Stranger Things The Game Review

Stranger Things: The Game by BonusXP and Netflix

Stranger Things is one of those shows that has Netflix subscribers loving their streaming choice while waving it under the noses of those that don’t have the popular digital entertainment service. Netflix just got a little cooler. No, I am not talking about season two of Stranger Things, which releases on October 27th, I am talking about the video game that they authorized BonusXP to create. Stranger Things: The Game is a throwback to an earlier time, much like the television series.

Not quite going back as far as the television show goes, Stranger Things: The Game comes forward a little bit in history – think around the time of the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. Still, the graphics and gameplay are a throwback to a simpler time, a time that many of us now realize was better than we thought while experiencing it.

Want to know how cool Stranger Things: The Game is? There are NO In App Purchases to worry about!

The game is set after the events of the first season of Stranger Things and features a whole new storyline to play through. There is no word on if the events of the game are set before season two happens or not (how cool would that be if they were?). What is here is an interesting mix of action and light role playing with alternating characters in your party.

Stranger Things: The Game by BonusXP and Netflix
Stranger Things: The Game feels like a 16-Bit Legend of Zelda style adventure, that is a good thing.

When I first started playing Stranger Things: The Game I was torn on when to write the review. I have been playing a bit of Cuphead on PC and enjoying the hell out of it. I was intending to review that new 2D side scrolling run and gun game next but when I caught myself being late back to work after all three breaks at work yesterday and today, because I was playing Stranger Things: The Game, I knew I had to write it up first. While Cuphead is a fun game, I just had to edge it out in the review list to get this review up. More people need to know about Stranger Things: The Game. ASAP.

Your quest in Stranger Things: The Game begins with Harper getting a phone call waking him from sleep. He travels to the Hawkins Lab and begins exploring it rather violently. I say violently because he is literally breaking and entering here, and he is the Sheriff. The Hawkins Laboratory has hired new guards and they are not the brightest bunch. They wander around the lab building and just look menacing. Hawkins has a powerful punch that can knock the guards out with two punches. Some guards require a bit of strategy to eliminate, luckily you find companions such as Lucas and his Wrist Rocket.

Stranger Things: The Game by BonusXP and Netflix

These companion characters are key to solving the various puzzles you will face in Stranger Things: The Game. Early on you learn that Hawkins’ blunt force approach is not going to win the game, that you are going to have to figure out what character is best for the situation you are facing. Puzzles abound as you explore the Hawkins Lab, and of course the surrounding town and that mischievous Mirkwood Forest.

Controlling your characters in Stranger Things: The Game is quite simple. Click on the screen where you want them to go and off they go. No onscreen buttons to mess with. If you are needing them to interact with something, say a guard, then they will automatically attack. No having to switch back and forth like you did in such classics as Karateka that required you to switch game modes from “walking” to “attack”. The game just does what you need based on who you have selected and what you are attempting to do. This removes a ton of potential confusion.

Off to the side is the information section – who you have selected, coins collected, the pause menu, etc. This keeps the action portion of the screen clean and clear. The layout of everything is quite well thought out.

Stranger Things: The Game by BonusXP and Netflix

You are on a quest to collect things like coins, Eggo’s, Gnomes, etc though I have no idea what to do with the Eggo’s and Gnomes (I must collect a minimum number first). There are quite a few opportunities to use assorted items you found somewhere else in a new location to make something else happen.

Take for instance going to the Upside Down. You cannot go there without protection because it is toxic. Hawkins lets you know that you can get a hazmat suit at the city morgue. This sets you off on the quest to get to the city morgue in one piece, then back to Mirkwood Forest and the entrance to the Upside Down.

That is how the quests in Stranger Things: The Game work – fetch quests. Either fetch this item and bring it here or find this switch/character to unlock more areas to explore and continue the story. Think of it how you would when playing The Legend of Zelda, you see clues that you can blow up a wall but have no way to do it, yet. Later in the game, you get the bombs and then can go back through areas and bomb those walls and explore new areas. Stranger Things: The Game is setup like that. There is a bit of backtracking and discovering new, unexplored, areas as you expand your abilities through additional characters.

Stranger Things: The Game by BonusXP and Netflix

Playing Stranger Things: The Game is quite fun just because it is the opposite of current mobile games. Free. REALLY free. There are no ads, there are no In App Purchases and there are no “jerk you around” moments that most mobile games have. Netflix and BonusXP have simply created a full-fledged, retro inspired, action adventure for mobile gaming fans of the Stranger Things show. Sure, the game is a marketing gimmick for the second season but it, seriously, does not feel that way as there is a TON of content here.

Remember, season two of Stranger Things hits on October 27th, just in time for Halloween. Who is excited!?!

Stranger Things: The Game by BonusXP
Platform: Android (ZTE ZMAX 2 used for review) and iPhone
Genre: Overhead action role playing game
In App Purchases: No
Rated: T for Teen on Google Play and 12+ on iTunes
Available now on Google Play and the iTunes App Store

Carl is a portable gamer (mainly PSP and Android) currently getting his butt handed to him in MIniclip’s Beast Quest on Android. Got a cool tip or inquiry about Gaming on Batteries? Contact Carl and he will be in touch ASAP.

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