Stranger Things, the mega popular Netflix TV show, drew much of its influences from pop culture of the 1980’s, so it should come as no surprise then, that the throwback horror series has ended up inspiring its very own retro mobile adventure game.
Launching only days ago, the game is available on iOS and Android for free, via the app stores, and offers fans of the cult hit show the chance to return to Hawkins one more time before the long awaited second season lands days before Halloween.
So what’s the Stranger Things mobile game all about? Well, the game takes place after the events of season one, but presumably before the impending doom of season 2. Players begin the game as loveable loser Chief Hopper as he explores yet unseen locations from the sprawling locale, in search of our merry band of D&D loving, pre-teen heroes.
As the game develops, Hopper is joined by more and more characters, each with their own special skills, aiding him in his missing person search and assisting with the puzzles and obstacles that lay in their wake. There’s also a ton of goodies to pick up along the way, primarily Eggos, which is a nice touch. There’s also a bunch of video tapes hidden throughout – collect all of them and unlock an exclusive Stranger Things season 2 trailer with exclusive, never before seen footage. Like you needed any more of an incentive to play, right?
For those of us who grew up in the halcyon days of the 1980’s, movie and TV tie in video games are nothing new. If it wasn’t overpriced video games for your NES or ZX Spectrum, then it was hand held LCD games that provided incredibly basic re imagining’s of your favourite moments. Here though, gamers are gifted a SNES-tastic top down RPG spin, with superior graphics to the tat of the bygone era, looking like a mix of The Escapists and the beloved 8-Bit Cinema productions available on line.
It is also a dream to control. The touch and go gameplay is simple, but not so simple that it’s easy. And if you fancy a real challenge there’s an advanced option for those of us “born before 1984”, because pre-1984 is when video games were tough, God damn it!
If the game fails at all – and to be fair it’s almost perfect – it’s when the developers chose to re spawn dead characters right back at the start of the level, relieving them of anything useful they may have picked up along the way. It’s this sort of forced repetition that will prevent the casual gamer from completing it, which is a shame.
In essence, the Stranger Things mobile adventure game is an extended advert, a marketing tool to promote season 2, as if the show would struggle without additional promotion. However, for a free game that’s only true purpose is to make you watch a TV show, we think it’s pretty bloody good, and it scratches an itch we’ve all been having since season 1 ended last year.
Prepare to have your mobile gaming world turned ‘upside down’.