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Stranger Things Prototype for Commodore 64

The first season of Stranger Things was a standout success for Netflix in 2016. With its blend of old-school science fiction and horror set within the backdrop of the 1980s, the television show hit a cord with many viewers who grew up grew during that era. And if you’re a fan of the Commodore 64–which, coincidentally, was originally released around the same time that the television series is based–or you just like to see promising games developed for retro computers, then a Stranger Things prototype game for the 8-bit computer will be of interest.

The prototype was pulled together through the joint efforts of Digital Eclipse, 8Bit Weapon, and IAM8BIT and takes gameplay influence from LucasArts’ own Commodore 64 SCUMM adventure games from the 1980s. While the game has not progressed further than its prototype stage, the game can be seen running on the actual Commodore 64 hardware. And what is there is impressive: a loading screen, graphics, sprite design sheets, and music implemented. However, it seems that the game was shelved just as the sprites were being worked on. There is also suitable artwork that could have been used for the game’s box release.

Another interesting note is that the video clip displays ‘A Netlfix Game’ within the game’s pre-loading screen sequence and on the artwork. This is followed up by the developers themselves, who state that the game was “created for a proposal for Netflix.” It would be a shame if the game never sees the light of day, as it looks very promising. A new Commodore 64 game that melds both the Stranger Things series and LucasArts’ Maniac Mansion would have great appeal to many retrogaming adventurers, I’m sure. Hopefully, the developers can manage to work around any issues that are preventing this project from progressing and finally release a completed game.

Neil Reive

An avid retrogamer who has worked on various projects, magazines, and fanzines. He started his videogaming journey with the Amstrad CPC464 computer before moving onto a Commodore 64, then the Sega Mega Drive, followed by a multitude of PCs.

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