Netflix Games: Price, How To Play, iOS Release, And Everything We Know
Netflix has rolled out its new games initiative, and it's included at no extra cost for subscribers. Here's everything you need to know to get started.
Plenty of companies have aimed to make the "Netflix of games," but now Netflix wants to be the Netflix of games. The company has opened its game service widely on Android devices, with an iOS version coming soon. While it's certainly a first step, the company has plans to expand its offerings as time goes on.
How much does it cost?
Perhaps the most appealing part of Netflix's offering is the cost. Netflix has said it wants to make games an additional value on top of its standard pricing structure, and won't charge extra for the benefit. Those plans could certainly change if Netflix's game offerings grow more ambitious, but for the time being it's just an extra perk on top of your standard Netflix subscription price. Currently those pricing tiers are $9, $14, and $18 respectively, with increasing fidelity and number of screens you can use at once. But even at the most basic $9 tier, you get access to the Netflix games library.
All five of the games available through Netflix are exclusive to the service, and for the most part, have not been available on other devices. Stranger Things 3, a tie-in retro RPG for the third season of the Netflix series, had previously been available across several platforms, but was delisted shortly before the Netflix Games service launched. After a launch price of $20, it was usually priced at $10 and often went on sale for $5. Now it's included with your standard Netflix subscription along with a handful of other games.
What games can you play?
At launch there are five games available through the Netflix Games service:
- Stranger Things: 1984
- Stranger Things 3: The Game
- Shooting Hoops
- Teeter Up
- Card Blast
The two Stranger Things games are from developer BonusXP, each with a setting-appropriate retro pixel art style. Shooting Hoops and Teeter Up are a basketball and physics balancing game, respectively, from Frosty Pop--the mobile studio that has also developed Apple Arcade originals like The Get Out Kids and The Pinball Wizard. Finally, Card Blast is a card-based puzzle game from Amuzo and Rogue Ones.
Like Apple Arcade, all games on the Netflix Games service promise no fees, in-app purchases, or ads.
What devices are supported?
For the time being, Netflix Games is only available on Android devices. If you have an Android phone or tablet, simply update the Netflix app and you'll see a dedicated Games section in the interface.
Starting on November 10, the service will also come to iOS. The announcement from the company noted that you'll be able to find the dedicated Games tab in the Netflix app, just like on the Android version.
How does it work?
Unlike a service like Microsoft Cloud Streaming or Google Stadia, these games will be downloaded directly onto your devices. That may be surprising from a company like Netflix, which is known for its streaming video service. Netflix has not announced plans to introduce a streaming service, but it has said it considers this the "early days of creating a great gaming experience."
The mobile games are available in several languages, so any games you download will default to the language preference from your Netflix profile. You can also download the games for each profile on your account across multiple devices, and select games will be available without an internet connection.
Long-term, Netflix says it hopes to make a service that caters to "every kind of player," from beginners to more experienced gamers.
What parental controls are available?
Netflix Games won't be available on kids profiles, and if you have a PIN set up to protect your adult profiles, that will be required to play games on a device. That makes the parental controls features essentially an extension of the controls that already exist on your regular Netflix account.