Talk about a surprise of a game I’d never heard of and that plays in a way I never would have quite expected. Cruel Bands Career is, at the core, a puzzle action game but between its presentation, characters, and general feel it comes across as utterly unique. Your goal is to face groupies, angry dads, and a small collection of additional special characters with a variety of rules around them as your band performs. All of the action is lane-based, and at the point a character gets to the stage they’ll interact positively or negatively with whichever rocker is in that lane at the time. The rules start out somewhat simply, with you needing to shift everyone’s position in order to keep everyone’s health up, but the challenge ramps up quickly with more special characters and rules that make the action get pretty hectic. Special abilities, items, keeping track of different status effects and what they mean, with the rate the crowd just keeps coming it gets to be a bit crazy. Depending on your level of determination and love for games that are just a bit off-center and challenging this could absolutely be a home run, but I see this being one of those love/hate sort of titles that isn’t for everyone. Still, I appreciate its creativity and willingness to just do its own weird thing.
Justin Nation, Score: