Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Guitar Hero

Review: Guitar Hero iPhone

2:00 PM on 06.12.2010 // Jim Sterling

Given Activision's love of releasing ten billion Guitar Hero games a month, it's somewhat surprising that the evil publisher has taken so long to wrap its tendrils around iTunes. Titles like Tap Tap Revenge have already demonstrated a healthy portable music game market, while rivals such as Rock Band and Guitar Rock Tour have already settled into the market. 

Still, better late than never. Guitar Hero has finally stamped its boot into the iTunes market, with a little help from Vicarious Visions. The question, of course, is how well Guitar Hero translates to the iPhone, and how does it compare to the music games already available to Apple thralls? Well, that's what this review is for, stupid!

Guitar Hero (iPhone)
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Released: June 7, 2010
MSRP: $2.99

From the outset, Guitar Hero doesn't deviate from the well worn path, featuring a setup familiar to those who have played Rock Band or Guitar Rock Tour. Notes fall down the screen in typical Guitar Hero fashion, while the player taps the "buttons" at the bottom when notes align. Fundamentally, it's nothing that hasn't been done before, but the implementation is what makes Guitar Hero stand out. 

For a start, Guitar Hero works better than either Rock Band or Guitar Rock Tour do on the touch screen. In those prior games, I always felt the interface wasn't responsive enough, and it was very easy to miss notes or play the wrong ones due to how bunched together the interactive parts of the screen felt. While Guitar Hero looks no different from those other games, the interface feels much more responsive and efficient. Unlike Rock Band, where it was easy to mess up notes with a misplaced finger, Guitar Hero seems to clearly interpret the borders between its "buttons" and make sure that the area you want to tap is the area that works. 

Guitar Hero spices things up a bit with a "strum" gimmick designed for the iPhone's touch screen. Simply put, it's a case of touching a note and then sliding to the left or right while keeping the finger held down. It's a very simple thing, but it does enough to change the way the game feels, especially when your fingers are slaloming across the iPhone during a particularly tricky solo. Star Power also makes its obligatory appearance, and its activation requires the pressing of a bar just above the note "buttons". The only problem with the Star Power is the fact that getting a breather between notes to activate it can be tricky, although it's far easier to use than Guitar Rock Tour's version, which stuck it far away from the notes. 

To keep things interesting, the game also has a set of challenges (Achievements, basically) and a rank progression system, which are used to unlock various costumes and items so players can customize their avatars. Community leaderboards and Facebook integration are also thrown in to keep competitive players interested. 

As you'll notice, Guitar Hero is currently $2.99 on iTunes, which may strike you are very cheap for an Activision game. That's because you're essentially buying a platform as opposed to a fully fledged title. The standalone package only provides you with six songs for the money, while further song packs can be bought for $1.99 apiece. Essentially, it's a fiendishly clever way to ensure people get into the game for a pittance, but keep paying into it in order to extend the initial experience. Like a crack dealer, ostensibly. It's actually not too shabby an idea, either. For $2.99, you get what essentially amounts to two song packs, and you can expand the library at your leisure. Some may dislike the business model, but I happen to enjoy it. 

Despite being a really well put together game, Guitar Hero does suffer from an unfortunate slowdown bug at the moment. The game can randomly dip in its framerate and everything onscreen begins to stutter, which of course is no good for a game where timing and precision is important. It's not a huge issue since it appears infrequently and only temporarily, but some people may wish to wait for an update before jumping in. 

That one issue aside, Guitar Hero is quite possibly the best music game of this nature on the iPhone. With a nice variety of starter songs, a solid interface, and a great aesthetic, not to mention extra challenges and avatar customization, Guitar Hero for the iPhone is a great little music game, and worthy of your attention. 

Score: 8.0 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)



Guitar Hero - Reviewed by Jim Sterling
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Guitar Hero

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Steam Controller Review

RAE - Back in Town

Thankful it's ov

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 1

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
People are having serious anthropological discussions about video games and here I am reminding people that they have one more day to get a dumb card I painted:
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
I just finished this thing here: I'm mostly happy with my results, altough it lacks some stuff like Skyward Sword or Sonic & Knuckles [img][/img]
techsupport avatartechsupport
While I am glad I only paid $15 for it, I bought J-STARS VS+ for one specific reason: to drink some beer and kick ass as Yusuke and Hiei. And in that regard, it delivers. Beer not included.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
We can be so weird sometimes. You can easily move on from some of the stuff you might want to remember forever, but then sometimes you just can't let go of trivial things. What's up with that?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I'm in the mood for some feel-good music. Hit me with your best feel-good VGM, people! [youtube][/youtube]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
My "Thankful it's over" post is done. Editing it tonight, posting tomorrow. Will there be more last-minute entries? Will Pixie be merciful to Twilight Princess? Will Zetta add words to his entry? Why is bear driving? Who run Bartertown? Stay Tuned!
Parismio avatarParismio
Whelp since i got my ass kicked at snowboarding ive been issued a muscle relaxer today and slept the entire day. Time went by so fast. Is- is this what the phantom cigar is like?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What the hell is a Shantae?
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Ok you Monday morning motherfuckers, 3 favourite fictional universes you'd like to exist in (The initial iteration of the universe had to be in videogame form) Go.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just ran into my first 'suicide mole rat' in Fallout 4. I'm beginning to think this may not be a 100% accurate, meticulously researched recreation of life after the apocalypse.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well I just played Undertale. It's a really unique game, but the difficulty in the beginning is a tad intense. Got clobbered once they started throwing three monsters at me at a time and lost a lot of progress... where's Toriel when I need her?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What should I do guys?
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
[img][/img] The Freedom Planet Indie Box, for those that were interested. And it looks like a "wild cat" is there too!
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Just 1200 words left to go on my essays. Do I deserve a day off to play Just Cause 3 once I'm done? Yes.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Elite: Dangerous has some glaring issues, and can occasionally feel kinda bare bones, but I'll be damned if it isn't one of my favorite games in recent memory. Ships are fun to fly, trading is rewarding, and the sound design is absolutely brilliant.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Well, Destructoid. I did it. I jumped ahead.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Flawed but fun favorite game sorter. Post top 30 in the comments. [url][\url]
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
I am tired of random players. I need to enlist some help with Triforce Heroes challenges. Would anyone like to pair up with me?
El Dango avatarEl Dango
[img][/img] fun...
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night I had to clean projectile liqiud dogshit off of the sides of my puppies kennel. Pity me. Read my blog.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -