Band Together for iPad
Give a child a toy and you entertain her for a day. Teach a child to build her own toys and she’ll probably make a death trap out of thumbtacks, then use it to run twisted experiments on tiny, sentient creatures. That can be amusing, too, but you’d be surprised how quickly you run out of thumbtacks.
This is the premise behind Band Together, which sees you dragging around cute little hominids through a child’s maze of terror. The goal to the iPad game from Backflip Studios is to get as many “Bandies” safely to the exit as possible, despite pencil gates controlled by popsicle stick pressure plates, thumbtack traps powered by AAA batteries, and your miniature friends’ habit of dozing off beyond the range of candlelight.
The visuals are detailed dioramas of cardboard wonder, and the puzzles are just challenging enough to make you think a bit. The gimmicks behind the solutions only get reused a few times over the course of the game, so it avoids becoming a repetitive slog.
Sadly, however, that’s largely because the game clocks in at only 30 levels, or an hour or two of play time. None of the puzzles are terribly difficult, so Band Together doesn’t leave much room for replay value. (Note also, that original iPad owners should take a pass; the game is only compatible with the iPad 2 and third-generation iPad.)
Still, at just $1, it’ll last longer than a comparably cheap cup of coffee. And even as your Bandies get impaled on hi-res office supplies, the sweetly sadistic kid in you might enjoy a little smirk.
[Jason Tocci is a writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.]