Netflix announced earlier this year it would delve into the gaming industry, and that is now a reality. The company behind the biggest streaming TV and movie platform in the world launched its mobile gaming services this month.
What are the games included and how can you get them? Check out the details for the information so far, including the plans for the future of Netflix Games.
Netflix Games early testing and official release
Back in 2019 during the E3 gaming conference, Netflix had announced teaming up with existing games platforms such as Fortnite and Roblox to feature Netflix Original content. But aside from that, the company announced actual exclusive, standalone games.
Versions of the games were test-played and released in limited markets earlier this year, such as in Poland. As of November 3, 2021, Netflix officially released the games globally, through the Google Play store via the Netflix app.
As VP of Netflix game development Mike Verdu states regarding the company's motivations with the inception of Netflix Games:
Whether you’re craving a casual game you can start from scratch or an immersive experience that lets you dig deeper into your favorite stories, we want to begin to build a library of games that offers something for everyone. We’re in the early days of creating a great gaming experience, and we’re excited to take you on this journey with us.
Verdu had previously worked on EA Games and the Facebook platform in developing augmented reality projects.
🎮📱 Let the Games Begin📱🎮
Tomorrow, Netflix Games will start rolling out on the Netflix mobile app. First on Android, with iOS on the way.
It’s early days, but we’re excited to start bringing you exclusive games, with no ads, no additional fees and no in-app purchases. pic.twitter.com/ofNGF4b8At
— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) November 2, 2021
First five games offered
The first five gaming apps of the Netflix Games launch include the following:
- Stranger Things: 1984 (Developer: BonusXP) – An action adventure game that casts players in the role of Hopper and the rest of the kids. It uses a 2D retro pixel style to render the characters and locations in Hawkins like the sinister Hawkins Lab and mysterious Mirkwood Forest. Each character has a unique ability to help solve puzzles or battle enemies.
- Stranger Things 3: The Game (Developer: BonusXP) – Another retro pixel style adventure, this time with a 2.5D isometric view. Players can select up to 12 of the main characters from the third season of the Netflix original series. Two-player co-op allows players to team up in exploring Hawkins and The Upside Down, as well as in finding solutions to the various puzzles and in winning in combat against the human and monstrous foes in the game.
- Card Blast (Developer: Amuzo & Rogue Games) – A simple but addicting card and puzzle game based on poker mechanics. Card Blast adds Boosts, which can add spectacular effects and bonus scores. The game has 50 levels of single player goodness, with a high score leaderboard to compare your performance with other players across the world.
- Teeter (Up) (Developer: Frosty Pop) – This game is fairly straightforward. You have a platform with a ball. The object of the game is to drop the ball into the required hole. But, you are fighting against gravity, trying to keep the ball on the platform while you move it into place to drop into the hole. Easier said than done! Teeter (Up) has 150 levels to go through with a simple tap and hold control scheme.
- Shooting Hoops (Developer: Frosty Pop) – Similar to Teeter (Up), the goal is to drop a ball into a hoop. But this time, you shoot at the ball to make it drop at the right angle into the hoop. There is a limited number of shots (called darts) and there are different types of balls based on size, bounce, and gravity mechanics.
The five games are relatively simple in terms of graphics and overall gameplay. All games have multiple language options, defaulting to English if the player’s native language is unavailable. These games also check if the Netflix profile being used is for kids, so if you have a PIN set up, it is required to install and play.
All the games also have no ads, no additional charges, and no in-game purchases for real money. Reportedly, Netflix will not monetize these games, instead approaching it as value added promotion for its subscriber base. Most are available for play offline once installed. They are exclusively available to those with an active Netflix subscription.
However, Netflix has stated that this is only the first batch of an ongoing development. Eventually, the streaming giant intends to produce and release games that are catered for every type of player.
Future Netflix games?
It should be noted that the Stranger Things games are tie-ins, particularly Stranger Things 3: The Game, which directly references events from the Netflix Original show. Could this mean other Netflix Originals might have their own tie-in games in the future? VP Mike Verdu confirmed that this is only the beginning:
Just like our series, films and specials, we want to design games for any level of play and every kind of player, whether you’re a beginner or a lifelong gamer.
And we’re just getting started. We’re excited to continue improving our mobile gaming experience and adding to our entertainment offering in the months ahead.
This is supported with the company’s recent acquisition of Night School Studio, the indie game developer of Oxenfree, Mr. Robot, and Next Stop Nowhere.
As Netflix delves into the mobile gaming niche, could the company expand to full console and desktop games? Which Netflix Original series and films could be getting the same treatment in the near future? Genre productions like Stranger Things could certainly fit perfectly in a tie-in game. Castlevania and The Witcher already have games to their name, but Lost in Space, Locke & Key, Warrior Nun, Umbrella Academy, Cobra Kai, and Squid Game have interesting potentials.
Netflix Games can be accessed with the official Netflix Android app through Google Play. A release for Apple and iOS is planned in the coming months. All the games require Android 8.0 and higher.