What is Netflix Games?
Netflix Games is a service that provides mobile games across both iOS and Android. These are not the types of mobile games you might expect from a media company: they are full-featured titles that you're actually going to want to play. And there are no in-app purchases for subscribers. The offering is small, to begin with, but more titles are in the works and will be available in the future. Netflix wants to make sure that there are games for every type of gamer.
If the concept sounds familiar, it's because we've seen services like this over the last few years. In 2019, Google tested Google Play Pass, to which Apple quickly responded with Apple Arcade. Both services require a monthly subscription fee, but off a lot of games under that umbrella. Netflix Games, however, is adding games to your existing subscription, so you will not need to pay any more for the feature.
How does it work?
If you are an existing Netflix subscriber with the most recent version of the mobile app on either iOS or Android, you should already have Netflix Games on the main menu (some users are having a different experience). Once in the Games section, you will get a few pieces of information. At the top, you'll see all of the games that are currently available. Tapping on one of those will take you to your platform's app store to download the game. Under the game list are trailers for the games. This way you can get an idea of what the games are before you leave the Netflix app. Under each trailer is another link to open your app store to install the game.
Our experience in finding the content has been varied. On iOS, none of our team has seen the menu option, but all of us see a category row under content. On Android, we have seen the menu, but it's not always there. When I began writing this, the menu was in the app, but currently it has vanished. However, we do see the category row under content there, as well. Because the game offering is limited, the list is complete. But, if this isn't solved in the near future, it could get tedious to find the games.
The games will install in English by default if you do not have a language selected in your Netflix profile. If you do, the games will try to localize to your selected language. Not all languages will be supported, but the goal is to be available to all users globally. You'll even be able to use the games on multiple devices under different profiles on your account. So, you and your significant other can each play and get your own experience.
The difference in behavior between what Netflix Games is doing versus what Xbox Game Pass tried to do is why this feature is allowed in iOS. Rather than being a completely self-contained gaming ecosystem, Netflix has published the games to the individual stores and linked out to that. It's what Apple required, but was not possible for game streaming.
There are currently 6 titles available, and they are available on both iOS and Android.
- Bowling Ballers
- Card Blast
- Shooting Hoops
- Stranger Things: 1984
- Stranger Things 3: The Game
- Teeter (Up)