Netflix is getting you ready for another season of Stranger Things. The show will be available on October 27, but if you can’t wait that long, there is now a game for you. The game, like the show, puts you back into the 1980s. It’s essentially a top-down RPG, with chunky pixel art. If you need to compare this in terms of quality, we’re talking Super Nintendo, not Classic. The game itself is surprisingly good.
You start off as Hopper, the cop. You are dragged out in the middle of the night to investigate a laboratory. It doesn’t take you long to find yourself knee deep in the same mystery from the TV show. You roam around Hawkins, interacting with characters from the show and try not to get killed. It seems like you spend a lot of time solving puzzles and flicking switches to unlock doors.
There is so much to love about this game, though. It makes you run halfway across town to deliver a new telephone to Winona Ryder’s character, for example. But also because it mimics the TV show so much. In the police station, Hopper notes how the cabinets are filled with owl attack reports. The game is designed in a really smart way, overall. But it shakes things up with the odd boss battle.
The game is available for Android and iOS. If you don’t have a compatible device, you will have to wait for the show to come back on. Which is only a few weeks away now. Also – who, other than maybe my 72-year-old father, doesn’t have a device capable of downloading this game? Honestly. And it’s free. So there are literally no excuses. Unless you’re my Dad or of his generation.
This is all promotion for the show, right? Yes and no. I think it acts in a promotional sort of way. And it’s a good marketing tool, but I think there’s something else to it. Retro gaming has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, thanks, mostly to Nintendo. A lot of people in my generation, and maybe the one slightly before mine, want to relive those fun times. It’s nostalgic. It takes you back to a simpler time. So this kind of makes sense to me.
Not only that, but the entire TV series has the undertones of nostalgia built into it. You get to relive that time that maybe you’re longing to remember. But it’s not just Netflix where we see this. Think of the Goldbergs. It’s amazing how they get the level of detail that they do in terms of the toys, or action figures, or even popular hairstyles at the time.
There is the saying “what’s old is new again”, and I think that for us, now, this is especially true. I don’t want to get into a big speculation of why I think this is happening. I will save that for another post. But I will say that people are longing for nostalgia. They definitely want to be reminded of a time gone by. My one theory, that I will share, is maybe we don’t want to be adults. Or we’re tired of the responsibility. Which is making us long for the good old days. Whatever the reason is, you will love this game. And don’t forget to check out Stranger Things on Netflix, October 27.