Yes, it’s Wednesday, not Friday. We don’t play by the rules, even when they’re our own apparently…
Anyway, you all know it. You all love it. Stranger Things Season 2 hits Netflix 27th October, and we couldn’t be more excited. If you’re not, have a long hard look at yourself.
In the lead up to this, Netflix have done 2 things –
#1 Increased the price of their streaming service; because if any show is going to make you not care about that, it’s probably Stranger Things.
#2 Seemingly out of the blue, a Stranger Things tie in has been released in collaboration with Indie Game Dev BonusXP for Android and iOS, and it’s surprisingly good! The best thing of all about this game is that because it’s been created to promote the franchise, it’s totally free. No in-app purchases, no unlockable crates or hidden fees. Just download and enjoy, which is something we’ve grown increasingly used to never seeing anymore.
The Duffer Brothers have always made it very clear that they’re big video game fans and are eager to point out the influences that helped to shape some of the show’s aesthetic and storytelling. It’s only fitting that the show get to give something, however small, back to the gaming sphere.
The game’s very simple in its design; a very attractive and smooth dungeon crawler with fairly suitable movement and combat touch controls – touch to walk, touch to attack. There’s a wide variety of characters to unlock with special abilities, and plenty of puzzle solving too.
Understandably, not everyone that is interested in Stranger Things will be an avid video gamer, and for that reason you’re offered 2 difficulty choices on start up. Normal and “1984” hard. And the latter’s pretty darned tricky too.
Rather than follow the storyline frame for frame, this adventure sees you begin as our lovable yet gruff detective Hopper as he has to track down 6 missing kids (with a 7th added upon the release of Season 2,) as opposed to just sweet William and tragically hip Barb. Hopper’s a simple man. You’re equipped with a solid right hook, but no other skills to speak of. Your first unlockable character will be Lucas, who’s more variably equipped with a long range slingshot. This can then be used for combat purposes as well as long distance switch hitting abilities which in turn allow you to solve puzzles that were before unsolvable. Each recovered character adds something new to your arsenal, which will allow you to further explore and solve the mysteries of Hawkins and The Upside Down.
The game’s littered with collectibles like Eggos, VHS tapes and lawn gnomes, and life hearts which will up your overall HP. There are also character specific missions such as locating a lost camera lens for Jonathan Byers, which in turn provide you with rewards.
True completionists will find themselves rewarded with an exclusive Stranger Things Season 2 trailer if they’re able to track down all the hidden video cassettes, although you can probably just YouTube that by now… But where’s the fun in that?
The game’s got a lot to it for something that’s completely free. It plays on the show in a tongue in cheek way, but manages to carry a lot of the mood of the show across, combining it with a retro look and a suitably similar sound in order to leave you feeling caught up somewhere between a viewer, gamer and a Hawkins resident amidst a world of mystery and monsters.
Hope you enjoy, Crashers!
Check out the trailer below