- Developer – BonusXP
- Publisher – BonusXP
- Platforms – Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC
- Release date – July 4th, 2019
- Price – $19.99
- Reviewed on – Xbox One
- Review code provided – Yes
I wasn’t too sure what I was going to get myself into when first loading up Stranger Things 3 The Game. Gaming in my opinion has not had a great rep in the past with video games releasing alongside a blockbuster movie or popular series. To my surprise, I found myself having an enjoyable time.
If you have not yet seen the new season of Stranger Things on Netflix, then you might want to brace yourself for some spoilers as the game follows closely with the series chapter after chapter.
Just like the show, there are a total of eight chapters with each one doing notable quests from the series along with some side quests that I assume are optional, unless you’re like me and want those achievements.
The game does a great job guiding you through events from the show in a cute overhead 16bit format. The hack n slash type combat by a simple push of a button is satisfying, but not as satisfying as your power move, which varies from each character. For example, Hopper just lays into enemies with his fists, but with enough energy built up in your meter (from drinking Coke), you’ll see Hopper go at a full on charge against a horde of Russians or diseased rats for multiple hit points. When you’re running low on med kits or some Coke, you can head to a vending machine and max out your inventory anytime you need to if you’re not as lucky finding these items in the open areas.
Each character you unlock has unique abilities to help you through areas you may not be able to get to as other characters. For instance, you might come across a gate that’s chained up with a padlock, but Lucas can’t get through it, so you would select Joyce to help you on your way through the gate with her handy bolt cutters. Switching characters is simple, and as you progress further into the game, the more characters the better. Especially if you’re in the hunt for all 50 gnomes to get them extra achievements or trophies.
After a few hours of playing the game, I felt myself enjoying the music. The music was for the better part, relaxing. Relaxing music when hunting certain items for Ivan the Smuggler or pizza ingredients for a couple of side quests was a bonus for me, as I am sucker for great video game music.
When I came upon Chapter 8, the final chapter, I found myself with having collected 39 of the 50 gnomes, so I decided to take a break and go collect them all. Gnome hunting is fun, but there are some you may not be able to get to unless you have certain characters unlocked or how far you have progressed in the game. I had to wait until I could get underground above Weathertop to collect my final ones. Every ten gnomes you collect, let’s you unlock a chest in a ‘nondescript’ house where a person is behind a locked door telling you they can’t come out due to their crazy allergies, but encourages you to deliver their gnomes back down the hall, ten at a time. For every ten gnomes you bring back to the house, you get to unlock a chest that can contain certain trinkets or extra items to add to your inventory.
Finding items or money isn’t that hard. In fact, I think I had over 40 dollars on me at all times throughout the game. Doing a few jobs for Mrs. Wheeler or other fine people around Hawkins can net you money on top of what you can collect from just destroying property or defeating enemies.
Just like the show, team work is key. You will often switch from multiple characters that will help you the most through the game whether you need to crawl through a vent in a wall or blow up a boulder that may be blocking your path. Most chapters have some pretty easy puzzles. You might have to find a clue on a computer and try to figure out a riddle to find out the right direction each Golden Bear has to face in order to gain access to the the next room. Some other puzzles you will encounter might have you turn on and off switches in a certain order to unlock doors or turning power off and on to get past security lights. There’s also some puzzles that require team work where you have to stand on one platform while switching to the other character to travel further into the level.
A lot of key moments from the show make their way into the game. You play out the battle with the Mind Flayer inside Hoppers cabin, you get to see Eleven tell Mike “I dump your ass” and sadly, we get to relive the devasting moment when we lose our dear Russian friend Alexei…or as we like to call him…Smirnoff in all its 16bit glory.
After completing Stranger Things 3 The Game, I am given the option for a new game plus. At the time of this review, I have not tried that out, but I do plan on it since it is a missing achievement and I am some what of a completionist or achievement hunter.
Stranger Things 3 The Game is just that. It’s a dubbed down version of the whole season in video game form, but an enjoyable one at that. I had a hard time putting it down once I got further into the story and reliving key moments that I saw in the show prior. I really thought BonusXP did a great job with the game, and I plan on revisiting its new game plus mode later on in the future. At $19.99, I don’t think it’s that bad of a price especially if you’re just looking to experience Season 3 of Stranger Things in a video game.