All of my 3 kids love to play Minecraft so when I heard about the Gameband+Minecraft wearable, I knew it was a product we should review. Not only is it a watch and cool looking wearable, but it also lets you take your Minecraft games with you wherever you go.
My older son, now 11, was the first of the family to start playing Minecraft, but his younger siblings soon joined him. They started out using the Minecraft Pocket Edition on the family iPads, but soon graduated to playing the full game on the Mac. My younger son has Autism, and Minecraft has been great for him socially- it gives him common ground to talk to his equally Minecraft-crazy classmates at school. With the family Minecraft-obsession I knew I would have some willing testers for the Gameband!
The Gameband comes in 2 sizes -small (6.2″) or large (7.3″), there is a printable on the Gameband website to help you pick the right size. I ordered the small and it was a perfect fit for my 11 year-old, and my 7 year-old twins could also wear it although it was a little looser on them. It is quite sturdy and feels well-made, the display is activated by pressing a red button on the side of the band and pressing it repeatedly.
To use the Gameband you plug it into your computer via USB and launch the Gameband app (you do need to have already purchased a Minecraft license). When you quit your game it is backed up to your Gameband, and if you are online it is also automatically backed up via the cloud to Gameband’s secure online servers, giving you the peace of mind of a double backup. Next time you want to play just plug your Gameband in to any Mac, PC or Linux computer and you can carry on playing in your worlds, just where you left off.
We tested out the Gameband during a recent family visit to Ireland and I loved the fact that the kids could play without being online, and they loved having access to their own worlds despite not playing on their usual computer. Gameband comes pre-loaded with a bunch of extra content including maps from SethBling, Dragnoz, and Hypixel; my 11 year old especially enjoyed exploring all the new worlds, whilst the younger kids loved having their own worlds with them whilst we travelled.
The Gameband itself it designed to be personalized, it come with the Pixel Furnace app installed, which lets you create your own animations for your band. You can have text scrolling across, animated pictures or any design you can visualize. The app lets you draw your own pixel animations frame by frame and you can also go to the Pixel Furnace Community where you can share your animations of download Gifs created and shared by others. A nice feature is that once you set up new animations you can preview them on a virtual band before actually updating your band. The one addition I would like to see is the ability to have longer text- we tried to add “Happy Easter”, but it was too long so we had to settle for “Easter :-)”
For Minecraft fans the Gameband is both a fashion statement and a secure way of backing up your Minecraft worlds and taking them with you wherever you go. As well as the physical backup on the Gameband there is also a backup via the cloud to the Gameband servers so if you ever lose or damage your Gameband you can still recover your worlds. It is very easy to use, the ability to customize the display is a nice touch and it is simple enough that you can change it daily. It can also display the date and time, doubling as a digital watch as well as a cool wearable.
My kids all gave the Gameband+ Minecraft an enthusiastic thumbs up! I would recommend it as a great gift idea for Minecraft fans who are tweens, teens or adults. Younger Minecraft fans will also enjoy it although the band may be a bit big for some under 10’s.
RRP $79.99 – Available many other retailers including Target, GameStop, Best Buy, Microsoft Stores, Newegg and EB Games, or online from Gameband.com