stray guide, we’ll teach you how to get the Super Spirit Detergent, the Electric Cable, and the Poncho so you can fix the Broken Tracker.
Note : You can do this quest in chapter four, but you won’t need to complete it until the end of chapter six.
How to get the Super Spirit Detergent
From the Guardian robot, do a 180, take a right, and climb up to the rooftops. You should see some robots chucking paint cans from one side of the roof to the other. Climb over to them.
The robot on the lower roof (the one throwing the paint cans) is the target here. Turns out they’re very easily startled by loud noises. Talk to them and the game will prompt you to meow. Hit the meow button just before the robot throws and it’ll drop a paint can onto the street. This will summon the grumpy robot that runs the laundromat. Once the paint can falls, they’ll unlock their door and start clearing their stoop.
Make your way back down to the street and walk through the laundromat’s front door. Immediately to your left you’ll see two tables pushed together. Jump up and grab the Super Spirit Detergent bottle next to the Super Spirit box.
How to get the Electric Cable
Take your new bottle of detergent over to Azooz, the robot who runs the shop to the right of the Guardian. Select the Electric Cable off the ground and trade your Super Spirit Detergent for it.
How to get the Poncho
With your Electric Cable stowed in B12’s backpack, head back to the Guardian and look for a signpost. Follow the signs to Grandma’s clothing store. Trade her the Electric Cable and she’ll make you a poncho. Sadly, this is not a cat-sized poncho, but a robot-sized one. Luckily, there’s a nearby robot who needs it for warmth.
What to do with the Poncho
Find another signpost and follow it to Elliot’s repair shop. You’ll know you’ve found it when you come across a red door covered in posters and writing. Scratch on the door and a robot will answer. Slide through the open door and go up the stairs. Talk to Elliot and offer him the Poncho. He’ll instantly drape himself in the gift and offer his repair services should you require them.
If you already have the Broken Tracker, hand it over to Elliot and he’ll fix it for you. If not, continue along the critical path until you get it.
Once you’ve fixed the Broken Tracker, return to Seamus so you can head into chapter seven.
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Stray: Chapter 4 Walkthrough (The Slums)
In Chapter 4 of Stray, players must explore dark and dingy robot slums in order to track down four notebooks and learn more about the outside world.
The Slums is one of the largest areas in Stray , with numerous locations for players to explore. This bodes well, as several of the game's chapters take place here in some capacity, starting out with Chapter 4, The Slums. Like Stray itself , it's a relatively short affair for those who know what they're doing, though it may take some players a moment or two to get their bearings.
RELATED: Stray: Every Badge (& Where to Find Them)
As well as a host of main story missions, the Slums is also home to a wide array of side activities, including multiple memories and a couple of badges too. Thankfully, these side quests don't need to be completed until the beginning of Stray 's eighth chapter, so players can either chip away at them gradually or save them until the very last minute. Either way, there's no need for them to rush.
How to Complete Chapter 4 of Stray
When Chapter 4 of Stray first begins, players will find themself in an alleyway with a robot cleaning the floor up ahead. If they approach this robot, it will start to freak out and alarm bells will begin to ring out around the slums. Players will need to follow the path ahead of them until they reach a robot named Guardian, who, after some translation from B-12 , will deem the kitty to be harmless and end the state of emergency.
Once things have calmed down, players should show Guardian or one of the other robots the postcard that they picked up at the end of Stray 's third chapter . They'll mention that there's a group of robots named the Outsiders who are experts on the outside. Luckily, it just so happens that the last remaining member of the group can be found inside a nearby apartment near an orange neon sign.
Finding Momo's apartment should be fairly straightforward thanks to the neon sign. Once there, Momo will hand over his notebook, after which, B-12 will suggest trying to track down the notebooks belonging to the three other members of the Outsiders. Thankfully, their apartments each have an Outsiders logo out front, making them fairly easy to find.
Upon heading back outside, players should look to their left, where they'll see an Outsiders sign up on a rooftop with metal railings along the side. Once they've made their way up there, they'll need to remove the energy cell from the building's ventilation system, which will allow them to drop down into Zbaltazar's apartment. If players jump on the two piles of boxes near the sofa, the boxes will fall down and they'll be able to pick Zbaltazar's notebook up off the floor and then scratch the window blind to leave.
Doc's apartment is to the right of Momo's and can again be easily spotted thanks to the blue Outsiders sign outside. For those having trouble though, it's near the rooftop with a television and sofa on it, directly above one of the slums' four working vending machines. Players can get inside the apartment via a gap in the door and, upon gaining entry, should make their way to the bedroom area at the back and knock over a few piles of books by jumping on them.
Once inside the bedroom, players should translate the note on the bed to learn about Doc's hidden safe and acquire the safe key. They'll then need to head for the row of bookshelves with the ladder at the end of it and jump on the book piles on the floor to grant access to the safe. Using the key that they just picked up, players can then open the safe and get their paws on Doc's notebook.
The last of the Outsiders notebooks can be found in Clementine's apartment, which is directly opposite Momo's place and has a large Outsiders logo painted on the wall outside. After hopping through the open window, players should head through the gap in the sliding glass panel door and round the corner to the area containing Clementine's computer. On top of an old monitor to the left, they'll find Clementine's notebook.
Now that they have all four Outsiders notebooks , players can return to Momo and show him the other three. One of them contains a message about a fault in the design of the transceiver that he's been working on, which will lead to Momo repairing the device and asking players to take it to the top of a nearby building. Unfortunately, however, this will lead players into Zurk-infested territory and the game's fifth chapter, Rooftops.
Side Content in Chapter 4 of Stray
- "Territory" Trophy (4/12) : Scratch the window blind in Zbaltazar's place to exit the apartment (unmissable).
- "Boom Chat Kalaka" Trophy : Push the basketball near Guardian down the slope so that it lands in the bucket at the bottom.
- "Cat's Best Friend" Trophy : Nuzzle up against Guardian, Grandma, Zakk, and Riko for four of the five robots needed to unlock the trophy. It doesn't matter if players miss any or all of them though, as there are seven other robots that players can nuzzle up against in Stray .
- "Badges" Trophy (Music Badge) : Find the eight pieces of sheet music that are scattered around the slums and give them to Morusque.
- "I Remember!" Trophy (2/27) : Examine the dead robot behind the sign on the rooftop near Guardian .
- "I Remember!" Trophy (3/27) : Give Azooz three Energy Drink Cans to uncover the Ancient Relic item at the marketplace.
- "I Remember!" Trophy (4/27) : Examine the bowl of computer parts in the upstairs area of Dufer Bar.
- "I Remember!" Trophy (5/27) : Examine the video game poster on the wall in Momo's bedroom.
- "I Remember!" Trophy (6/27) : Examine the "R.I.P. Humans" graffiti on the wall near Seamus' apartment.
- "I Remember!" Trophy (7/27) : Examine the robot graffiti that can be found by climbing up the wall in the alleyway to the left of Morusque
- "I Remember!" Trophy (8/27) : Examine the plants in the corner of the upstairs area of Elliot Programming.
With the exception of the scratch spot, the aforementioned side content can be completed at any time from the beginning of Chapter 4 (The Slums) to the point where players hop onto Momo's boat at the start of Chapter 8 (The Sewers).
Stray is available now on PS4, PS5, and PC.
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Trip Trap Troll Slot Review
Trip Trap Troll is based on the classic tale about three billy goats and their attempts to cross a bridge without getting eaten by a troll. But forget what you know because this is a modern makeover like no other. Surfing goats, meditating frogs and a troll playing his Xbox are just some of the weird and wonderful characters we met while reviewing the Trip Trap Troll video slot.
Alongside top-quality 3D graphics this slot game comes with a host of bonus features, including Crashing Cages, which is the game's code for tumbling reels. While compiling this review of the Trip Trap Troll slot game, we also noted lots of other exciting features, like wild substitutions, extra wilds as the goats cross the bridge, and a unique free spins round where spinners get to build a hot tub for the goats!
Read our detailed review of the Trip Trap Troll video slot to discover all the great slot stories this game's got to spin.
Crossing over to Trip Trap Troll
The 5 reels are crossed by 25 paylines, against a forest backdrop featuring a wooden bridge. The attention to detail in this scene is exceptional, with frogs catching flies and leaves tumbling down – even the title has a blinking eye in the ‘O’ of the word 'Troll'. Needless to say, our Trip Trap Troll slot game reviewers were pleased to see so much love go into a slot.
Each of the 15 slot symbols are set in little wooden boxes, with the payline indicators carved into the stone walls that frame the reels. Wagering a single coin on each of the 25 paylines will see returns of 5, 15, or 50 coins when the high card 10 symbol appears across a line, on 3, 4, or 5 connected reels from the left side. Like the J, Q, K and A, it’s a moss-covered piece of wood, but although they may look run down, these icons are very useful, as they will tend to create the most frequent win-lines. The A pays out the most, with punters winning 5, 35, or 150 coins when it runs across a line.
A family of goats will pay out higher prizes, starting with a kid, that has a maximum payout of 175 coins. Later, we see a smug-looking billy goat that pays up to 225, the surfer dude who's worth a top prize of 250 coins and the skateboarding character that brings in 25, 150, or 300 coins when he’s on 3, 4, or 5 reels of a line.
The best prizes in normal pay come from the meditating frog, and this chilled-out amphibian is valued at 5 coins when he’s on reels 1 and 2 across a line, then 3, 4, or 5 are worth 50, 250 and 1000 coins respectively. He may not look very wild, but this serene green guy is also the wild symbol , replacing any card or goat if it’s in the right place to complete a combination.
Crashing Cages Feature
Different online casino slot games developers have different names for the tumbling reels feature , but they're called Crashing Cages here, so we’ll stick this system and explain how it works. Any symbols that are part of a winning combination will smash into pieces, leaving empty spaces on the reels. Symbols drop down into these places, with new ones appearing from above the game matrix, potentially leading to a further winning mix, which will also explode, repeating the whole process.
This can go on and on, with no upper limit to how many times it can occur, until no win-lines are formed, and whether it’s called tumbling reels, cascades or whatever, it’s a nice feature to see that will often lead to extra wins for no extra wagers.
What’s unique about these is that once you see 2 consecutive Crashing Cages wins, the small goat becomes an extra wild symbol for any further wins in the same sequence. Should you get 4 successive wins, the surfer goat also turns wild and anyone fortunate enough to get 6 wins in a row will then have the big goat becoming yet another wild symbol, which makes it easier for the sequence to carry on.
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The troll, who looks very bored as he plays his video game, is a scatter symbol , and when he turns up in any 3 or more places, there’s a payout of 3x the total bet, followed by 10 free spins . During these, a log fire symbol can appear on reel 5, and once 3 fires have been collected, a hot tub starts to be built for the medium goat, while 2 extra spins are added on.
Should you get 6 in total, the big goat gets a hot tub, and any further wins are doubled in value. We’re not sure if this is a nice relaxing hot tub, or the troll is trying to cook his dinner, although we suspect the latter. Poor goats.
All 25 lines are permanently active, which equates to a low limit bet of 0.25 per spin, rising to a maximum stake of 250.00. Our Trip Trap Troll video slot reviewers suggest that testing the game here for free before staking real money is always a safe bet. But high rollers who want to earn some real cash rewards will need to make real cash bets at a secure online casino.
Further game options include activating the soundtrack and spinning the reels up to 100x via the autoplay function.
Similar Goat-y Slots
The Billy Goat Bucks video slot from IGT follows the same story and comes with the option to play in 2D or 3D. It also comes with giant trolls that multiply winnings and a free spins feature that can be extended by more goats appearing throughout.
Very Big Goats by Spinomenal , may not have trolls, but we're sure punters will be more than happy with the cartoon creatures on the reels. They will also be happy with the free spins where wins are multiplied in value, and a great side game which sees the Big, Bad Wolf chasing goats around a board, collecting multipliers with each one he catches. Actually, it might not be such a great game for goat-loving players, but it’s all done with a sense of humor.
A Fantastic Fable?
Overall, our Trip Trap Troll slot review concludes that this is an excellent game. It manages to look good and comes with great gameplay to match. The Crashing Cages with potential for extra goat wilds in play is perhaps the highlight, but the free spins, with the hot tub feature leading to multipliers, is also an innovation that can pay some serious rewards.
It’s mobile optimised as well, being compatible with a variety of devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones or tablets .
The Trip Trap Troll slot is available to play for free here and for real money one of our top-notch online casinos.
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The ‘dupe' trend hit travel in 2023. It's a good way to save on your next trip, experts say
By greg iacurci,cnbc • published 2 hours ago • updated 2 hours ago.
- "Dupes," short for duplicates, was popularized as a broad consumer trend by social media platform TikTok.
- Travelers adopted the strategy of seeking out cheaper alternatives in 2023 as prices soared, and will continue to do so in 2024, experts said.
- It's not always about flight price. In many cases, travelers can also save on hotels, food and local transportation, too, experts said.
Travel was expensive and busy in 2023, leading jetsetters to seek out cheaper, less-trodden alternatives to popular hot spots. It's a great way to save money on trips heading into 2024, according to experts.
This concept — seeking out cheaper duplicates, or " dupes ," of pricey products — was popularized by Gen Z and millennial influencers on social media and has gained broad traction amid high inflation .
"In 2024, Americans are more likely to choose hidden-gem destinations over tried-and-true tourist hotspots for their vacations," said Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands.
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Data shows that travelers leveraged the strategy more in 2023. For example, flight searches more than doubled for several "dupe" destinations internationally, according to Expedia data.
Searches to Taipei, a dupe for Seoul, were up 458% in the U.S. and 2,786% globally, according to Expedia. Those to Pattaya, Thailand, an alternative to Bangkok, rose 163% in the U.S. and 249% globally.
Likewise, flight searches to the island Curaçao, a stand-in for St. Martin, were up 228% in the U.S. and 185% worldwide. Those to Perth, Australia, a dupe for Sydney, jumped 33% in the U.S. and 109% globally. Additionally, those to Liverpool, England, a London alternative, spiked 138% in the U.S. and 97% worldwide, according to Expedia.
The data compared searches in the 12-month period through Aug. 31, 2023, to the same period the prior year.
"TikTok popularized the idea of dupes … and the concept is increasingly taking off in the world of travel," Expedia said in a report published Wednesday.
Affordability is a top driver of travel dupes
Affordability is among the top reasons cited by consumers for seeking out these alternate destinations, Expedia said.
"If you are looking to save money on your next trip, consider an alternate destination," said Hayley Berg, lead economist at Hopper, a travel app. "Oftentimes you can save on airfare and hotel rates by picking a destination off the beaten track."
For example, the average round-trip flight from the U.S. to Hanoi, Vietnam, is $1,564. Travelers would save money by flying instead to Ho Chi Minh City, where a flight averages $1,326, Hopper said.
In a similar vein, let's say you're considering a trip to Spain.
A round-trip flight to Tenerife, in Spain's Canary Islands, costs $827, on average. Instead, you might consider a trip to Barcelona, a popular metropolis, where a flight costs an average $572, according to Hopper. Likewise, flights to Phuket, Thailand, an island getaway, cost $1,705 round trip, while flights to the capital Bangkok cost $1,404. The Hopper prices are current averages for departures in December to March.
More Americans planned trips abroad this year as their pandemic-era health fears waned and countries largely reopened their borders to visitors. Americans applied for passports in record numbers in 2022 and 2023.
That surging demand caused prices to surge across the travel spectrum. Airfare to Europe , the most popular destination for U.S. tourists, was the most expensive on record in summer 2023.
Internet search traffic in the U.S. for travel dupes spiked throughout 2023, peaking in July, according to Google Trends data .
It's more than just the flight price
However, Hopper flight data indicates that not all dupes will necessarily pay off for travelers. They may need to try a few different alternatives to find savings.
For example, the average round-trip flight from the U.S. to Perth, the aforementioned dupe for Sydney, currently costs $2,389, while a flight to Sydney costs $1,572, according to Hopper. However, travelers who look a bit farther afield — to Nadi, Fiji, or Auckland, New Zealand — would spend $1,365 and $1,394, respectively, Hopper said.
However, dupes aren't just about the airfare. People traveling off the beaten track can often save on food, hotels and local transportation, said Sara Rathner, travel expert at NerdWallet.
Avoiding "way over-touristed" locales, especially if traveling during peak season, can also be a more enjoyable experience due to smaller crowds, Rathner said.
When picking a "dupe" destination, travelers should research details such as amenities, infrastructure and safety considerations, Rathner added. Reading online travel articles and blogs, and asking friends who may have visited before, can give a general sense as to potential itineraries and the ease of lodging and getting around, she said.
To save money on general travel, try being flexible with trip dates, Berg said. For example, flying on a Tuesday can save you $100 on domestic airfare, while departing Monday through Wednesday can save up to $150 per international ticket, Berg said.
Hotel stays are most expensive Friday and Saturday night. Starting a stay on Sunday can save an average of 25% off weekend rates, she added. Don't miss these stories from CNBC PRO:
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