Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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Who hasn't dreamed about being in a band, rocking a musical instrument, strutting around a stage, soaking up the adoration of fans. Not everyone will have what it takes to become the next rock sensation. There are games out there, however, that let players live out their rock star dreams to a certain degree. Still, what is a great band without some direction, some management? Band Boss takes players into that under-explored side of the music business where managers work their magic.
Band Boss isn't unlike the music industry equivalent of a game where the player takes care of a pet by feeding it and playing with it to keep it happy. The player chooses from a handful of bands (based on real life musical groups) to manage, or they can create their own band to manage. It is then up to the player to keep the artists happy and productive. As the manager, players will decide when their band goes on tour, how long they tour, when they record singles and albums, when and where they promote their music, and when they will take time off for vacations. More importantly, the player will manage the bands funds and decide how much money will be spent on all these activities.
Depending on how hard they are working, or how many toys and perks the player provides them, the artists will also become more or less happy. If the artists become too unhappy, they will fire the player as their manager. The trick of the game is trying to find the balance for each artist between working in order to make money and relaxing in order to stay happy. The player chooses what the bands will do, and they watch as the days play out and the band reacts to what the manager asks of them. Each day passes in a few seconds, so the player can take an act from nobody to rock star (or they can get fired) in almost no time.
Band Boss is an interesting titles and it gives an intriguing, if very simplified, look into a less glamorous but very essential part of the music industry. There isn't much action in this game. It's a lot of navigating menus and watching days pass, but enough is happening that it generally doesn't feel much like a waiting game. This game demands some strategic thinking from players but it pays out dividends of fun little upgrades and animations as the player progresses in their career. Band Boss is a great little diversion and players will be surprised how much they will enjoy watching the days fly by.