Guitar Hero on Tour: Decades

Common Sense Media says

Sequel delivers similar fun for rockers on the go.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The bands feature both male and female musicians.

Not applicable

Some mildly sexual lyrics. Examples include Fall Out Boy's "The Take Over, The Breaks Over": "We do it in the dark with smiles on our faces," while Alien Ant Farm's "Smooth Criminal" contains such lines as: "He Came Into Your Apartment/He Left The Bloodstains On The Carpet/Then You Ran Into The Bedroom/You Were Struck Down/It Was Your Doom."


The odd cuss word can be heard in the song lyrics including "damn" and "ass." For example, mild lyrics include Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55": "I'm gonna throw your ass in the city joint."


The screen is too small to see recognizable brands, but musical instrument manufacturers are branded in the game.


Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents needs to know that this is a music game that plays on the Nintendo DS. It is rated E+10 because some song lyrics contain references to sex and violence.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Gamers whose thumbs aren't throbbing yet from all the music video games these days might want to wrap their hands around GUITAR HERO ON TOUR: DECADES. It's the second Guitar Hero game on the Nintendo DS title that ships with a "Guitar Grip" peripheral, which snaps inside the Game Boy Advance slot underneath the portable game system; players then hold the game system like a guitar and strum along using a guitar pick-stylus hybrid (also included) on the bottom touch-screen. If you already have the Guitar Grip from the first Guitar Hero: On Tour game then you can pick up the less expensive game-only option.

Just like the game's predecessor, players assume the role of an up-and-coming rock band and must work their way up from playing grungy clubs to packed arenas. While listening to the 28 songs, you watch notes sail down the neck of a guitar and then press the corresponding color at the right time, while also strumming.

Is it any good?


This sequel offers the same concept but includes all new songs, divided into "decades," as the name suggests: the '70s (e.g. Edgar Winter Group's "Free Ride"), the '80s (Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name"), the '90s (Blind Melon's "No Rain" and today's hits (Fall Out Boy's "The Take Over, The Breaks Over"). But the game also adds a couple of new features such as the ability to stream songs with the original Guitar Hero: On Tour and playing through one of three different solo career paths, each with their own story: Lead Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Guitar Duel.

These new additions are welcomed, especially the former, as it essentially doubles the number of songs in the game so long as you have a friend nearby with the original Guitar Hero: On Tour. If you liked the original and didn't have a hard time pressing the relatively small buttons on the Guitar Grip accessory, then this sequel will deliver more fun for rockers on the go. It does feel like more of an add-on than a completely new game (available less than six months after the original!), but it still proves to be a good time.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about if music games work on a portable system such as the Nintendo DS, with snap-in accessories, or is it like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole? Are companies jumping onboard the music bandwagon too heavily without thinking of the medium they're being played on? Or on the flipside, does a Nintendo DS "Guitar Hero" make perfect sense for mobile gamers?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Price:$34.99, or $49.99 with accessory
Available online?Not available online
Release date:November 21, 2008
Genre:Music and Dance
ESRB rating:E10+ for Lyrics (Nintendo DS)

This review of Guitar Hero on Tour: Decades 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.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 9 years old November 25, 2008

its good

well i first i was HORRIBLE until i got the hang of it
Adult Written byashcatash5 February 7, 2009

Very Fun

It's not for little kids, but for older kids and up, this is a great game! The songs are good, for the most part, and it is very challenging. The controls are a little hard to get used to at first, but after a while you get the hang of it.
Kid, 11 years old November 30, 2009

Good at first

The game is fun at first then gets slow


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?


What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide