Netflix Stranger Things mobile game will reveal the Upside Down around you

The location-based game is expected to launch next year for Android and iOS.

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Joan E. Solsman
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Finland-based game studio Next Games is developing the new Stranger Things mobile game. 


Streaming service Netflix is working on a new Stranger Things mobile game for Android and iOS , expected to launch in 2020. The location-based game, which is a hybrid of role-playing and puzzles, is supposed to let players explore the Upside Down parallel universe hidden around our own daily lives. 

"No matter where you are at in the world, you can fight and battle against the Upside Down, even in your own backyard," Chris Lee, director of interactive games at Netflix, said Wednesday at a panel at the E3 gaming conference. The location-based mechanics also involve a Google Maps integration.

The game is a partnership with Next Games, a Finland-based company best known for making the Walking Dead games. The developer said it will reimagine the Stranger Things universe in the style of a 1980s Saturday morning cartoon. 

"Our core focus will be to deliver on Stranger Things' rich and intense themes like friendship and supernatural adventure, and translate these into snack-sized entertainment on your mobile device," Teemu Huuhtanen, the CEO of Next Games, said in a statement. 

Also at E3  on Wednesday, Netflix confirmed that Stranger Things will be coming to Fortnite in some capacity in the coming weeks. 

Netflix and video games have cross-pollinated before. On its own service, Netflix introduced an interactive video format in 2017 that gives viewers "choose your own adventure" A-or-B story options, such as its programs Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and survival reality show You vs. Wild

And the company has partnered with dedicated gaming companies too: Telltale Games brought an interactive Minecraft:  Story Mode series to to Netflix in November, and indie game developer BonusXP released one Stranger Things game in 2017, with another planned for this year, hooked on the third season of Netflix's retro sci-fi hit premiering July 4. 

At E3, a Netflix-related panel revealed two characters you can play as in the Stranger Things 3 game: Eleven and Max. Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven on the show, wasn't pleased that her character was unavailable to play in the first Stranger Things game until you unlock her character at the end, according to Dave Pottinger, CEO of BonusXP, the game's developer. 

The adventure game leans hard into a retro style. Players can choose to play as one of 12 characters from the show, and you can team up with a friend to explore the town of Hawkins, solve puzzles or battle the Mind Flayer, the mysterious paranormal villain of the show's second season. It'll be available globally on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, Android and iOS. 

The E3 conference earlier unveiled a Nintendo Switch game based on Dark Crystal, a franchise Netflix is releasing as a prequel series this summer