Top 4th of July Sales Best Phones Under $500 Palmetto Solar Review Early Prime Day Deals 8 Budget Chromebooks 4th of July Sale at Best Buy Travel Must-Haves Under $50 Best Android VPNs
We handpick the products and services we write about. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Netflix Releases 3 New Mobile Games, Including Cute Dragons Hatching

And a fourth, the previously announced Exploding Kittens game, will launch next week.

Netflix logo
Sarah Tew/CNET

Netflix is adding another four mobile games to its roster, the company said on Tuesday, including three available immediately and a fourth -- its previously announced Exploding Kittens game -- arriving next week. The move is tied to Netflix's effort to invest in video games as part of its standard subscriptions. 

The Dragon Up game interface shows a shining cartoon dragon under a rainbow

Dragon Up's visual style is based on Scandinavian design and illustration in early storybooks and fairy tales, according to Netflix. 

Netflix

The latest games joining Netflix are:

  • Dragon Up, a colorful single-player game that lets players hatch and collect rare dragons in order to save their kingdom.
  • Townsmen - A Kingdom Rebuilt, a mobile version of the strategy game that lets players build a medieval city, make financial decisions and keep the populace happy.
  • Moonlighter, a role-playing game that puts players in the role of shop manager by day and a monster-slaying dungeon explorer unlocking mysteries by night. 

Exploding Kittens - The Game will launch on Netflix on May 31. Like the existing Exploding Kittens app available in Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store, the Netflix version adapts the popular card game that challenges players to draw from a deck without getting an Exploding Kitten card. 

This Netflix version will have two exclusive cards: a Radar card that reveals the closest Exploding Kitten within the deck and a Flip Flop card, which reverses the order of the cards in the entire deck. An expansion pack of cards will be themed around Netflix's Exploding Cat TV series slated to come out in 2023.

Netflix's games are playable and downloadable via links in Netflix's mobile app, but they need to be installed separately from Netflix's app on your device. You can download the games directly from the Apple and Google app stores at 10 a.m. PT on the day of their release, or you can wait until 2 p.m. ET that day to find the links to them in Netflix's own app. Android mobile and iPhone users should see a dedicated games row if they scroll down their home tab, with Android additionally having a dedicated games tab. Tablet users should also see a dedicated games row or find games in the categories dropdown menu. 

Last year, Netflix confirmed that it's expanding into gaming, starting with ad-free games for mobile devices like phones and tablets available on its existing service at no added cost to subscribers. With the latest games launching in May, Netflix has 22 casual, mobile games available on the service, some of which were previously released elsewhere. 

The expansion represents Netflix's most meaningful move into a new kind of entertainment since it started streaming in 2007 and since it released its first original show in 2012. Netflix has sketched out broad ambitions for gaming, indicating that it ultimately envisions pursuing console games for Xbox and PlayStation, too. 

Netflix isn't alone in this gaming expansion. Amazon, which operates Prime Video, has invested in Luna, its cloud gaming service, and also has its own gaming studio. Google, parent of YouTube, has put money into its own Stadia game-streaming service. And Apple, which makes its own films and TV shows for Apple TV Plus, also launched Apple Arcade

But Netflix would be unique by making games part of its one and only subscription. Others offer their gaming services as standalone products, typically also in a bundle with a bunch of other memberships.

Now playing: Watch this: 5 ways to get more out of Netflix
5:06