Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride creator Halfbrick takes on publishing duties for Band Stars, a charming but shallow game by Six Foot Kid that lets you climb the charts and conquer the music world. It takes after Kairosoft’s (Game Dev Story, Dungeon Village) unique flavor of management simulation, with compulsively simple mechanics that have you calling the shots on combinations of genre, lyrics, and musicians — all in search of a viral hit that will launch your band into ever more illustrious levels of stardom, rising from local to national and ultimately global success.
You have up to six active band members at a time, while any others that you’ve hired out of the 50 available chill out in a VIP area that costs Drink — the premium in-game currency — to unlock and expand. Each musician has a favorite genre, three challenges to complete (such as playing on a particular instrument skin, or recording a song with 100 points for Lyrics), and five attributes — Lyrics, Creativity, Melody, Rhythm, and Polish — that affect his or her contribution to a song when you assign an instrument or solo to play. Your band members’ energy levels deplete as they write, record, mix, and jam, and refill either slowly in a hot tub or at an arcade machine, or instantly with a Drink.
The bulk of the charm comes from speech bubbles and randomly generated song titles, though the fun had via strange combinations of genre and theme is offset by low sales and lost fans. Band Stars never comes close to Kairosoft-level brilliance, sadly, and the novelty of the concept wears out before you can hire or train up enough talent to eke out a global number one hit. The many challenges on offer don’t do enough to make up for a lack of depth, and it’s too easy to see through the formula at work here — gaming it for effortless riches and fame without needing to spend a cent on a multitude of in-app purchases.
The bottom line. Band Stars brings charm and fun in a polished package, but it fails to build on good first impressions and ends up feeling blandly generic.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later
Random song name generator is delightful. Compulsive Kairosoft style gameplay. Loads of characters, genres, and lyrical themes to mix and match.
Lacks depth and variety. Too easy to succeed.