Have you ever wanted to be in a band; to sing, drum or play guitar on your favourite songs? Well Rock Band comes to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and fans of the console version can now experience the same quality of music replication on their mobile device. It was created by Harmonix Music Systems Inc and released by Electronic Arts. It is currently on sale for $6.99; however there is a Lite version which is free.
In Rock Band players can play bass, guitar, drums or vocals on easy, medium or hard difficulties. To play the songs in all four styles requires exactly the same technique. For the three instruments there are four buttons at the bottom of the screen which must be tapped when the corresponding note is required, whereas for the vocals these four buttons are found vertically on the left hand side.
The game contains thirty two free songs and more are downloadable from the store, however these will cost extra. There are also free songs that can be unlocked as the player plays through the Tour Mode, and there are also some extra free tracks in the store. The free version of the game allows the user to play all four instruments on the one single track “Learn to Fly” by the Foo Fighters.
Rock Band has Quick Play, Tour and Multiplayer modes. In Tour mode the player starts off playing in grungy dives and works their way up to playing in stadiums while collecting achievements and rewards along the way. It is even possible to play with up to three friends over Bluetooth and Facebook.
The game is very responsive and works as well as the console versions, however there are issues with the game. All three instruments are played in exactly the same way and because the screen is in portrait format, players will naturally play with their thumbs which is completely unrealistic of really playing these instruments. Also there is no strumming action involved on either guitar, which appears on other handheld touch-screen versions of music replication games such as Guitar Hero on the Nintendo DS. The vocals are performed again by tapping which renders this rather pointless, at least on the console the player is required to actually sing.
All in all this leaves the game feeling like a second rate version and at quite a high price of $6.99 and adding the potential cost of premium tracks, Rock Band slowly adds up to an expensive game. Fans on music replication games like this will find the game enjoyable, but any that look for the realism of playing the instrument without actually being able to will find nothing in this version. This edition of Rock Band adds little to the series and there are plenty of other similar and cheaper music replication games on the App Store, some of which offer more realistic actions and more variety of songs. Overall it comes down to what the player looks for in the game, but if you search the App Store there are many alternatives that offer more value for money.