Parents' Guide to

Battle Bands

By Jesse Nau, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Musical card game encourages cooperation.

Game Windows 2022
Battle Bands Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Roguelike deckbuilders are no longer a new sensation, but the addition of cooperative elements helps this strategy title stand out from its peers. The core mechanics of Battle Bands draw inspiration from the card-battling systems of Slay the Spire, but the switch from controlling a single character to manipulating a band of four musicians provides an interesting new angle. The game naturally lends itself to multiplayer in a genre that tends to be solo experiences. You can jump into a randomly generated co-op tour mode to compete against NPC (non-player character) bands, or jam out versus other players in scheduled online tournaments. If you can't form a full group of four human players, AI handles the other musicians. Players make all of the decisions regarding the construction of the AI's decks, and can give basic instructions during the fights, but most gameplay portions will require reacting to and playing around the AI's choices. This can lead to moments of frustration when your bandmates play cards with timing that doesn't work with your plans.

Once you adjust to working with the AI, the strategic elements in the battle-of-the-bands fights shine. Every fight starts with a target number of "hype points" that need to be reached to win the competition, and bands take turns assembling songs to generate hype points or subtract from the other band's hype total through Song Section and Performance cards. Song Sections allow bands to play Performance cards on top of them, and each Performance and completed Song Section accumulates hype, attacks the other bands resources, or protects your own. Between performances, musicians can get, upgrade, or remove cards from the decks and and buy items that provide bonuses for the whole band. Rival bands in the tour mode can be very challenging, and require understanding how to use all of these elements to succeed. The random strategic elements may confuse younger players when things get more complicated. But more experienced players are likely to have a great time with this deep, unique musical deckbuilder.

Game Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate