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Android  header logo

Guitar Hero: World Tour

For: Android

As tuneful and costly as Clapton’s Stratocaster

Product: Guitar Hero World Tour (Android) | Publisher: Activision Blizzard | Format: Android | Genre: Music/ Rhythm | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe
Guitar Hero World Tour (Android) Android, thumbnail 1
Thus far, the G1 has been something of a sensible cousin to the fun-loving smartphone family. The iPhone likes to party hard all day and night, but the Android-powered platform tended to prefer a cup of Horlicks and an early night.

But no longer. Not since the Guitar Hero: World Tour franchise taught it the meaning of rebelliousness, and now it’s got that axe-man vibe pumping through its silicon veins.

We’ve seen Guitar Hero games on the mobile platform, and gameplay-wise they were quite remarkable. This game wouldn’t be anywhere near as popular on the consoles without the guitar controller, yet the mobile keypad worked surprisingly well when it came to the rhythm mechanics - it’s just that the midi files were like a knitting needle in the ear.

So right away the Android version has a leg up the rock band ladder. It’s a multimedia player, as well as everything else, so we’re given some excellent quality songs in MP3 format. It’s also a nice feature that the songs - although downloaded each and every time (so you can’t nick ‘em) - are stored on the SD card and aren’t gobbling up your handset’s memory.

There are 15 tracks available to begin with, and they’re an eclectic enough mix to ensure a little bit of something for everyone. We’re promised a steady supply of new ones as the game matures, which should help to keep things fresh.

After choosing your musician, it’s straight into the rock-a-thon. Each song can be played on either the guitar or drums, after which it’s downloaded on one of three difficulty settings. We were connected through fairly weak wi-fi, and the songs still landed well within the space of a minute, so the download aspect isn’t a particular chore.

Then it’s onto the stage. Three notes slide down the strings for you to tap as they reach the buttons on the end. The more accurate the tap, the better your score.

Some notes require you to hold them down, which adds a fair bit of dexterity to the action. Also, being as the Android isn’t multi-touch, some of the notes can get pretty close together, and it takes some hot tapping to keep up with the hard rockin’ songs.

There’s a very noticeable difference between guitar playing and drumming, which comes as rather a surprise considering the gameplay mechanics are exactly the same. But this does add considerable playability to the game, as it gives you an extra reason to go back through each song. Or, at least, the ones you can stand to listen to.

Multiplayer is another very significant feature, and allows you to battle it out online with other would be rock stars.

Connecting is a single button click, and the system partners you up with another online rocker for you to wage musical war against. We had no problems finding a match instantly, and there was little in the way of noticeable lag. We got panned, though.

Despite all its glitz and glamour, however, Guitar Hero: World Tour is, inherently, a limited game - almost a mini-game, though one with just about enough scope to carry itself alone.

So it makes us cringe to see it being sold for more than £7. There might be a lot of license money to pay out, but that’s really not the gamer’s concern, and as the cost goes up, so do expectations.

So even though this is a playable representation of the popular music/rhythm franchise, and boasts music that’s far more melodic than anything we’ve heard on the mobile versions, it’s hard to justify the high price tag.

If you’re a particular fan of Guitar Hero, the songs in the track list or music/rhythm games in general, perhaps you won’t balk quite so much at the high cost for a limited gameplay style, but the rest of us should think carefully before shelling out.

If seven quid for 15 songs worth of finger tapping sounds reasonable to you, by all means add two points to the score.
Guitar Hero: World Tour
Reviewer photo
Spanner Spencer | 13 March 2009
A great representation of Guitar Hero with a decent selection of songs, but such a hefty price tag for a mobile game means it’s got a lot of impressing to do before it fulfils the promises made by the high costs
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