How To Play One Of The Games From Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Bandersnatch, the new, Choose Your Own Adventure-style instalment of Black Mirror out today, is (as you might expect) a twisty bit of interactive fiction. And Netflix has further tied the metatextual knot by building out a real website for the episode’s fictional games studio Tuckersoft, where several of the company’s titles (like Metal Hedd) are direct references to previous episodes of the show.
Many of the links simply point to Netflix’s show page for Black Mirror. But as a treat for those who find the site, the new game briefly demoed by the episode’s ace programmer Colin Ritman (Will Poulter) is available to download and play. And yes, it’s period-accurate, in that it’s only playable on ZX Spectrum emulators.
Nohzdyve — a nod to the season 3 episode “Nosedive”—takes the concept literally, as you control a blocky avatar plummeting face-first down a bottomless chasm between two buildings. The goal is to pop as many balloons with your head while avoiding the walls, air conditioning units, and whatever those spiked things are.
You can get Nohzdyve here, and for emulation we recommend Fuse. Maybe there’s more to it but, with my high score of 50 points, I’m in no position to speculate.
Though speaking of speculation, those who managed to get the rabbit ending in the episode proper were likely greeted by a series of unsettling noises produced by a tape labelled “Bandersnatch Demo,” leading some to speculate that Netflix may have hidden a playable version of the game in those bleeps and bloops, if only someone is able to decode it…