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!

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

So I Got a 3DS

Negotiations are over. Rainbow Six Siege is a no buy from me as of now.

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 72: Sexy Dog

Meesa Back! (or, here, or something.) Dev Log #1

Cblogs of 11/23/2015 + Sexuality in Videogames

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So someone messaged me on a Lightning fast, comment board that bow they're super depressed. And I worry for them now. Because a comment board is not something to get depressed over, just because someone disagrees with you if your an ass, people will be 2.
arkane9 avatararkane9
Guys, a sequel to Retro City Rampage: Shakedown Hawaii! Someone should really write about it. Lots of Dtoid staff were in the RCR after all.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Fuck racism man, shit ain't fair. Can't stand it and I shouldn't have to. Nobody should.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Embedded pictures in Quickposts seem to be broken for me right now.
Flegma avatarFlegma
To my surprise, I've more or less figured out Rodea Wii U controls. Still a different game from the Wii version, but not as decidedly inferior in my eyes. Did the legacy medals do anything in Wii version?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
"Am I a kid, or a squid?" I ponder as I stare off into the horizon. A wise man once told me "Son, you can be whatever you want to be. You are only limited by your lack of ambition " And I want to be a squid. A squid now.
Parismio avatarParismio
Captain America: Civil War trailer dropped!: [youtube][/youtube]
lewness avatarlewness
Gah, wanna go Alexander farming but The Old Hunters ;_;
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Holy shit, Splatoon is addictive.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Duck Hunt was a trickier unlock than I expected. Jigglypuff, you are next on my list! [img][/img]
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Yay, this arrived today. Nekro is quite happy, as he's been looking forward to playing this game for a while. [IMG][/IMG]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Dtoid mobile has apparently broken again. This is it. This how the dtoid ends. *black hole opens, dtoid disappears*
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Gave Ronin one more chance before I chucked it in the "never to be finished" pile, glad I did. It could have been so much better but as a frustrating time waster it's not bad.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I'm sitting on the Fapcast's most recent recording. I just feel like I need a day for myself after, you know, freaking out about rent.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Why is every Quickpost now spaced out like poems with random amounts of stanzas that never ever rhyme?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Was anybody else here extremely disappointed by the ending of Assassin's Creed 2?
Parismio avatarParismio
Just tried Fallout 4 on my PC Via my Cousins steam account and nope, it does not run for me very well. Buying the PS4 version it is!
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
You know who never took any shit from anybody? Dr. Blight.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Am I the only one who has to pull up their sleeves to play competantly at videogames? When my hoodie's sleeves are down I play like a piece of shit but when i pull them up, I have more flexibility.
Shinta avatarShinta
PSA: Just picked up Falco amiibo at Best Buy. They had about 20 Tom Nook, 10 singles of Splatoon Boy/Girl, the Splatoon triple pack, about 30 Marths with a big sign saying "Look Who's Back!," Dark Pit, and probably about 15 others. Not too shabby.
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 -