Bands is a new Facebook game from German developer Newtracks. It’s available now for anyone to play via the social network.
Bands is a music-themed game in which players take on the role of an up-and-coming band attempting to grow their fanbase. The basic gameplay in Bands sees the player picking a song (or uploading their own) and one of the venues they have unlocked with their level. Once the concert begins, the player’s band appears on the stage and the song begins playing. At this point, various types of fan enter the concert area, and it is the player’s job to attract as many of them as possible towards the stage. This is achieved by using three different “technique” buttons, each of which cover a particular area and shape and cause fans to approach the stage. The bass technique attracts fans in a circular area, the guitar technique attracts fans in an arc and the drum technique attracts fans in a straight line. Each technique takes a moment to recharge after it has been used. If the player continues to allow it to charge after it is available to use, it enters “overcharge” mode, in which the area it covers is larger and the number of points for each fan caught in its area of influence is doubled.
At the end of a song, the player’s score is tallied and they earn new fans, which are added to their level meter. Upon leveling up, the player earns access to new venues, items and types of fan who must be handled differently in the concerts — for example, some move quickly but are very impatient so must continually have techniques applied to them; others move slowly but are unlikely to leave. Every few hours, the player has the opportunity to play a “promoted” gig, at which point they earn additional fans, making it easier to level up.
Bands is a great idea with some solid gameplay, but there are a few other smaller issues that could do with polishing up. The “level” meter that appears after a completed gig is often inaccurate, for example, beginning at the halfway point and then suddenly jumping forward or back to where it actually should be, giving the player the impression of either earning or losing more fans than they actually did. Also, if the player levels up after a successful gig, the level meter does not update as it fills, instead remaining at the same level and simply emptying itself. The level meter on the game’s main map screen is accurate,
With the incompatibility issues and the missing features, it’s tough to recommend in good conscience at this time, but check back in a month or two and it’s likely there’ll be a really good game. But now, it seems that it is under maintenance;)