(Credit: Netflix/BonusXP)

Back in October 2017, Netflix dropped an unexpected early Christmas gift in the form of a free mobile game (Android, iOS) based on its hit show Stranger Things. And not only was the game itself a surprise, but it was also good, free, and sizeable. That's not a combination that we're used to seeing in mobile games, though it was presumably bankrolled by Netflix as a marketing tool.

Fast forward to The Game Awards on Thursday, and it looks like Netflix (Android, iOS) has upped the ante. For its next release, called Stranger Things 3, it's aiming for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Windows, and Macs. That's a bit of an upgrade from the Android and iOS app stores, indicating that Netflix sees this as a promising avenue in its own right. The deciding factor will be if it gives the game away for free again.

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Netflix claims that the previous title was played by more than 10 million people, and there are indications that the sequel will let you play with your friends as well.

Either way, some other changes are evident from the trailer. While the previous game was mostly top-down, this one uses an isometric viewpoint, and there's been a moderate visual update all around, with more detailed characters, environments, and animations. Rest assured, however, that this is still a solidly retro title, with throwback sound effects and a generally 16-bit pixelation of all the artwork.

The company describes this latest Stranger Things game as an "Action Adventure RPG," which is in keeping with the first. Both are the product of developer BonusXP, who also makes Hero Academy games for mobile devices. This opens up the possibility that Stranger Things 3 will eventually make its way to iOS and Android.

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No specific release date has been announced, but we know that the highly anticipated third season of the show is set to arrive this summer. Show creators the Duffer Brothers have indicated that it may not be a long-running show, due to the aging of their youthful cast. But if Stranger Things 3 is any indication, the show may live on in another medium.

Takeaways

  • Netflix has announced the sequel to 2017's Stranger Things mobile game, but this one is targeting Windows, Macs, and game consoles instead of mobile devices.
  • However, it's still being made by the original developer, who works primarily on Android and iOS games.
  • Stranger Things 3 (the second game in the series but apparently numbered in reference to the third season of the show) doesn't have a release date or a price, but we know that the new season is slated for release this summer.

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Tom McNamara is a Senior Editor for CNET's Download.com. He mainly covers Windows, mobile and desktop security, games, Google, streaming services, and social media. Tom was also an editor at Maximum PC and IGN, and his work has appeared on CNET, PC Gamer, MSN.com, and Salon.com. He's also unreasonably proud that he's kept the same phone for more than two years.