A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn the importance of strategy and planning as they avoid hazards and collect all of the Bandies on screen to escape each level. They'll also learn the importance of sacrifice, as some levels require one Bandie to stay behind so that others may survive. Band Together is set up as a series of experiments by a bullied boy -- and while they're akin to holding a magnifying glass over a bug, they do showcase the learning power of curiosity. While not set against the cheeriest of backdrops, Band Together does encourage exploration and problem solving.
Ease of Play
The game mechanics are very thoroughly explained, but the puzzle aspects of the game will stump children early on -- and have adults scratching their heads in entertained frustration before they get too deep into the game. The tutorials require quite a bit of reading.
Violence & Scariness
The Bandies must evade a gauntlet of devices such as a thumbtack death machine and pencils stabbing out of walls to make their way to the exit. When they're caught, their eyes are replaced with Xs and they float to the ground. An unseen child protagonist takes out his anger and frustration at being taunted and bullied by creating those death machines and testing the Bandies.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Band Together is a puzzle game that blends the "god game" genre with tricky puzzle elements. Players have to lead a group of animated cardboard figures to a safe exit, braving dangers such as a thumbtack death machine and baseballs. While it's not uncommon for the Bandies to perish, their deaths are not glorified and feature no gore.
Is It Any Good?
Only a select few puzzle games manage to be charming. Band Together hits that mark while still presenting a challenging and thoroughly enjoyable set of puzzles for players to solve. The game borrows equally from Lemmings and LittleBigPlanet, with plenty of fresh twists -- including a few puzzles where you'll need to sacrifice one Bandie so the others might survive.
The game's controls aren't perfect, which could lead to unnecessary Bandie deaths, but it's easy to restart them and there are no penalties for trying multiple times. The game is full of style and put together wonderfully. The biggest complaint puzzle fans will have is it ends too quickly.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.