Netflix icon on the homescreen of the HTC 10.

  • The first Netflix games of the promised mobile gaming platform are in testing in Poland.
  • The games must be downloaded from the Play Store. Once done, they can only be launched/played through the Netflix app.
  • It appears the idea of a Stadia-style streaming service isn’t in the cards, at least not yet.

For years now, we’ve been hopeful that we’d see a “Netflix of gaming.” We thought Stadia would be it, but it wasn’t. Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming comes closest but still has significant limitations. When we found out Netflix itself was getting into gaming, we thought this would be it: the Netflix of games.

So far, though, the new service appears pretty underwhelming. The company confirmed on Twitter (via The Verge) that it is testing the first Netflix games in Poland. People with Polish Netflix accounts can fire up the Netflix Android app and access two live games: Stranger Things 1984 and Stranger Things 3.

See also: What is cloud gaming?

However, unlike the videos you watch on Netflix, you don’t stream these games. Instead, tapping on a game within the Netflix app just takes you to the Google Play Store. You download the title there as usual and then launch it from within the Netflix app. You cannot launch the game as a standalone app.

This means, essentially, that “Netflix games” is just a glorified game launcher that locks titles within the app. That doesn’t sound so revolutionary to us.

Granted, the company admits these are “very, very early days.” It’s possible things could change significantly by the time the service rolls out. Still, this doesn’t appear to be anything too exciting as of yet. Although, it is nice to know that these games will be free with your Netflix subscription and will not feature any ads or in-app purchases.