The new season of Stranger Things has spawned all sorts of new products, but the latest comes from Baskin-Robbins and requires you to use 1985 technology.
It is an alternate reality game based on the show’s Russian espionage themes requiring players to use pre-internet tech to play the game.
According to AdWeek, Operation Scoop Snoop became public last week and sponsored not by the Scoops Ahoy ice cream store from the show, but rather the real-life company Baskin-Robbins.
To play the game, you’ll need to use TelNet, a pre-internet technology first developed in 1969 that has almost completely gone out of use since 2007.
The secret entrance to play the game is hidden in an ’80s-themed ad for the “USS Butterscotch” with a 1-800 phone number showing up at the end.
When you call the number, an automated voice asks if you’d like information on the flavor of the month, the store location or an “important message” from the legal department. Upon selecting the third option, a cheery voice gives out a cryptic message.
“You may have noticed unusual symbols on the USS butterscotch flavor label situated on the glass case in Scoops Ahoy and Baskin-Robbins stores,” she says. “It’s not part of the covert operation as some have reported. Please disregard it entirely. Thank you, and ahoy!”
David Nagel, senior director of consumer engagement at Baskin-Robbins, said Netflix reached out in early 2018 about a partnership for the new season. While it began as an idea of special ice cream flavors, it eventually led to the new game.
The game also brings in real-world news events to its story such as nuclear testing, happenings with Russian physicists and reported UFO sightings.
“This is taking place as part of the 1985 world,” Nagel said. “It’s almost like these two worlds are running parallel, and sometimes they intersect and sometimes they don’t.”
Most of the game operates through phones and fax machines while also developing a chatbot developed by Hexagram that interacts with players while remembering where they are in the story.
New material is still being added every 24 hours with no end in sight until someone cracks the final code.
What do you think of the new Stranger Things game? Let us know in the comments below.