Dr. Seuss Band

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Dr. Seuss Band App Poster Image
Great musical free play, but far-too-tough rhythm game.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the relationship between musical pitch and the letter designations by experimenting with the free play mode in Dr. Seuss Band. They can also begin to understand rhythm while playing the included game, but because the game is challenging even on the easiest setting, kids may lose interest. Extras, like simple songs kids could play, would make a big difference for this app.

Ease of Play

The basic app is simple to use, requiring swiping and tapping. The included game, on the other hand, requires kids to play notes as they come down the screen. It starts easy enough, but quickly ramps up, requiring notes to be played in rapid succession or for the player to switch between octaves mid-song. It's made all that much more difficult because the songs are unfamiliar and there is no way to hear what they should sound like. Scoring doesn't happen until the end, so you don't even get that kind of feedback.

Violence & Scariness
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Consumerism

The game includes music titled after some of Dr. Seuss's most popular books, but there is little actual tie-in to his brand's media properties. On the other hand, the app starts with just a few unlocked songs and musical instruments. These must be unlocked by reaching high scores in the songs, or by purchasing at $.99 each. The entire collection of songs can be purchased for $3.99, horns and effects for $4.99, or the entire set of unlockables for $7.99.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dr. Seuss Band is a musical app that combines free musical play with a rhythm game. Kids start with an instrument with three components. They can switch portions out to change the sound of the instrument. When starting the app, there are two unlocked options for each section. Additional options are unlocked by getting high scores in the rhythm game or by making in-app purchases. Kids can play on the colored keys just like on a piano, and the keys are properly labeled. They can scroll up or down to play at a higher or lower octave. The rhythm game invites kids to play songs titled after Dr. Seuss stories by playing each note as it drops from the top of the screen, but the game is not well-executed. They can unlock harder versions of the songs and new songs by meeting scoring objectives or through in-app purchases.

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What's it about?

Dr. Seuss Band consists of a game paired with a free-play section. Kids can play a rhythm game to a collection of Dr. Seuss-inspired songs. The music is played with Seuss-ian horns that have interchangeable parts, but the actual game controls are more like using a piano. There is no particular story line, but kids can unlock new horn parts and songs as they master songs in the rhythm game. Kids can also opt for a free-play area and create songs of their own.

Is it any good?

DR. SEUSS BAND has some great features. The ability to experiment with different sounds and play actual songs is fun. It has much of the whimsy you'd expect from a Dr. Seuss app and will probably entertain your younger kids happily for quite some time.

The game portion is another story entirely. The lack of familiar songs is unfortunate, especially for kids who are just learning about instruments. But the real problem comes in the difficulty, which easily rivals games aimed at adults. Where most rhythm games have you tracking three to five keys, Dr. Seuss Band has eight keys on a screen. Harder levels require you to switch back and forth between octaves mid-song, upping the keys to a whopping 24. You'll need to get through the harder levels in order to unlock additional instruments and songs without paying an additional fee. You don't need to do it perfectly, but you do need to do it. If you're looking for a quality free-play music app for kids, this is a great choice, especially if the price stays down. If you're looking for a great rhythm game, look elsewhere.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Seek out simple melodies for kids to use for free play mode.

  • Let younger kids play along to recorded music by banging pots and pans or other makeshift instruments.

App details

For kids who love music

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