DJ Hero

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
DJ Hero Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Fun, tricky music mash-up game with turntable controller.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 15 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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 & Representations

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.


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."

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymusicgeek January 29, 2011

Fun game, if you are old and mature enough then you should overlook the swear words

its not necessarily the actual game u need to put off as a 13+ game. it's the songs or lyrics. that doesnt mean the actual wii game is bad itself!!!
Parent of a 2, 9, and 11-year-old Written bymfillyaw December 16, 2010

Mom...Dad...Two Turntables & a Microphone! Wiki Wiki...

My oldest daughter , who is 11 loves music games. She has a great time plaing the Rock Bands. The first thing she said was I want to play as a girl but they are... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old February 19, 2014

My personal favorite!

OK, so the dancers in the background are a bit inappropriate, but I honestly think that once you learn how to play, that wouldn't matter! The crossfading a... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old November 10, 2012

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate