Avatar V-Game Review – Imagine Girl Band

Can you? Can you imagine a girl band? I bet you can’t. I bet, when you try, all you have is a blank space and the feeling of hopelessness when your favourite steak knife (?) is out of stock and you have to settle for second best.

The ‘imagine’ games were a series of shovelware nonsense pushed out by Ubisoft to capitalise on the casual gaming market that was en vogue during the Nintendo Wii and DS era. Don’t fancy your kids shooting soldiers in ‘Call of Duty’ or smashing deities in the face in ‘God of War’? Get them into some harmless touch screen fun on a Nintendo. They covered a lot of bland topics and you can regularly find them taking up space in charity shops and lining the walls of CEX because parents and grandparents bought them in droves and now nobody wants them.

You start by choosing your name and what instrument you want to play. I went with Fluke, cos I’m cool, and bass guitar, because everyone knows that’s the coolest. You also get to choose one of three genres of music to specialise in so I opted for funk. After some perfunctory story about being in a band and looking for a new member, you start practising. When I say “practising” though I mean engaging in a basic version of any rhythm game from the past 20 years. My band is called The Oppress because funk music is very music about sticking it to “the man” and how much he’s holding us all back. Fluke and the Oppress. Yeah.

The song plays in the background and coloured buttons move across the top of the screen. When the button reaches the circle at the end, you tap the corresponding button with your stylus. The closer it is to being perfectly in the circle, the higher the score you get is. You can choose to practise with the rest of your band mates at home or you can perform… in the library?

This, to me, had “bar in the aquarium” vibes. Do music and reading go together? I get distracted when trying to do both but each to their own, I suppose. I was practising the whopping three songs our band had in the library and getting fairly good scores, however the game wasn’t moving forward so I took the girls to the mall instead.

You can buy instruments, new items of clothing and accessories at the mall like a real mall. As my character is a teenager and we hadn’t done any gigs yet I didn’t have a lot of money so I bought a new top and trousers to complement the funk style the band was going for. Still nothing. I went home to speak to what I thought was my brother but was actually my boyfriend who I never see because I’m either at school or with the girls trying to kick out the jams. Still nothing. With very little options, I went back to the library and performed each song until my score was off the charts.

Success! By smashing the songs, I opened up a brand new place to visit on the map; the park. I also earned some decent cash from performing at the library so I headed back to the mall to buy another bass guitar. I needed my instrument to match my new outfit, of course. It was then that my thirty minutes were up and I decided to stop.

It’s not an inherently bad game albeit one that’s so bland you wouldn’t be able to pick it out in a line-up some six months after last seeing it. If you aim for the lowest common denominator then you’re guaranteed to refrain from offending anyone. It blows my mind that someone will have paid full price for this once.

*5 out of 10 funk trousers*

2 comments on “V-Game Review – Imagine Girl Band

  • It depends. If you’re out on the street, trying to trade raw funk trousers for non-brand-name natty motown suits that fell off the back of a lorry, the typical Cockney wideboy will offer four kecks to a whistle.

    However, if you’re trading certified goods within the sort of library that pays a healthy living to unrehearsed girl bands playing music while people are trying to read, you’ll get three pairs of funk trousers to one extremely natty motown suit, but they will come with certificates and all the other paperwork.

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