Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s Game Poster Image
The award-winning series continues to rock on!

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

None, unless you consider smashing a guitar an act of violence!


Some songs contain lyrics that make sexual references or innuendos, including "Balls to the Wall."


Nothing you wouldn't hear on the radio; but some contain potentially offensive lyrics, such as "Balls to the Wall" or "Turning Japanese."


Includes references to real guitar companies and the songs are from commercial bands.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know there is no violence, sexual content, or swearing in this game, though some lyrics might offend including Accept's "Balls to the Wall" and the Vapors' "(I Think I'm) Turning Japanese." This a fun game for families to explore together because everyone who likes music will enjoy these music/rhythm games.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bypanicpack121 October 20, 2013

the game is decent and the soundtrack is somewhat original for the 80's, I guess...

I've played the game with friends, family, and children, so it's a family-friendly. I don't care about the rating system (ESRB), I think that... Continue reading
Adult Written byChris42696 May 22, 2009

Great Game!!

Very good game...also very fun to play as a family. Watch out for some little small curse words though! Also, if you want this game for free or any game go to:... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 12, 2009

Awsome Game With An Awsome Price

The game has a really good song list. But a few songs have sexual references "Balls To The Walls" and "Turning Japanese". On one of the load... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byAmR April 9, 2008

Kind of Boring

I am a HUGEEEEEEE 80's music fan. 80's songs are fun to listen to, not to play.
I say if your kid plays any Guitar Hero game, this shouldn't be i... Continue reading

What's it about?

Like the other Guitar Hero games, in GUITAR HERO ENCORE: ROCKS THE 80S you can choose an on-screen character, a name for your band, and whether you'd like to play an individual song or the meatier Career mode (where you to work your way up from a teeny bar to a huge outdoor stadium.) Song selections range from head-banging rockers such as The Scorpions' "No One Like You," Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock," and Quiet Riot's "Metal Health" to pop hits such as Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran," The Romantics' "What I Like About You," The Vapors' "Turning Japanese," and The Go Go's "We Got the Beat" -- they're all cover tunes but sound very close to the original recordings. Cooperative and competitive two-player modes add to the fun, allowing a friend to plug in a second guitar controller to jam (one takes lead; the other rhythm guitar or bass) or compete in a duel to see who can rack up the most points.

Is it any good?

Unfortunately, a handful of the 30 or so songs seem like filler material, such as obscure tracks from Faster Pussycat, Oingo Boingo, X, and Limozeen. Plus, in some cases, the game makers curiously opted for less popular cover versions of songs instead of the originals such as Krokus' "Ballroom Blitz" or White Lion's "Radar Love."

Aside from some questionable songs, another issue with the game is the $50 price tag, which is relatively high for a PS2 game, not to mention you need to pick up the guitar separately for about $60 for the wireless model. But fans of these Guitar Hero games should be satisfied with this interactive tribute to the '80s. Headband is optional.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how video games do not need to have guns, gore, sex, or foul language to be fun. Do you enjoy playing this game solo or with a friend? How important is the song that you are playing to your enjoyment of the game?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 2
  • Price: $49.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Activision
  • Release date: July 23, 2007
  • Genre: Music & Dance
  • ESRB rating: T for Lyrics
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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