By: John Wahl
Finding shows to watch with my kids can sometimes be tough. I can only take so much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and my 8-year-old is still terrified that a Demogorgon is out to get her after we watched Stranger Things last year. So when I heard about a new animated series coming to Netflix about a pair of kids who work at a game store and hunt down video game creatures that have escaped into the real world, I was legitimately excited.
Glitch Tech debuts this Friday exclusively on Netflix and I was lucky enough to get to see a couple of episodes ahead of time. So I grabbed my kids and plopped us all down on the couch for a sneak peek and I have to say, we’re all big fans of the show now.
The show follows Miko and Five, two friends who work for a covert organization tasked with hunting down and eliminating “glitches”, creatures that have escaped from the confines of their video games and are wreaking havoc on the real world. Think Ghostbusters + Men in Black x a stack of Nintendo Power magazines and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what the creators of Glitch Tech are going for.
To hunt down these pixelated menaces, the kids are equipped with gauntlets that look like Nintendo Power Gloves but function more like a cross between a Pokedex and a Ghostbusters Proton Pack. When a glitch is defeated, they suck them up into the gauntlet where they can later be deposited into a holding tank back at HQ in exchange for XP depending on the level of the enemy. The team must also “reset” any damage done to the city during a battle and wipe the memories of any eyewitnesses.
As they take down more and more baddies, Miko and Five can cash in their XP to level up back at HQ, allowing them to move up a skill tree and unlock new goodies to take with them into battles like a pair of jet boots or a plasma sword. Like I said… it’s a love letter to the world of video games.
And you can tell that the writers of the show really know the material from which the show takes its inspiration. In one of the episodes, the team investigates a glitched-out game console which has turned the inside of a home into a level from the fictional game “Castlestein“, a wonderful homage to everybody’s favorite whip-cracking sidescroller. As they make their way through the spooky “level” they break candelabras to find power-ups, search for hidden chests, and the castle even flips upside down as they approach the final boss. I was grinning like an idiot the entire time.
It’s not just lip service for video game nerds though. They’ve managed to create a show that isn’t shy about celebrating its inspirations but also has an identity of its own. The writing is sharp, the characters are funny and likable, and the animation is really a treat to watch. It’s bright, colorful, and fluid. To be honest, I find so much of the animation in kids shows these days to be primitive and unappealing, I was so happy to see that Glitch Techs put as much care into the look of the series as they did the great stories.
Obviously, this show was tailor-made to appeal to somebody like myself and I was probably a pretty easy mark, but the real kicker was how much my girls loved the show. They simply couldn’t stop raving about it.
“That was awesome!”
“When does it come out?”
“I can’t wait to tell my friends about this!”
They loved the humor, the characters, and the cleverness of the concept, and so did I. It’s rare that my kids and I enjoy the same show together as much as we did this first couple of episodes. I have a feeling I know what we’ll be binge-watching over the weekend.
Glitch Techs debuts this Friday, February 21st exclusively on Netflix.