Sawbuck Gamer

Band Together

And We Would All Go Down Together

Will these adorable li’l guys suffer horrible fates or will they Band Together?

By Derrick Sanskrit • July 6, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

In Band Together, a lonely young boy finds tiny creatures in his aunt’s attic and decides to construct increasingly elaborate death traps for them. This all takes place inside a shoebox that resembles a diorama constructed 20 minutes before the kid’s science fair. The player’s mission is to direct the “Bandies,” as the potentially sociopathic boy dubs them, to the exit safely. It’s one part point-and-click adventure, two parts Lemmings, and just a dash of LittleBigPlanet as the platforms are corrugated cardboard, obstacles are styrofoam, and death machines are made of thumb tacks.

I wanted to keep the Bandies alive for reasons beyond high-score lust. When one of the little cardboard critters meets its untimely fate, the other Bandies go wide-eyed and shiver in sheer terror. It sounds cute, but the effect is sufficiently heart-wrenching that, having some semblance of a soul, I didn’t want to experience such disappointment again. Devastation is always close at hand, though. At times, the player will need to sacrifice a Bandy or two—flipping a switch, say, by hurling one of the creatures to its doom—so that the others may survive. Strategy is key, and much of the game is figuring out where to move the bandies, which switches to flip, and when. One mistake means losing a number of your li’l buddies.

If this is all bringing back memories of the next-door neighbor in Toy Story who would perform experiments on abandoned dolls and strapped Buzz Lightyear to a novelty-sized firecracker, you’re not too far off. Sure, the 30 puzzles included here are an interesting challenge, but the real appeal is protecting these innocent creatures from an emotionally damaged kid.

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79 Responses to “And We Would All Go Down Together”

  1. JudgeReinhold says:

    No browser game to get me through the rest of a Friday workday? Boo this man! BOOOOOOOO!

  2. Captain_Internet says:

    Can anything on the iPad really count as being Sawbucky?

  3. James Bunting says:

    Is there an ending? I want psycho kid to get his comeuppance during the final climactic level. And while that is happening, there needs to be glorious orchestral music playing. If both of those things happen, please let me know and I will download the game.