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Trojan Paws

The Week in Games
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If Disney’s 1970 classic The Aristocats taught us anything, it’s that everybody wants to be a cat. And so it proved this week with the release of Stray on PlayStation and PC. Cats! Cats everywhere! We’ve had pictures, videos, wild praise, hot-takes, and an entire sub-genre of social media has popped up overnight showing cats (and a few dogs) reacting to people play.
Stray’s cat is the talk of the town - its own meme almost - but is there more to BlueTwelve Studio’s debut game than the promise of letting you walk in the pawsteps of mankind’s favourite frenemy?
I like animals, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not the kind to melt into a puddle of aawws when a pair of dilated pupils look up at me. I do think cats are cool though; they’re independent, mysterious, and you can never quite be sure whether it’s love in those eyes or murderous intent. For me personally, it was the art style and world of Stray that grabbed me. And the fact that Annapurna Interactive (arguably the most consistent publisher in gaming) chose to slap their name on it.
Annapurna rarely miss. The games they put out are usually risky, unique, visually striking and of very high quality. And so it proves with Stray, a game in which our feline hero falls into a post-apocalyptic world filled with bored robots, cute Half-Life headcrabs and rain-soaked neon. Indeed, this probably isn’t the whimsical game that some cat lovers were expecting (those Half-Life headcrabs really aren’t as cute as they first appear), and it can go to some pretty dark places at times.
This adorable protagonist has crept into homes everywhere before revealing itself as something far more interesting than the cat simulator some have labelled it as. The cat may have put this game firmly in the spotlight, but it’s the environments, the atmosphere, the characters, and the unexpected moments of levity that will stay with you.
Stray has attracted players who may otherwise never look twice at a game like this. Some will bounce right off it, some will enjoy running along gutters and pawing at carpets for half an hour and walk away happy. But some will discover a world filled with character and dripping in atmosphere. A world the likes of which they’ve simply never experienced before.
Whatever your view on cats, for that, Stray deserves celebrating.
A quick hello to the new subscribers this week, and thanks to those who have supported The Week in Games with a membership, by sharing it online, or simply by opening and reading it each week. This newsletter is completely reliant on shares and word of mouth, so your help and support is crucial, and hugely appreciated.
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Take care everybody,
  • If you’re not currently a PlayStation Plus subscriber, Sony are offering a 7-day free trial of their new Extra and Premium tiers.
  • The PlayStation Summer Sale is also now on. With up to 75% off games.
  • The Xbox Ultimate Game Sale has started. With up to 80% off games.
Forza Horizon’s Hot Wheels update, Into the Breach on iOS and Andriod, and of course Stray were the big releases this week. All three are worth your time and worth checking out.
Next week Xenoblade Chronicles 3 arrives on Switch, and should divert some attention away from cats for a while.
(Xbox, PC) – July 19
(Xbox, PC) – July 19
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – July 19
(Switch, PC) – July 19
(iOS, Android) – July 19  – Read review
(PS4, PS5, PC) – July 19
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch) – July 21  – Read review
(Switch) – July 21
(Switch) – July 22
(PlayStation 4) – July 26  – Read review
(iOS, Android) – July 27
(PC) – July 28
(PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) – July 28
(PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – July 29
(Switch) – July 29
A randomly selected game each week! Any and all games are eligible for selection regardless of age, platform, popularity, or otherwise.
This week, the honour goes to…
Rockstar Presents Table Tennis (2006)
Not exactly what many had expected to emerge from the house that Grand Theft Auto built, Xbox 360’s Table Tennis was nonetheless a highly polished, enjoyable and truly stunning-looking sports title from Rockstar. Genuinely impressive physics and mechanics and a surprising amount of depth made it a sleeper hit.
Another round of gaming anniversaries to make you feel old… Sorry!
Click through the links to see what people had to say about them.
Bastion was released 11 years ago!
Supergiant Games
Bastion, our first game, originally launched on this day 11 years ago.🌱 Your support meant we could stick together as a team and keep doing what we love, so thank you very much to everyone who played.
Limbo turned 12!
LIMBO is 12 years old today!

Playdead's journey through one of gaming's most beautifully eerie environments is a monochrome marvel that is never afraid to go to some truly dark places.

A puzzle-platformer classic that unsettles as much as it enthrals.

Did you play it?
Mario Kart: Super Circuit is 21 years old!
Mario Kart: Super Circuit is 21 years old!

Taking everything that was good about Mario Kart's SNES outing and shrinking it down into handheld form resulted in yet another GBA classic from Nintendo.

Even better with link-cable 🙂

Any fans of this one?
The Legend of the Mystical Ninja is 31!
Antony Terence - Superjump
Superjump bag an exclusive interview with the father of first-person shooters Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein.
Kostyantyn Lobov - GiBiz
Harbottle & Lewis’ Kostya Lobov weighs up the factors developers should consider when trying to get their game included in a subscription service.
Perfect Organism: An Alien: Isolation Companion
By Andy Kelly / Unbound
[lock-on] Volume 004
By Lost in Cult - Campaign ends August 1st
The Ranchers
By Ethan - Campaign ends August 4th
Abyssal Archive
Tune & Fairweather - Pre-orders close August 14th
Kloa - Child of the Forest
Wildpad Games - Campaign ends August 18th
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…and that’s it for this week!
I hope you enjoyed this issue of The Week in Games! I’d be delighted if you would consider forwarding this email to anybody you think may like it, by sharing this link on social media, or simply telling people about it!
I’m always looking at ways to improve this newsletter, so if you have any comments, suggestions or enquiries, please reply to this email directly, write to, or catch me on Twitter!
Thanks again, see you next week!
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