Guitar Hero for iPhone - app review

During the WWDC 2010 keynote, Activision announced and released Guitar Hero on the iPhone. This game is well made and provides a lot of enjoyment for players as they strum, tap, slide and whammy to the beat of popular rock songs.

The gameplay of Guitar Hero is fun, unique and includes much more than tapping notes. An arrow pointing left or right indicates that you need to tap the note where the arrow begins and slide your finger to where the arrow ends. This action needs to happen fairly quickly. If two or more notes are connected by lines, then you must tap the first note and slide your finger to the next notes. Your finger needs to reach each note connected in the line at the appropriate time that corresponds to the beat of the song. A vertical line means that you must hold down the note until the line ends. Sometimes these appear at the end of an arrow which mean you must slide and hold. The last thing that comes up is an orange bar that is the length of all four notes. This bar simply needs to be tapped at any location.

Some notes have stars on them. Successfully hitting all these notes in a sequence adds to your star power. There is blue bar on the right of the screen which indicates how much star power you have. Once it reaches half-way, a blue bar will appear above the note catchers. Tapping this activates your star power and doubles your score multiplier. The more star power you have, the longer it lasts.

Guitar Hero also offers character customization, leaderboards, Faecbook sharing, and in-app purchases. If you want more than the 6 songs included with Guitar Hero, then you must purchase songs in bundles of three. Each song pack costs $1.99. There are no free songs available for download.

Guitar Hero includes the following 6 tracks:

  • Queen – “We Are The Champions”
  • Rise Against – “Savior”
  • The Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”
  • Vampire Weekend – “Cousins”
  • Weezer – “Say It Ain’t So”
  • The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”

The downloadable song packs via in-app purchase are grouped by the following artists:

  • The Faint, Minus the Bear and Silversun Pickups
  • Band of Skulls, Obits and The White Stripes
  • Darkest Hour, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Protest the Hero
  • A Day to Remember, AFI and Breaking Benjamin
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Queen

I have thoroughly enjoyed the short time I've spent playing Guitar Hero and don't plan to stop playing anytime soon. The game runs great, looks great, and is very well designed. It's only a matter of time before I become a famous rock star!

Videos and screenshots after the break!


  • More than just tapping and holding involved in game play
  • Character customization
  • Leaderboards and Facebook sharing
  • In-app song pack purchases
  • Looks and runs great


  • Cannot purchase individual songs
  • Photo Booth photos are poor quality
  • No downloadable free songs

[$2.99 - iTunes link (opens in new tab)]

TiPb iPhone 4-star rated

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Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

  • great review! I have a iPhone 3G and GH lags at the beginning of songs and I can't purchase the track packs cause it says i don't have a valid account. Other than that I love the game, its great!
  • hey great review.. reminds me of another version of tap tap revenge which I have been playing for months now... the sliding feature kinda reminds me of a new arcade game DJ Teknika, the extreme mode is crazy.
    I think I'll try this game out. Thanks for the details.
  • Bought this and ive noticed some bad lag at times, and this is on a 3GS! Infact yesterday in the midst of a tune, the entire thing froze solid for about 2 seconds (with the song continuing in the background) before continuing... needs work.
  • Forget what they say, I've played it and I haven't got any of the pauses or freezing, lags a little but overall the best mobile version of guitar hero I've ever played
  • Ive played it and I AM HORRIBLE at it. I can do Tap Tap Revenge 3 but not Guitar Hero!
  • Lags way too much, can't play a song on expert. Deleted the app
  • Love the game and the concept is great. Only problem is the game says I'm offline and can't purchase new songs. They only give you 6 song initially so wanting more songs after your bored of the original 6 is only natural. Please make an update for this problem. I know I'm not the only one who has this problem and I can't give it the best review until I can download more songs. Step it up activision
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