Guitar Rock Tour
With today being the last day of the week to cover iPhone Music apps, what better way than to end it with a spin off of the incessantly popular Guitar Hero and Rock Band mania?
Guitar Rock Tour is an iPhone music gaming app produced by Gameloft that rides on the coattails of success garnered by Harmonix’s Rock Band and RedOctane’s Guitar Hero. It’s played in much the same manner, tapping the colored buttons in coordination with the rhythm, with higher points earned for jamming nonstop, and losing points for missing a button. As the crowd cheers your rocking out and head-thrashing and super-chill-yo guitar riffs, a lever on the side of the screen fills up with pulsing red light, indicating you now have “Pyro Power,” which you then pull down to incinerate any upcoming buttons on the line-up, saving you some hassle and earning you major points. The crowd also callously, and viciously boos you off stage if, like me, you attempt the Hard mode, and discover the game is much harder when you only have two thumbs to use instead of all five fingers, possibly even two hands as with the drum set in Rock Band. I suggest starting off slow on Easy mode, get adjusted to using your thumbs at the right cadence, figuring out just when to tap the buttons as they cross the line, then work your way through Medium before tackling Hard mode. I think it may actually be possible to develop a new kind of glass-sheared callous a la old-school Ninteno game controller blister, with all the tap tap tapping you’ll be doing at an increasingly frenetic pace.
Three songs are available right off the bat – the classic rock song Rock You Like A Hurricane by the German band Scorpions, You Really Got Me by The Kinks, and grunge-worthy Heart Shaped Box by iconic band Nirvana. I normally opt to rock out on the guitar (desire to be up front and center? Phallic envy? Who knows), but there’s a choice of playing drums, which, thankfully, only display two lines of buttons to tap, since playing with more than two fingers is most likely unfeasible.
I like to jump right into playing with “Quick Play,” but to unlock more songs you must play the “Tour” mode. Other songs include Message in a Bottle by The Police, Walk Idiot Walk by The Hives, What’s My Age Again? by Blink-182, Beat It by Michael Jackson, and many more covering the rock genres of Classic, Indie and Punk. I have a sneaking suspicion, though, for copyright purposes GameLoft sourced the songs from cover bands, as some of the voices sound just a wee bit different. Just as in Guitar Hero and Rock Band, CGI figures sing and play in the background, though you probably won’t look at them much, other than your slight peripheral vision, as tapping the buttons proves to be far too engrossing.
The game is epic in every aspect, from the lavishly showy intro video, complete with shooting red flares, stadium sweep, and slow motion punk girl strumming her guitar, to the game itself, rambunctious and lively enough to keep you entertained all on your own. The game is laden with hip and cheesy lingo – “crank it up!” – and the main page before starting depicts a lustful, tattooed Agyness Deyn type.
Even if you find Guitar Rock Tour to be so glitzy and glam as to be nauseating, it’s a guilty pleasure, and is a load of fun to play.