The start menu comes complete with a moody 8-bit version of the show’s intro theme song — this is one of the many features that help the game capture the ‘80s aesthetic of the TV show, miniaturized for phone screens.
It’s a point-and-click game adapted to the touchscreen era. The HD world of 2017 doesn’t deter this pixelated world from building character, as it’s filled with details like cracks, lit cigarettes in ashtrays and wet floor signs that add a gritty flavor to the environment.
Thick on narrative, the game opens with grizzled police chief Jim Hopper receiving a call about missing children. At first, the player controls him, guiding him through puzzles like turning off lasers blocking his progress. But six more characters, including Nancy and Lucas, become playable later on.
The missions tie into the lore of the show, according to a press release: “Collect all the Eggos and Gnomes. Complete the full VHS library. Check off all the achievements.” Even the descriptions for the two game modes are engaging. Normal mode is “For users new to pixely adventuring. Deaths are less punishing” while classic mode is reserved for “Experienced players only. It’s like 1984 Hard.”
Much like the TV show’s marquee placement on a streaming site like Netflix, the choice of a mobile platform for this video game stays in touch with Stranger Things’ overall niche as a nostalgic period franchise adapted to modern technology, that functions more as an homage than a replication.
The press release also teases that the game may unlock “secret characters or exclusive, never-before-seen-footage- of-Season-2.”
Watch the trailer for Stranger Things: The Game below: