DJ Hero

Common Sense Media says

Fun, tricky music mash-up game with turntable controller.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

For the most part, this game offers a positive message about playing music and dancing (exercising and personal expression). It's a family-friendly game despite some minor off-color lyrics.

Positive role models

The game doesn't really have any characters to speak of, other than some virtual apperances by the late DJ AM, Grandmaster Flash, Daft Punk, and others. Therefore it's not really a game with any clear role models.

Ease of play

This game is tough! It takes a while to master the controls. There is a learning curve to cross-fading on time, dropping effects, scratching, and so on. Practice makes perfect. There are 5 levels of difficulty.

Not applicable

Some suggestive lyrics in a couple of the songs, such as Young MC's Bust a Move ("A chick walks by you wish you could sex her"). Some of the female characters wear low-cut tops and tight shorts and dance provocatively.


No S- or F- words, but "damn" and "hell" (or "hella") can be heard from time to time in the song lyrics. You can play online wearing a headset, though, which means it's possible to hear profanity if the person you're playing with is using it.


Features songs that are commercially available.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some references in the lyrics to drugs and smoking, such as ""puff a joint" and "musical genius, smoke the greenest."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that DJ Hero -- much like Guitar Hero -- is a game that focuses on music, rhythm, and having fun with friends. There are some minor word and phrases that might offend which referr to drugs or sex. And some female characters dance in a sexy way and wear revealing clothes.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Rock music, move over. It's now time to dance. From the folks who brought us Guitar Hero comes DJ HERO, a fun but tricky rhythm game that challenges you to "mash-up" two songs together into one head-bobbing mix. With the aid of a wireless turntable-shaped peripheral (included), you must scratch, cross-fade, and press multi-colored buttons according to what's shown on the screen. Instead of flying down a guitar neck as in the Gutiar Hero games, your eyes (and ears) are on a spinning record. Interestingly, the nearly 100 mixes often pair up two very different tracks -- such as Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" versus Rick James's "Give It To Me" or Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" versus Daft Punk's "Da Funk" -- resulting in a unique sound that should get any house party grooving.

Is it any good?


DJ Hero is very good, but it's not a cakewalk. Patience and practice -- and choosing the right difficulty level for you (out of a total of five) -- will ensure you'll have a good time with this game. It takes a while to master the controls -- even for Guitar Hero fans -- but this is a good thing overall as it adds some challenge and longevity.

However, to like DJ Hero, you must like dance music (just as you must like rock to play Guitar Hero). Adding to the game's replayability are some fun multiplayer modes (online and off), the ability to add a microphone or guitar for extra fun, and the ease with which to download new songs from the Internet for a couple of bucks apiece. There's not much to complain about with this clever game, and it certainly feels like there's enough uniqueness to the experience for it not to be written off as just "Guitar Hero with a turntable."

Note: The PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii versions of the game are the exact same (though with low-resolution graphics on the Wii), but the PlayStation 2 version doesn't support online play, nor can you download extra songs.

Online interaction: You can play online wearing a headset,  which means it's possible to hear profanity if the person you're playing with is using it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this game deserves a "Teen" rating or not. What did you think about the lyrics in the songs?

  • How does this game within the bloated genre of music games. Is it refreshingly different or just more of the same?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2
Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 27, 2009
Genre:Music and Dance
ESRB rating:T for Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes (Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This review of DJ Hero was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byLucien October 6, 2010


I personally as found this game insulting as a DJ since the turntable is nothing like the real thing. But still it's good for little kids to have the game as it really actually improves hand and eye coordination.
What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 11 years old December 28, 2009

Fun, With Language

very fun! the crossfading is almost impossible but practice makes (close to) perfect!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 10 year old Written byxdala March 4, 2010
i love this game. it is perfect for the kids. ITS A BLAST!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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