App review: Stranger Things: The Game

Review

A blast of gaming nostalgia…
by
App review: Stranger Things: The Game

Strangely good fun

Oh, look. It’s the official game for Stranger Things, the popular Netflix series.

We know what you’re thinking, but fear not, because unlike some TV tie-ins, Stranger Things: The Game is far from a lazy cash-grab. It’s a welcome dose of nostalgia-fuelled fun, and completely and utterly free-of-charge for iOS and Android.

Availability

iOS and Android (Click to download)

What is it?

Just like the show, Stranger Things: The Game is set in small town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s. It’s a top-down adventure inspired by classic video games of the same decade, with a retro 16-bit aesthetic to boot.

You’ll explore familiar locations such as Mirkwood, Hawkins Lab, and of course, The Upside Down - fraught with frightening foes, tricky obstacles, and puzzles that you must solve to progress.

What did we like?

You’ll initially take control of Hopper, in search of the band of lost kids. In your quest to find them, you’ll explore the leafy Mirkwood, and its mysterious surroundings.

The game’s developer, BonusXP, has done a terrific job in creating a game world with personality and wonder. You’ll speak to various Hawkins citizens, gather collectibles, and uncover clues telling you where to go next.

You’ll explore puzzle-filled dungeons that are a welcome tribute to top-down RPG games of old, such as Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. And that’s the biggest complement we can pay to a game that won’t cost you a penny to play. Even the end of dungeon bosses are a welcome reminder of 80s gaming.

While the puzzles aren’t too complex, there’s a nice sense of joy from solving them while you’re stuck on the train. They mostly involve triggering door-opening switches, and hunting down keys to unlock hidden paths, but they’re still good fun.

The level design is great. You’re never led astray with no sense of direction, and there’s always an interesting path to follow, things to collect, and cupboards to ransack. Collect enough coins and you’ll be able to buy pieces of health, key cards, and weapon upgrades.

There’s also several video tapes scattered about the town. Collect them all, and you’ll get access to a previously unseen Stranger Things trailer.

Stranger Things: The Game keeps things fresh by letting you play as each new character you unlock. Each one has their own unique ability. For example, Hopper packs a powerful punch attack, Lucas fires pebble projectiles useful for hitting faraway switches, and Nancy has a baseball bat that you can use to smash through previously blocked paths. Further on in the game you're able to unlock Eleven, but we won't drop any more spoilers than that.

What could be better?

If we’re going to nit-pick, you could say the gameplay can feel repetitive when played in long bursts. Even so, that would be doing great disservice to what is a meaty overall package, considering you can play it for precisely zero of your hard-earned.

Verdict

Stranger Things: The Game leaves us with a burning question. How is this game free? There’s no in-game adverts to distract you, no hidden costs, no in-app purchases. Just one superbly designed, classic-styled adventure.

0 Stars

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
We've ben hooked by a number of amazing shows this year on Netflix, and the trend is no doubt set to

20 July, 2018
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 have amazing cameras packed with state-of-the-art features....
18 July, 2018
If you've never considered using a stylus on your phone, perhaps you should. In fact,...
17 July, 2018
From AI camera technology to wide-angled selfies, here are our top five tips for...
16 July, 2018
If you enjoy playing mobile games on your smartphone, here some top tips to take...
13 July, 2018
If you're phone has one of these problems, you definitely shouldn't ignore it. Especially...

26 June, 2018
Off the back of the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 Plus, Galaxy A8 and the Galaxy A6, let us...
18 June, 2018
The new Samsung Galaxy A6 is a mid-range phone packed with premium tech, including...
12 June, 2018
The BlackBerry Key 2 truly is a thing of wonder, and it looks the part too. In this...
6 June, 2018
The LG G7 ThinQ is a stunning flagship phone, with an AI-powered camera and game...
25 May, 2018
The Nokia 1 is a budget smartphone running Android Oreo (Go edition). For the price,...
17 May, 2018
The Samsung Galaxy A8 is an affordable mid-range smartphone with some truly flagship...
10 May, 2018
The Nokia 8 Sirocco has launched. It's a luxury flagship handset, and it's been described...
25 April, 2018
The Motorola G6 Play and Motorola to G6 Plus are now available to pre-order. We delve...
18 April, 2018
The Nokia 7 Plus is a big, beautiful smartphone with a fantastic display and great...
13 April, 2018
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds launches on iOS and Android. Need to know more? Here's...
6 April, 2018
We've spent some time with the P20, Huawei's latest flagship smartphone powered by...
21 March, 2018
We take a close look at two great new smartphones from Asus, the Zenfone 4 and Zenfone...