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Hades Is Joining The Best Free Game Library Nobody Uses

One of the best action-RPGs in a generation is finally getting a mobile version, but it’s a mixed blessing. The good news is that Hades is coming to iPhones in 2024 and will be free for Netflix subscribers. The bad news is that it will be exclusive to both, with no way to buy the game outright or play it on Android devices.

This Innovative Hades-Like Feels Built For Speedrunners

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Netflix announced that Hades would join its free mobile app game library over the weekend. The isometric hack ’n’ slash tells an amazing story steeped in Greek mythology that unfurls itself across repeated runs through an underworld full of different monsters, bosses, and random power-ups. It’s an incredible marriage of form and content that made it one of 2020’s best games.

A smartphone version will bring the hit to millions of new players, and the Netflix deal means they won’t even have to pay extra for it if they’re already a subscriber. According to the studio behind it, Supergiant Games, the mobile version of Hades will have custom touch controls “designed for this version of the game,” as well as the option to play with a controller over Bluetooth.

Weirdly, however, the port is exclusive to iOS and will only be available with a Netflix subscription. That means iPhone users won’t be able to pay to simply buy the game outright, and those with Android smartphones won’t be able to play it at all. Hopefully that changes at some point, but for now it seems like a desperate move to try and force players to engage with Netflix’s free game library. It’s giving me big “Epic Store exclusive” vibes all over again.

Despite the streaming giant’s foray into gaming, the library has historically only been used by 1 percent of Netflix subscribers. Effectively having an indie Game Pass for smartphones if you’re already a Netflix user is great, but the way it’s all buried deep in the mobile app makes the perk easy to forget about.

Netflix is clearly fighting against that perception, at least when it comes to the catalog of games it offers. The company announced that in addition to Hades, critically-acclaimed arcade action games Katana Zero and Death’s Door will also become available in early 2024. Braid: Anniversary Edition, an updated and “reimagined” version of the hit 2008 puzzle platformer, will get added as well next year, but will also be a Netflix exclusive on mobile. The market for premium games on smartphones has always been a struggle, but locking them behind another app subscription doesn’t feel like the solution.

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