If, like us, you binged season 3 of Stranger Things, and are keen to fill that Demogorgan-sized hole in your life while Netflix films the follow up, then we have good news for you – get your hands on a copy of the best tie-in game this side of the Upside Down: Stranger Things 3: The Game.
Developed by BonusXP, Stranger Things 3 – The Game, is a follow up to the surprisingly good mobile game released back in 2017, and quite honestly couldn’t be in better hands. BonusXP did such a great job with the original tie-in that there simply wasn’t another dev out there that could have done a better job.
Following the story set out in the smash-hit TV series, players take on the role of Mike and co as they traverse the spiralling locations of Hawkins, battling pesky Soviet heels that throw Molotov cocktails at children, and trying to prevent the end of the world as we know it.
Stranger Things 3 is a game that’s overflowing with spoilers (don’t worry this is a spoiler-free zone) for the television show, but also expands the universe with tons of side missions that take the players all over the map, smashing the shit out of things along the way to help locate hidden items, money, and junk that can be combined to make weapons.
Much like the 2017 game, players control multiple characters at once, switching between party members when a specific skill or power is required to progress. These include a baseball bat for Mike, Lucas’ trusty slingshot, and Dustin’s … ahem … Farrah Fawcett hair spray! These all come in handy as you battle possessed rats, or superhuman Russians en route to the final battle against the stories biggest villain, that dripping pink bastard known as the Mind Flayer.
Visually the game is even better than the 2017 version, although the Super Nintendo style graphics are a little ahead of their time if the game is supposed to feel like something out of 1985, the year this chapter of the story occurs in. Sure there are flaws, there are always flaws, but the game is so much fun you won’t care, even when the wrong character pops up for a line of dialogue even though they’re not even in the game.
Perhaps the only real complaint here – and it’s a small one – is that the entire game still feels like a marketing tool for the TV show – albeit a fun one. That was the major issue with the original game and it’s still true here. Perhaps one day someone will agree to take the shackles of BunusXP a little and let them create their own world within the Stranger Things universe, giving us their very finest all-new, 16-bit adventure with new characters and a whole new story to add to the already impressive canon. To quote the show’s star Eleven, that would really be bitchin’, and could secure the future of the franchise long beyond the eventual climax to the TV show.
Stranger Things season 3 was the best season yet, and no matter how many times you watch it you always want more. BonusXP has created a tie-in video game that is just as much fun as the TV show and perhaps twice as addictive. If you’re hungry for more Hawkins bizarre then Stranger Things 3: The Game has you covered better than Mrs. Wheeler’s swimsuit.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Mobile, Nintendo
Release Date: 04/07/2019
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: Action, Adventure
Download link: eShop