Summer is in full swing with bikinis, flip-flops, and popsicles as far as the eye can see. When the pool is closed, or the sunburns become too unbearable, it’s nice to take a break from the heat and relax with a good ol’ fashion video game. Another great thing about the summer was the release of the third season of Stranger Things but what is one to do when they’re sunburned and finished with the latest season? Well, that’s where Stranger Things: The Game comes into play.
Stranger Things: The Game is a collaboration from BonusXP and Netflix and was released on IOS and Android back in 2017. The game follows Hopper through six chapters as he collects our beloved characters before attempting to defeat the Hydra. Playable characters can be shuffled into play based on the puzzle at hand and include: Hopper, Lucas, Nancy, Mike, Will, Dustin, Eleven, and Max. Each character has a special ability that helps the story progress and the game cannot be completed without the full team thus emphasizing the idea of collaboration and family ties. The map is quite expansive considering the genre of game and there are several collectibles players must look out for whilst playing.
Obviously, I was attracted to Stranger Things: The Game because of the 16-bit art style. It reminded me of the early Legend of Zelda titles and was hooked instantly. After the initial downloading process, I was instantly hit with a pang of nostalgia. The controls are reminiscent of Courage the Cowardly Dog: Creep TV. All you gotta do is point and click which is extremely handy when playing on a cellphone. The music and sound effects were fun and really gave off that 1980’s feel. If I had to pick a favorite character it would be Will. He carries around a lucky D20 reminding players that D&D is way cooler than they could ever imagine.
Stranger Things: The Game has all the flair and vintage aesthetic one would yearn for. There are quite a few Easter eggs players can discover throughout their journey without feeling too bombarded with references. Overall, this game is a fun way to beat the heat with easy to understand controls and humor to boot. There was an update in 2018 to bring Max into the picture and I can only hope that means 2019 will bring an update with a new special character as well. In the end, I highly recommend Stranger Things: The Game to anyone that enjoys the series.