Band Hero Game Poster Image

Band Hero



Great party game for music-loving families.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game encourages musical understanding, appreciation, and collaboration, plus this game features many family-friendly songs.

Positive role models

You are a musician playing within a band.

Ease of play

Those familiar with rhythm games will pick this one up right away, but it can get challenging on the harder settings.


Not applicable

Some of the female avatars dress in tube tops or low-riding jeans, but there is no nudity. Some lyrics infer sexual behavior.


The odd off-color word, such as "damn" or "hell," can be heard, plus some potentially offensive lyrics for young ears, such as "makin' love" and "lets burn these sheets down to the seams."


The game features well-known songs by classic and contemporary bands, which promotes them, of course, plus the instrument manufacturers get plugs, too.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some lyrics refer to alcohol, such as Don McLean's American Pie: "And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye."


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Band Hero is a music game with more family-friendly content compared to the songs found in the harder-edged Guitar Hero and DJ Hero games. Aside from a few sparse words that might raise an eyebrow, this game is great for kids of all ages. Some female characters move their body in a sexy way or show some "skin" but it's quite tame.

What's it about?

Rock, pop, country, and folk come together in BAND HERO, the latest in Activision’s mega-successful rhythm game franchises, following Guitar Hero and DJ Hero. As the name suggests, Band Hero lets you play guitar, bass, drums, or sing -- using plastic peripherals that resemble real-life instruments – to a set list of more than 60 No. 1 hits. Examples of the diverse set of tunes include Taylor Swift’s Love Story, Don McLean’s American Pie, Jackson 5’s ABC and Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life. Activision has added more social play options to encourage cooperative or competitive jamming -- in the same room or over the Internet -- including the ability for multiple gamers to play the same instrument, such as having two drummers and two guitarists or four singers (and an all-new karaoke-style Sing-Along mode helps there, too).

Is it any good?


Yes, but it’s no secret the market is saturated with these rhythm games -- not to mention family rooms piled high with plastic peripherals. But Band Hero attempts to stand out in its eclectic selection of hits, new playable characters (Maroon 5’s Adam Levin and Taylor Swift) and additional party modes for friends and family. Plus, the game lets you import songs from other games, such as Guitar Hero 5 (though it’s too bad it’ll cost a few dollars for the privilege). If you’re not yet burned out by these games and like the diverse set of songs and modes, Band Hero should be music to your ears.

Note: The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game play out the same, but the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS versions offer some interoperability including the ability for Nintendo DS/DSi owners to change the band’s set list on the fly (on the Nintendo Wii), along with Wii/DS guitar competitions. Nintendo Wii owners can also import their Mii character in a freestyle mode.

Online interaction: Players can jam online with others, which means they can communicate with one another. This might be an issue for some parents because this interaction can be unpredictable.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether music games have run its course. Is the market over-saturated with dozens of rhythm games, sequels, downloadable content, and a pile of plastic peripherals? Could Band Hero be more innovative or do gamers want more of the same?

  • Why do you see musical instruments from real world companies in this game? Why do companies want to sell to kids?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Price:$49.99 and up
Available online?Available online
Release date:November 3, 2009
Genre:Music and Dance
ESRB rating:E10+ for Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 10 year old Written bychais December 8, 2009

Great game, but terrible editing makes it unusable in a school setting.

I am a 6th grade music teacher and I bought this game specifically for use in my music classes. It is rated E for everyone 10+. The makers of the game have taken the time to edit out inappropriate language, but I do not know what they were thinking when they went about this process. There are a number of songs that repeat the phrase "I don't give a d***" and others that are obviously sexual. This is nothing that is ridiculously offensive, but it is still unusable for me in my school setting. What I do not understand is how they went about the editing process... the editors took the time to remove fairly innocent stuff like the word "whiskey" from Don McLean's American Pie and the word "gay" from Taylor Swift's Picture To Burn, yet they have the singer repeat "I don't give a d*** about my reputation!" over and over again in Bad Reputation by Joan Jett. 2 other songs (Rock Star and Black Cat) also include similar phrases. So, this is a great game, and I think it could be used in a school setting if they would have made some very minor adjustments. If you are going to take the time to edit words to make it more family-friendly, please do a better job!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Educational value
Kid, 9 years old February 12, 2011

Awesome game

This game is very good. but some of the songs have cussing but it is still very fun. it is an awesome party game. i would totally recommend this to anyone who likes to sing play the guitar and play the drums.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byGO CUBS GO October 30, 2010
Band hero is the pop version of guitar hero and therefore, it's a bit better for kids. None of those metal songs are present. There's a few bad lyrics but you can just not play those songs. I play this game with 5 year old kids and that's fine. They're just having fun banging on drums or whatever.
What other families should know
Educational value


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