Welcome Time Wasters!
This week were talking about Stranger Things: The Game. For those that don’t know, Stranger Things is an original series from Netflix that has a heavy influence from 80 films, while still standing on its own. I personally enjoy the series enough to have watched through it a couple of times now. The second season is dropping later this month, and that means its the perfect time for a video game tie-in to promote the series.
Stranger Things: The Game follows in the same footsteps as the show in terms of design. It’s made to tap into the nostalgia of people that played video games back in the 80s. There’s nothing really wrong with this idea, but the biggest concern I had going into the game was if it could stand on its own, like the Netflix series did. The short answer to that is no, it can’t.
Stranger Things: The Game is a top-down adventure game that will have players exploring the town of Hawkins from the original series. The events of the game mostly mirror the first season, but there are some nods to things we’ve seen in trailers for season two, as well. Either way, it’s a bit bare bones in the story department.
Players run around Hawkins as the various characters from the show. This includes Hopper, Nancy, Louis, Will and several others. Each of these characters have their own special abilities that allow the player to move forward in Stranger Things: The Game. This can include breaking barriers, hitting switches from a distance and more.
Stranger Things: The Game has a major focus on puzzles with a minor in combat. The puzzles are all simple enough to solve and this includes the boss fights in the game. They typically just require switching to the right characters at the right time to win. Nothing all that tough, honestly.
I already said that Stranger Things: The Game rides on 80s nostalgia and the game definitely wants to make sure players are aware of that. When starting a game, it will ask the player if they want to play on the easy or normal difficulty setting. If you have even the slightest history playing video games, go with normal. This was my choice and it was still way too easy. I was actually disappointed by the lack of challenge in the game. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all games have to be kick-your-teeth-in difficult. However, you can’t tell me that normal is “1984” hard and then feed me a watered down version of The Legend of Zelda.
This visuals and audio are a bit strange in Stranger Things: The Game (Yes, that’s a pun. No, I don’t care.). Everything visual about the game presents a colorful and fun adventure. Characters break out huge smiles when picking up items, such as key cards and Eggos, but the audio doesn’t match up with this at all. This is because the music matches that from the show. That means there are a lot of somber and mysterious tunes that just don’t match up well with the visuals. Like I said, it’s a bit weird and threw me off while playing.
Overall, Stranger Things: The Game is a solid game for fans of retro video games and the original Netflix series. However, it doesn’t perform well enough to warrant too much of your time. Sure, there’s an extra clip for season two at the end, but you can probably find that on YouTube already. The fact that the game is free is nice, but then there are other free games out there that are more enjoyable, even with microtransactions.
Stranger Things: The Game earns 2.5 GiN Gems out of 5!
Currently Playing: A Hat in Time, Shin Megami Tensei
Waiting For: Super Mario Odyssey, .hack//G.U. Last Recode