Game Review: Stranger Things: The Game

Dan Goad Dan Goad
Expert Contributor
October 13th, 2017

Dan is an expert contributor to ComiConverse. His interests mainly lie in video games, but he has previously written articles on film and tv. He can be found on Twitter @dangoad

Game Review: Stranger Things: The Game
Games
0
Price:
There's nothing strange about the quality of this game

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On October 13, 2017
Last modified:October 13, 2017

Summary:

The nostalgia-driven graphics, varied gameplay and clever writing are why you should definitely download this free game.

Price:
There's nothing strange about the quality of this game

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On October 13, 2017
Last modified:October 13, 2017

Summary:

The nostalgia-driven graphics, varied gameplay and clever writing are why you should definitely download this free game.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

A free mobile game that stays free? Based on a hit TV series? Sounds like something strange is going on. ComiConverse contributor Dan Goad investigates...

Game Review: Stranger Things: The Game

In 2016 Stranger Things was a genuine phenomenon. Combining 80s nostalgia with some of the best child-acting in years, it was everywhere and everyone was watching. Now that season two is coming and hype is through the roof, Netflix is teaming up with mobile developer BonusXP to raise it even further.

The most striking thing about this game is that it is free. And I mean completely free. No in-app purchases, no adverts you have to sit through, no distracting banners in the corner. Developer BonusXP's previous offerings have all featured in-app purchases, so I assume Netflix are the ones footing the bill for this. And good for them; it's great to see a high-profile license used for a game you can play through from start to finish without paying a penny.

Credit: BonusXP

Despite the 80s references and inspiration, the game reminds me more of 90s LucasArts games like Yoda Stories. Certainly the isometric graphics are more 90s than 80s. Players control various characters from the series, moving them around the town of Hawkins to solve a new mystery. Controls are kept simple: tap to move and tap to attack. Occasionally the small size of the character models (particularly on a phone screen) does mean you miss an enemy when you try to tap them, resulting in you moving and allowing them a free hit - but this is a minor criticism.

The game is divided into chapters, with around six to ten hours of gameplay, and there are even some side quests. A mystery update is promised once Season 2 has been released, which will include a new character. For additional replayability, the game has a classic mode, described as "experienced players only; it's like 1984 hard". Whilst normal only sends you back to the start of a room when you die, classic sends you all the way back to the start of the chapter. This can be pretty frustrating - especially as the difficult really starts to ramp up after a while - but adds a new level of challenge for those that will enjoy it.

Story continues below

Credit: BonusXP

Each character has a unique skill, used to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. You'll start the game as Sheriff Hopper - who basically punches things - but go on to unlock the other characters and skills. These skills can often be upgraded through side quests. You'll need to use a combination of skills and the environment to defeat enemies - the first area, for example, requires you to use Caleb's long-range slingshot to activate lasers that take out the bad guys. The range of of skills makes the game much less repetitive than it could be. This variety helps, because you are required to do a lot of backtracking in this game.

There are plenty of collectables throughout the game, the most notable being video tapes. Collect them all and you'll be rewarded with an exclusive new clip from Season 2 of the show. If you want them all though you'll have to do some more backtracking once you've unlocked all the skills.

Conclusion

Stranger Things: The Game could have been a lacklustre cash grab designed to take advantage of the series' popularity. Instead Netflix and BonusXP have combined to make a genuinely free and good quality game. Fans of the series should go and download it now, for everyone else it's definitely worth checking out as well. It's free!

Stranger Things: The Game

  • 5

There's nothing strange about the quality of this game

The nostalgia-driven graphics, varied gameplay and clever writing are why you should definitely download this free game.

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