Spent one too many hours in the hollow depths of The Upside Down? Looking to scratch that itch after realizing Stranger Things 5 probably won't be coming to Netflix for another year or so? Well, if you're an avid gamer with a hunger for all things sci-fi and eighties-themed, then you're in for a stroke of luck.
As it goes, there are quite a few video games that dwindle on a similar line to that of Stranger Things' Upside Down, some of which even feature an adequate amount of cheesy eighties pop icons and what have you. So, if you're feeling the Eleven blues and are struggling to fathom waiting around for another year to catch the grand finale of the hit show, then be sure to stop by these five games and series to help soften the blow just a smidgen.
5. Stranger Things 3: The Game
As a way to boost the hype for the third season, Stranger Things released an arcade-style game for all major platforms. Unfortunately, this was the only real game its creators put out, though it definitely served its purpose and did the series justice. And so, if you live and breathe all things Upside Down, then you have to experience this little nugget of eighties nostalgia.
Stranger Things 3: The Game sees you playing as one of twelve familiar characters in the show roster. Either alone or with a co-op buddy, you can immerse in a 16-bit beat 'em up world that follows a number of events as seen in the episodic melodrama. With that, you can expect plenty of retro visuals, recognizable settings, and even a number of in-game secrets which come in the form of side quests. So, a real all-in-one package for Stranger Things' super fans, for sure.
4. Silent Hill (Series)
If there's one thing The Upside Down and Silent Hill have in common, it's the ash-riddled locale. Take a stroll through either and you'll probably call out the adjacent reference, no doubt. Plus, the monsters each world houses aren't too different, either. Take a quick look at the Demogorgon from Stranger Things, for example, and you'll instantly recall the hundreds of enemies you probably slaughtered somewhere in Silent Hill. Well, there's a reason for that.
It's no secret that Stranger Things' developers borrowed a chunk of material from Silent Hill—especially from its creature department. Therefore, best pay respects to the original source; it's a world worth exploring, so long as you don't fear the wicked scythe of the unknown. Although without the loveable eighties references, it's chock-full of horrifying elements that helped conjure the very design for the Upside Down.
3. Alan Wake
Alan Wake is a story-driven adventure game that borrows a whole heap of its inspiration from Stephen King's anthology of award-winning horror novels. Similar in structure to Stranger Things, the game plays out in an episodic timeline, one that often splits into various twists, subplots, flashbacks, and endings. At its heart, though, it's a survival horror game with a superb ambience to flesh out its exterior layers.
Alan Wake follows the titular character, a self-made author with a number of best-selling horror works under his belt. After arriving in Bright Falls with his wife for a relatively short break away from the quill, things start to take a turn for the worse. Before long, the tranquil lakeside town spirals into a shadowy cesspit filled with sinister foes and hellish creatures. You know, sort of like The Upside Down, only without Vecna there to pull its strings. And it's your job, unfortunately, to make an understanding of the unusual happenings.
Oxenfree is a supernatural graphic adventure by Night School Studio, a firm that has drawn up a number of intriguing concepts using a smaller palette of tools. Although without a great deal of action like its Netflix cousin, its sci-fi-heavy world extracts a plethora of similar ingredients, most of which relate to an alternate dimension of some sort.
Oxenfree sees you and a group of old school friends venturing out to an old island for an overnight beach party. However, after a tear in time and space causes the world to turn upside down, a thread of mysteries soon follow suit, leaving the happy campers on a breadcrumb trail across the island in search of clues. It might not be The Upside Down or anything, but its supernatural dimension definitely punches on a similar wavelength, and then some.
1. Dead by Daylight
We can probably pay our respects to Dead by Daylight for several reasons, though the first would likely be because of its thirteenth chapter, Stranger Things. And then, of course, the fact that it also includes Freddy Krueger, “The Nightmare” that just so happened to inspire Stranger Things' main antagonist, Vecna. With all of that said, you can understand why we're so incredibly sweet on the online survival chapter.
The goal behind each Dead by Daylight session is simple enough: follow your teammates across the board in search of an escape. Meanwhile, the opposing player takes on the role of a famous serial killer, one that has the power to stalk prey and slaughter innocents in a number of barbaric ways. And Stranger Things, rather fittingly, made the cut just last year, with a few of its characters and settings being made available for regular players.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.