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Free 'Stranger Things' mobile game revels in the arcade '80s

The mobile gaming world turns Upside Down with a "Stranger Things" game that would have rocked arcades a few decades ago.

Get ready to battle strange forces in Hawkins.

There's something strange happening in the town of Hawkins and it's up to you to get to the bottom of it. Stranger Things: The Game is a new mobile adventure for iOS and Android that combines retro stylings with characters, settings and stories from the Netflix horror hit "Stranger Things." And yes, there's an '80s arcade-style Eggo waffle waiting for you.

The game offers two modes, normal and classic, with the latter described as for "experienced players only; it's like 1984 hard." The game kicks off with you playing Chief Hopper. You get a call from Flo telling you four children have gone missing. "It's that Byers boy and his friends," she says. 

The game isn't about to miss a chance to drop an '80s reference. The first chapter is titled "The Lost Boys" and takes you into Hawkins National Laboratory, where you tackle puzzles and enemies with Hopper's power punch.

The game's movement and navigation is deceptively simple. You'll cruise through the introductory bits before the difficulty level moves up a notch and you need to be more on your toes (or fingertips). You'll get a chance to play as multiple characters from the show, including Lucas and Nancy.

The sound effects and graphics are designed to pull you into a lush 1980s video game reverie, but the exploration of settings and story aspects give it a more expansive, modern feel. It's a good reflection on the style of the television show, which both pays tribute to and expands on its inspirations.

The free game, a collaboration between Netflix and developer BonusXP, will satisfy "Stranger Things" fans, retro gamers and people who love early adventure titles like Legend of Zelda. 

"Stranger Things" returns to streaming on Oct. 27 for its second season. The game is part of a marketing push that plays on the show's obsession with '80s media. It fits right in with a series of horror-movie tribute posters and a promo for the first season done in retro-video-game style

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