Band Together App Poster Image

Band Together

Kids help critters avoid deadly hazards in tricky puzzler.

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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What's it about?

Kids guide the Bandies around the screen with finger swipes, moving them through levels as individuals or groups. The Bandies only move when they're near candlelight, so one wears a candle as a hat and must remain in proximity to the others for them to complete any actions. Players attempt to guide the Bandies to a safe exit, avoiding various hazards placed on each level.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

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. 

Families can talk about...

  • If you have younger kids, play the app yourself before letting them play. Gauge whether the content (mean experiments on Bandies that can cause death) may be too much for them.

  • Midge elaborately records his story in his journal. Encourage kids to keep a journal, either on paper or in a journal app.

App details

Device:iPad
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, problem solving, solving puzzles
Price:$.99
Release date:June 20, 2012
Category:Puzzle Games
Size:226.00 MB
Publisher:Backflip Studios
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Band Together was written by

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