Netflix adds mobile games to its app for smartphones and tablets

Netflix has been expanding its entertainment experience for its members, as it launched worldwide, mobile-specific games for its mobile apps for smartphones and tablets using either Android or iOS systems in November 2021.

It currently offers 14 games, from arcade games to strategy, role-playing, sports and more, including two games based on the Netflix Original show “Stranger Things.”

Mike Verdu, vice president of Netflix’s Game Development team, said in a press release on Nov. 2 that Netflix is hard at work expanding its gaming selection to provide a variety of games for its users.

“Whether you’re craving a casual game you can start from scratch or an immersive experience that lets you dig deeper into your favorite stories, we want to begin to build a library of games that offers something for everyone,” Verdu said. “We’re in the early days of creating a great gaming experience, and we’re excited to take you on this journey with us.”

Kara Uhlinger, sophomore software engineering major, said she thinks Netflix making games for their original shows will encourage people to rewatch it.

“I think that would be really cool, especially with their own content, like for ‘Stranger Things,’” Uhlinger said. “I think that would be fun. I would definitely enjoy something like that, and I think it will really help (encourage people to) rewatch the shows, to understand the games more and the references. I think that would make me want to watch it again.”

Uhlinger said she thinks the Netflix original shows that already have games in them would be excellent choices to make into actual games.

“I think (they could make one for) ‘The Queen’s Gambit,‘” Uhlinger said. “They could do something with a chess game, and maybe play some of the characters from the show or something like that. Or for ’Squid Game,’ I feel like they could definitely do something really easily for a video game. They could do virtual versions of the competitions, and they could do some for the reality shows that they have, and they could make it interactive.”

Uhlinger suggested Netflix should add icons to the menu for when someone clicks into a show to show that they have a game based on it, but she also likes the idea of a separate games tab.

Uhlinger said she likes the idea of more interactive, choose-your-own-adventure-style games, such as the 2018 game, “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.”

“I think it gets you interacting more with the show and even expanding your interest in it,” Uhlinger said. “I remember when ‘Bandersnatch’ came out I thought it was the coolest thing. You could interact right with the show as you go. So I think that’s a great idea but I also think it’s a good idea to have them separately, like the actual games or anything interactive as something you can opt into.”

Since Netflix is currently focusing on games centered on their mobile app, Uhlinger said she would like to see them do more with virtual reality games.

Emey Yossef, sophomore health science major, said she agrees Netflix should have more games like “Bandersnatch.”

“I think it’s really fun,” Yossef said. “Honestly, I played ‘Bandersnatch’ at least four times to try to get the different endings.”

Yossef said she thinks the best shows for Netflix to make into games are the horror shows.

“I think horror ones would be the best ones to do out of it because then you’re in suspense and you want to like click the option, but then you’re like, ‘Wait, what if I die?’” Yossef said. “I love the choose-
your-own-adventure type because I like being in control of things. I think maybe if they had a time limit for the choose-your-own-adventure ones, that would give it a little more excitement.”

Although the games option is not available on her app yet, Yossef said she is excited for when it is out on a wider scale.

“When it does come up, I’m gonna be doing that instead of studying,” Yossef said. “I’m excited. I can’t wait to waste my time on it.”

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