A mobile Stranger Things video game tie-in is coming out next year as Netflix reveal more about their Dark Crystal strategy game.
The new Stranger Things game for iOS and Android will be a ‘location-based’ role-playing puzzler and was revealed during a panel at E3 in Lost Angeles, alongside other new Netflix-derived video games.
‘We’re excited to be partnering with Next Games, out of Helsinki, Finland, who have crafted this RPG-puzzle hybrid game that has location-based technology,’ said Chris Lee, director of Interactive Games at Netflix. ‘Meaning that no matter where you are in the world, you can fight and battle against the Upside Down, even in your backyard.’
No gameplay footage been shown yet, although the description sounds similar to Pokémon GO, which uses GPS and augmented reality (AR) to ‘capture’ pokémon in the real world.
‘They’ve developed this amazing ‘80s retro Saturday morning cartoon art style that we’ve absolutely fallen in love with,’ said Lee, as he discussed the game’s art direction.
Mobile game developer Next Games specialise in using Pokémon GO-style AR technology, having already made the popular The Walking Dead: Our World game, which uses location-based AR to make it look as though you are fighting off zombies in your real-life surroundings.
The new Stranger Things mobile game will be released in 2020.
The game comes as the streaming service looks to increase their presence in the video games market, by turning their original TV shows and films into games. ‘What we’re looking for are opportunities to extend the universe of these shows and films into other mediums’, said Lee. ‘And to me, it was really obvious to try to do that with video games.’
Netflix also revealed new details on the already-announced Stranger Things 3: The Game, which will be released for Nintendo Switch on 4 July to coincide with the third season of the show. But they also have a new Dark Crystal game planned, which was unveiled during the Nintendo Direct stream at E3 2019.
Stranger Things 3: The Game is a 16-bit style beat-‘em-up adventure that is intended to build on events in the third season of the show, but also use the expanded world to explore more of Hawkins. ‘We call it Season++, revealed Dave Pottinger of developer BonusXP. ‘We’re giving people the content of the show, but we’re also giving them as much, if not more, content in the game. We don’t want people to play the game and feel like there isn’t anything new discovered.’
The game will offer local couch co-op, so that you can play the game with friends in splitscreen mode, and will use a simple drop-in/drop-out option for joining the fun and solving quests around the town of Hawkins.
Fans will get to play as their favourite main characters from the show, including Eleven, who didn’t feature heavily in the first Stranger Things mobile game due to it being set between the events of Seasons 1 and 2, when the character’s whereabouts was unknown.
‘She is certainly the most powerful character in the game,’ revealed Pottinger. He also explained that Eleven’s in-game attack will be a Psychic Push, with a special Nuke ability and a ‘Thinking Cap’ upgrade, which will increase the power of her Psychic Push and decrease the energy needed for her to use her Nuke.
Meanwhile, Netflix also revealed details on the Dark Crystal game announced during the Nintendo Direct stream at E3, The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics. The game will be released later in 2019 and is based on the upcoming Netflix series, which itself is a prequel to the classic 1982 Jim Henson puppet fantasy movie.
Stephanie Wise, director of Digital and Interactive Media at The Henson Company, revealed that the game will expand the world which fans will already know from the original movie, ‘We are working in tandem. We’ve given them a lot of assets, and we’re still giving them more as we are working with Netflix to finalise the show…. So that we make sure that the game looks and feels like the show and the film.’
The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics will be a turn-based, strategy game that seems similar in style to the classic Final Fantasy Tactics. ‘It was a great marriage between that world, and the type of gameplay that we were known for back in the day: we have a good chunk of people that worked on Age Of Empires from Microsoft,’ added Pottinger, ‘Strategy is kind of in our blood.’
By Rebecca April May
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