I love freebies as much as the next person, but many free to play games are encumbered with advertisements and in-app purchases. Band Star attempts to make beautiful music in a freemium universe, ushering a melody which we might actually want to hear.

If you're looking to solely create music, Band Star isn't the right app for you. To satiate those desires, a download of Zya is recommended. Music is much more than puttering away at a few songs, as building a cohesive group and watching them climb the ladder of success is also one of the genre's most recognizable tropes.

The key goal for Band Star is to form a cohesive unit to play the living heck out of songs from different genres, and with each successful recording of the track, your group will start seeing the fruits of their labor. This app enables players to improve their band members' musicianship, increase their royalties, and grow their fan base. Even though you can name your own tracks once your group records the song, the music which follows are simple, throwaway, instrumental tracks. Here's a photo of my motley crew.

The challenge of Band Stars rests on your ability to give each of your musicians the chance to play and perform at their strengths. One of your members may be a talented lyricist but is deficient in the overall mixing process of the track. Another person could be proficient as a guitarist and a drummer but absolutely suck as a singer. A multitude of stats for each of these characters are at your disposal, so steering them in the right direction isn't too difficult. Each character can also be trained to shore up their respective flaws as well as improve their overall talents. The gradual sharpening of their skills will contribute to the overall popularity of the songs the groups record.

Band Stars' addictive appeal lies within the flurry of activities you will undertake as you grow your group. Whether it's skill enhancement, spending currency to promote a song, or upgrading your recording studio with the finest equipment, the app will keep you busy as long as you're engaged in the process.The controls are also easy to learn, as everything is at your disposal with the simple touch and tap of a finger. When increasing your scores during solo mode, just tap the button and avoid hitting the red levels. Even though you've fashioned yourself as a guitar god, staying within the green section will net you higher bonuses.

The freemium model kicks in with the scarcity of energy drinks, items which are needed to replenish the constitution of your musicians. Once a group member's energy meter reaches zero, they can't contribute to a song's overall development, which usually spells doom when that single hits the charts. These power ups are also needed during solo mode during a song's recording, so unless you're willing to throw down a few dollars these drinks will be hard to come by.

The good news is Band Stars' developers rewards gamers with energy drinks as they accomplish certain challenges, so thankfully you can still enjoy the app without any premium purchases. Your band's health can also be replenished by placing them in a hot tub or even have them play a video game machine (it's an item which can be purchased with your in-game currency).

With its multitude of tasks and upgrades, Band Stars should keep you busy and interested for at least a couple of hours. Your continued love for this app may also hinge on your passion for farming games. Do you love building things from scratch? Are you that good soldier who enjoys meeting challenge after challenge? I've had more than enough fun during my time with the band, and even though we still haven't cracked the top 10, there's still a lot more music to play.


App Store Link: Band Stars for iPhone & iPad | By Halfbrick Studios  | Price: Free | Version: 1.0.1 |  52.9 MB | Rating 4+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating