Yearly Reminder That Netflix Games Is Absolutely Stacked

I’ve been banging on about Netflix’s mobile game service since it launched early last year, and I’m going to keep spreading the good word until it either catches on or gets unceremoniously discontinued as dozens or hundreds of people suddenly find themselves out of work, which is what typically happens when non-gaming companies jump into games with both feet. While its initial offerings were pretty meager, I started turning around on Netflix Games last July when it scored Into the Breach: Advanced Edition day-and-date (or sim-shipped, I can’t decide what the less wanky terminology is) with other platforms. Since then, the platform has grown by leaps and bounds, so I’m here for my yearly reminder not to sleep on this service – lest it goes the way of the Stadia.


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The value-prop for Netflix Games remains as solid as ever: use the Netflix subscription you already pay for to play ad-free, microtransaction-less mobile games. When it first launched last March all it had were dinky match three and similar puzzle games with all the monetization stripped out, but throughout the year Netflix added quite a few hits, including Oxenfree, Spiritfarer, Before Your Eyes, Kentucky Route Zero, Immortality, Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon, and 12 Minutes, but I won’t hold that last one against it. If you’re a fan of critically-beloved indies you’re probably saying to yourself “Dang, what a tasty lineup”, and you’d be right. This year, Netflix Games got even better.

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The service made a big push into publishing new games this year and it’s made Netflix Games even stronger. Terra Nil, a Games for Impact nominee at this year’s TGAs, debuted simultaneously on PC and Netflix, same for Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals and Valiant Hearts: Coming Home, a Netflix Games exclusive. Netflix also got TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, Death’s Door, Dead Cells, GTAs 3, San Andreas, and Vice City Definitive Editions, and Tomb Raider Reloaded, but I won’t hold that one against it. Storyteller, an excellent puzzle game from Annapurna Interactive that became a TikTok phenomenon this year, is also published by Netflix on mobile.

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It is still far from having the kind of library that Game Pass has, and as our own Tessa Kaur points out, there’s plenty of filler in between the gems, but for a service you’re probably already paying for anyway, Netflix has some heat. There’s at least a dozen must-play games on there, and even though many of them are a bit older now, it’s consistently adding fantastic games each year. Partnering with Annapurna Interactive was the smartest decision Netflix made, and I look forward to hopefully playing upcoming games like Flock, Ghost Bike, and Blade Runner 2033: Labyrinth on Netflix next year.

Of course, like all tech giants, Netflix has much bigger ambitions for its gaming services that have yet to be realized. It’s hoping to break into triple-A with tie-ins to Squid Game, Rebel Moon, and an unannounced live-service PC game. Those endeavors are likely doomed to fail, just based on history and intuition, but I hope that doesn’t mean Netflix will cut and run from games the way Google did. Netflix Games is doing a lot to legitimize mobile and erase decades of stigma that has diminished the entire platform, and I hope to see it continue growing organically with solid ports of good games. And also Poinpy, but I won’t hold that against it.

Next: Squid Game Is Getting A Second Season Of Its Reality Show, And… A Video Game?

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