Netflix Games Finally Come to Android & iOS Devices; Here’s What You Can Expect
Netflix has finally rolled out its mobile game offerings on Android and iOS devices.
The debut lineup consists of six games, all of which you’ll have to download and install on your device as separate apps. However, they all require a connection to your Netflix account, meaning you’ll need an active subscription to be able to play.
Here’s a look at all the games.
First, Shooting Hoops is Netflix’s take on arcade basketball games, where you flick your finger to shoot a ball in a basket. The catch here is that your ball has a dart gun strapped to it. And instead of flicking, you have to tap your finger to fire darts that send your ball flying. You then try to build momentum to shoot your ball through the hoop.
It’s an okay distraction for when you’re, say, on your daily commute or waiting for your turn at the dentist. The controls, however, are hit-or-miss. You don’t really get the sense of where the ball could go with each tap and the game doesn’t do a good job of explaining how everything works.
Teeter (Up) is a physics-based game, where you guide a ball into a hole while balancing it on a horizontal platform. The concept is relatively simple, but it’s a fun way to kill some time. It’s tricky at first, with the hole being just as big as the ball, but you eventually get the hang of the mechanics with repeat plays and it gets more fun as you get better at the game.
Meanwhile, Card Blast is a Candy Crush-like puzzle game with elements of poker. Instead of matching candies of the same colour, you have to form poker hands from the cards given to you. The better the hand, the more points you earn.
The same with the previous games, this also has a fairly simple concept and is easy to pick up and play. You can progress through increasingly difficult levels, which keep it engaging in the long run. If you love puzzle games like Candy Crush, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this as well.
Bowling Ballers is an endless runner, where you play as a bowling ball that has to avoid obstacles, collect coins, and, of course, knock down pins in your path. If you’ve played an endless runner before like Temple Run or Subway Surfers, this should feel familiar. The game does all the running for you – or in this case, rolling – and you just have to swipe your finger left and right.
This is arguably the best game among Netflix’s more casual lineup. It’s simple, it’s intuitive and it looks stunning.
Stranger Things: 1984
Stranger Things: 1984 is an 8-bit role-playing game that shares a lot of similarities with old-school The Legend of Zelda releases. Here, you play as Chief Hopper as he tries to find Will Byers and his friends who have gone missing. Much of the gameplay involves you traversing dungeon-like environments, where you punch enemies, get keycards and solve puzzles to progress.
When it comes to mechanics and content, this is definitely meatier than the other games mentioned so far. However, it still maintains a casual feel that makes it perfect for quick, short bursts. The retro graphics also fit the era in which the show is set in. And this game sort of retells the story of the first season from Hopper’s perspective, which is great for fans of the show.
The game was first released in 2017 to help promote the show. If you’ve played it before, this is essentially the same game. If not, it’s definitely worth at least a try.
Stranger Things 3: The Game
Lastly, Stranger Things 3: The Game feels like an upgraded version of Stranger Things: 1984. After all, it is from the same developer. This one plays more like an action role-playing game, whereas 1984 is closer to a dungeon crawler.
It faithfully retells the story of the show’s third season featuring all of the main characters. A lot of them are playable and come with their own unique abilities. The general gameplay loop is fun, albeit slightly repetitive at times, mostly involving beating up goons and upgrading your characters. For better or worse, it’s nostalgic of the games from a bygone era.
In terms of length and scale, this tops all the other games on this list. And that’s not surprising at all, given how this was previously being sold on consoles and PC.
Overall, it’s not a very strong start for Netflix’s new mobile gaming division. There’s clearly an effort here to make subscribers feel like they’re getting more value out of their subscriptions. But it has quite a ways to go if it wants to be competitive in the scene, especially against its rival, Apple Arcade.
Netflix should also offer more games based on its own intellectual properties, which would help them stand out. Obviously, this is just the start for the streaming platform and it’s still feeling the waters. Only time will tell if its foray into games will prove to be a success or a bust.
Written by Kyle Chua