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Hades 2 Is In Early Access, but You Can Play the Original on Netflix Games Now

Netflix subscribers can play the award-winning indie game on iOS and iPadOS now.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
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While Hades 2 is available in early access now, you can play the original award-winning roguelike game Hades on Netflix Games. That means if you have a Netflix subscription (which starts at $7 a month) you can play Hades before the sequel, Hades 2, is released to the general public. However, developer Supergiant Games has said the original will be exclusive to iOS and iPadOS, since the studio is more familiar with these operating systems -- sorry, Android fans.

Supergiant Games initially released Hades in 2018 to near-universal acclaim. The title won various awards, including Game of the Year and Action Game of the Year at the 24th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards. It also made history as the first (and so far only) game to win a Hugo Award -- an accolade usually given to science fiction and fantasy literary works, but which created a special category for video games in 2021.

In Hades, you play as Zagreus, the mythological son of Hades, as he attempts to escape from the Underworld and reach Mount Olympus. And because this is a roguelike game, you'll face a different set of challenges each time you play. This unpredictability makes roguelike games particularly difficult, but Kasavin said that's what makes them enjoyable.

"The real pleasure of roguelike games is starting over," Kasavin said. "If you get too angry or upset when you die … you're missing out on what's so special about the genre."

As you play the game, you learn how to overcome different enemies, but you also learn more about the different characters you meet and the world. You'll encounter mythical characters like Achilles and Patroclus -- who are very much in love -- and Sisyphus, who affectionately calls the boulder he's chained to Bouldy. 

Each godlike figure becomes more grounded with each interaction, ultimately exposing them as more human than they'd probably like to admit. So while the gameplay of Hades is addictive, these interactions between runs are where the title really shines. 

If you watched Netflix's mythological series Blood of Zeus and were hoping for some easter eggs in Hades, you'll be disappointed. Kasavin said the priority for the team at Supergiant Games was to ensure the title runs well on iOS and iPadOS, not adding content beyond what was already in the game. 

"With the game being as well regarded as it is, we didn't want to mess with it too much," Kasavin said. "The really big investment was trying to get it as performant and smooth as possible, and also making sure that the controls felt as good as possible on mobile."

The touchscreen controls on mobile feel fairly good, but I'm happy it supports Bluetooth controllers. With touchscreen controls, I lose track of where my left thumb -- which usually controls a character's movement -- is on screen during crucial gameplay moments. I ran into this issue playing Hades, but fewer times than usual, which is a plus. As soon as I connected a Bluetooth controller this issue vanished, and I hacked and slashed my way through rooms full of enemies.

Here's how to get Hades in Netflix Games

1. Download the Netflix app onto your iPhone or iPad.
2. Open the Netflix app and sign in to your account.
3. Tap the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your screen.
4. Type Hades into the search bar.
5. Tap Hades.
6. Tap Get Game.

An additional pop-up from Apple's App Store opens, asking if you want to download Hades. After you've confirmed that action, the game starts downloading on your device, like other apps.

For more on Netflix Games, you can check out the titles released in March and February. You can also check out the movies, shows and games Netflix plans to release this year.

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