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Netflix Games goes live Wednesday: Service launches with two Stranger Things games on tap

It’s ready now for Android users, but an Apple iOS version is also 'on the way.'

By Benjamin Bullard
Netflix Logo on TV

It’s now official: A one-size Netflix subscription won’t just get you access to all the streamer’s customary lineup of movies and shows. Starting Wednesday, Nov. 3, it’ll also get you gaming on the go — all at no additional charge.

In a series of tweets, Netflix has broken the anticipation surrounding its previously-announced plans to expand into video games, explaining that mobile players can access its new “Netflix Games” service right in their Netflix app, using their standard sign-in credentials. For now, the service is available only for Android devices. But as the tweets below explain, an iOS version for Apple devices is “on the way.”

On launch day, logging in will get you access to a super-basic library of five games: Stranger Things: 1984, Stranger Things 3: The Game, Shooting Hoops, Card Blast, and Teeter Up. As you can tell, though, including Stranger Things in the mix appears to address earlier speculation over whether (and how) Netflix might incorporate its own crossover TV brand power. Five games admittedly isn’t many, but in a blog post, the streamer pledged “we’re just getting started.”

“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,” Netflix added. “We’re in the early days of creating a great gaming experience, and we’re excited to take you on this journey with us.”

Netflix previously had promised its gaming service would integrate seamlessly with the video selection menu that viewers are already used to, and sure enough, Netflix Games isn’t debuting as a separate thing: If you’ve got the current Android version of the Netflix app, it’s right there in the main lineup alongside everything else. There’s no additional charge for the service beyond your basic Netflix subscription, and the company touts its no-hassle approach: “[T]here’s no ads, no additional fees and no in-app purchases. (Don’t let the demogorgon tell you otherwise).”

How will you know where to look to find games on Netflix? The streamer is making it super-simple. “Members on an Android mobile phone will see a dedicated games row and games tab where you can select any game to download,” the company explains. “Members on an Android tablet will see a dedicated games row or be able to select games from the categories drop down menu to download and play.” Once the service goes live for iOS devices, we’d expect Apple users to see something similar.

With only five games and support for iOS still to come, there are still plenty of questions about how Netflix will fare as it makes its long-awaited foray into the ridiculously popular world of video gaming. As if to address one big mystery right from the start, Netflix — which requires an always-on internet connection to watch its streaming library — said gamers won’t necessarily need that kind of connectivity for games, depending on what they’re playing. “While some mobile games may require an internet connection, others will be available to play offline, to make those long trips and areas with bad Wi-Fi a lot more tolerable,” the streamer teased.

You can take Netflix Games for an Upside Down spin by snagging the latest version of the Netflix app at Google Play.