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Netflix games finally launch for Android app users

There are only five games slated for the launch, but more are coming soon.

Published onNovember 2, 2021

netflix games
  • A small selection of Netflix games are now available to play for Android app users.
  • The games are downloaded via the Google Play Store and can be played in the Netflix Android app.
  • Five Netflix games will be available to play at first, and all are free with an active Netflix subscription.

Update, November 2, 2021, at 1:57 PM ET: Netflix has launched five mobile games on its Android app worldwide. The games include two titles based on its hit TV show Stranger Things (Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3), along with the arcade games Shooting Hoops, Card Blast, and Teeter Up. 

Android Netflix app users will now see a new dedicated row with those titles. The games are downloaded via the Google Play Store but are launched and played in the Netflix app. Some require an internet connection, but others can be downloaded and played on the device for offline gaming.

None of the games are visible on Netflix kids’ profiles. All of the selections are free to play, with no ads or in-game purchases, for all Netflix subscribers. The new service will launch on iOS devices sometime soon, with more games promised in the next few months.

Original article, August 26, 2021, at 1:05 PM ET: For years now, we’ve been hopeful that we’d see a “Netflix of gaming.” We thought Stadia would be it, but it wasn’t. Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming comes closest but still has significant limitations. When we found out Netflix itself was getting into gaming, we thought this would be it: the Netflix of games.

So far, though, the new service appears pretty underwhelming. The company confirmed on Twitter (via The Verge) that it is testing the first titles in Poland. People with Polish Netflix accounts can fire up the Netflix Android app and access two live games: Stranger Things 1984 and Stranger Things 3.

See also: What is cloud gaming?

However, unlike the videos you watch on Netflix, you don’t stream these titles. Instead, tapping on a game within the Netflix app just takes you to the Google Play Store. You download the title there as usual and then launch it from within the Netflix app. You cannot launch them as a standalone app.

This means, essentially, that “Netflix games” is just a glorified game launcher that locks titles within the app. That doesn’t sound so revolutionary to us.

Granted, the company admits these are “very, very early days.” It’s possible things could change significantly by the time the service rolls out. Still, this doesn’t appear to be anything too exciting as of yet. Although, it is nice to know that these titles will be free with your Netflix subscription and will not feature any ads or in-app purchases.

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