Netflix shows off the breadth of its investment in games and gaming TV shows

On a recent visit to Los Angeles, I got to sit in on my first Geeked Week preview at the Netflix Theater. A bunch of directors and actors came out to talk about their movies and TV shows, but my ears perked up at an opportunity to see Netflix’s games.

Netflix showed off those games during the last day of Geeked Week today in a show hosted by the marvelous Mari Takahashi and Geoff Keighley.

The games and TV shows they showed off were quite impressive and showed how much the company is investing in gaming. they included TV shows like Tekken: Bloodline, The Cuphead Show (Season 2 coming in August), DOTA: Dragons Blood (Season 3), Sonic Prime, and the previously announced Exploding Kittens show.

As for the games, the titles included Shadow And Bone, Too Hot To Handle, La Casa De Papel, The Queen’s Gambit Chess (yes, it’s a chess video game), Lucky Luna, Desta: The Memories Between, Poinpy, Reigns: Three Kingdoms, Terra Nil, Wild Things: Animal Adventures, Raji, Spiritfarer, and Immortality.

Devolver Digital is making Reigns: Three Kingdoms, Terra Nil, and Poinpy. The latter launches today. The Tekken unveil included a message from creator Katsuhiro Harada.

The Queen’s Gambit is now a game.Reigns: Three Kingdoms is the fifth entry in developer Nerial’s award-winning franchise. Inspired by the beloved Chinese epic, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Reigns: Three Kingdoms thrusts players into the turbulent final years of the Han dynasty. There, they will encounter the many factions, wars, and heroes of the saga as they swipe their way through negotiations, marry to strengthen alliances, and convert to gain more power. Discover new ways to enjoy Reigns’ unique swiping mechanic as you uncover the many secrets of a vast storyline and a host of unexpected mini-games.

Terra Nil is a strategy city-building game with an emphasis on the climate crisis. It is a reverse city builder about ecosystem reconstruction. Turn a barren wasteland into an ecological paradise complete with different flora and fauna. Then clean up, leaving the environment pristine. Subverting the builder genre, Terra Nil is about the restoration of a ravaged environment.

Poinpy is a game where you bounce up, dodge adorable baddies and feed the blue beast that’s hot on your heels. A vertical climber from the creator of the award-winning Downwell. You keep going higher and higher because new and more challenging areas await. Earn and unlock abilities that will help you jump into your next run with a better shot at reaching the end.

Shadow and Bone: Destinies is a single-player role-playing game based on the Netflix fantasy-drama series. You play as your favorite characters and journey across the world of the Grishaverse in a narrative adventure to fulfill their destinies. Along the way, you’ll need to make decisions that will determine the course of your journey.

Too Hot to Handle lets you meet and mingle with sexy singles all vying for your affection in this game based on Netflix’s hit reality series “Too Hot to Handle.” Will you give in to temptation? Or hold out for deeper emotional connections? The choice is yours.

La Casa de Papel: When an old friend of the professor’s comes calling to cash-in a favor, the La Casa de Papel crew is pulled into a heist to rob a shady billionaire’s casino in Monaco.

Wild Things: Animal Adventures is an adorable game where you rescue cute animals, explore an immersive world and build your dream habitat in this colorful match-3 adventure game.

Raji: An Ancient Epic is an action-adventure game set in ancient India. A young girl named Raji has been chosen by the gods to stand against the demonic invasion of the human realm. Her destiny? To rescue her younger brother and face the demon lord Mahabalasura.

Spiritfarer is a cozy management game about dying. You play Stella, a Spiritfarer, ferrymaster to the deceased. Build a boat to explore the world, then befriend and care for spirits before finally releasing them into the afterlife. Farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook, and craft your way across mystical seas. Spend relaxing quality time with your spirit passengers, create lasting memories, and, ultimately, learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends.

Games coming in 2022

Lucky Luna is a vertical scrolling game. Netflix also listed the games that are expected to arrive this year. They include Poinpy, Wild Things: Animal Adventures, The Queen’s Gambit Chess, Lucky Luna, Raji, Spiritfarer, Desta: The Memories Between, and Reigns: Three Kingdoms.

Games coming soon

The titles coming soon, meaning we won’t see them this year probably, include Shadow and Bone: Destinies, Too Hot To Handle, La Casa De Papel (note, working title), and Terra Nil.

Games available now

Netflix also showed off what it has already launched. They include Stranger Things 3: The Game, Stranger Things: 1984, Card Blast, Shooting Hoops, Teeter (Up), Asphalt Xtreme, Krispee Street, Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends, Moonlighter, Into The Dead 2: Unleashed, This is A True Story, Exploding Kittens – The Game, Knittens, and Relic Hunters: Rebels.

Hands-on previews

I got to play with a few of the titles at the Geeked Week preview event. They include The Queen’s Gambit: Chess. This game is based on the show featuring the character Beth Harmon. You can take some lessons, play puzzles and matches or compete against friends in this love letter to the show. I took a stroll through the tutorial and it was easy enough to grasp. Then I played a round of chess against the AI and won. I like the old style board and how the chess pieces moved on their own, kind of like a Harry Potter chess game.

I also played with Lucky Luna, which comes from Snowman, who you may know from games like Alto’s Odyssey and Skate City. I didn’t know what to expect with this title as you venture with Luna into the depths of mythical temples and cavernous dungeons.

It’s a vertical scrolling platformer, where you fall deeper into the dungeon at various points and try to avoid spikes that will skewer you. You try to collect coins on the way and uncover the secrets of Luna’s past.

Each level introduces new mechanics and environmental features that open up different ways to explore. The game has no jump button. Swipe to move Luna left and right to guide her as she plunges deeper into each enchanting and treacherous region. I completed a whole level and found it quite immersive.

The most interesting game I looked at was Sam Barlow’s Immortality, an interactive video title where you have to mix and match videos, put them in the right order, discover new ones, and ultimately solve a mystery. It’s a lot like the gameplay of Barlow’s other titles, Her Story and Telling Lies. I’m looking forward Barlow’s tale about a filmmaker and actress who disappeared.
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