When the Black Mirror choose-your-own-adventure “movie” Bandersnatch launched Friday, it didn’t take long for viewers to plunder its many secrets. People were quick to map out the timelines, ID Easter Eggs, argue over free will or if it was all a nefarious way for Netflix to further imprison you in an couch potato streaming jag. It’s a revolutionary piece of content — even if Steven Soderbergh’s Mosaic was the first to do something similar yet different — but one of its niftier secrets is as old as the internet itself: It’s on a tie-in website.
Galaxy brain Bandersnatch users smartly sussed out that Team Black Mirror had created one of those fake-but-real sites — there used to be one for I Heart Huckabees, for example — for Tuckersoft, the computer game company-within-the-film. There you see pages for each of their titles, each an homage to a Black Mirror episode. (The most prominent on the show is Metl Hedd, alluding to the terrifying Season 4 stand-out about the killer robot dog, and which was also directed by Bandersnatch helmer David Slade.)
Click on the one for Nohzdyve — the latest title from Will Poulter’s controlled substance enthusiast and Tangerine Dream-head Colin Ritman — and you’ll see an old-school “download” icon. Turns out it’s real, offering a playable version of the game. All you need is an emulator for the ZX Spectrum, the British gaming system that was all the rage with tech nerds in 1984, when Bandersnatch takes unfolds. And of course, you can find one with some very light Googling.
Nohzdyve, of course, refers to “Nosedive,” the first episode of Black Mirror‘s third season, starring Bryce Dallas Howard as a proud participant in a social media hellscape that’s definitely a year or two away from becoming real. The game, which you saw briefly in Bandersnatch, has nothing to do with the episode: It’s a deceptively simple arcade-style game, where you control a figure slowly plummeting down a long shaft, snatching goodies while avoiding baddies. It’s your chance to see if Colin Ritman deserves his breathless esteem — and best of all, you can play it while not spending more time on Netflix than you already did while trawling through Bandersnatch.