Jam Sessions

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Jam Sessions Game Poster Image
Your DS becomes a guitar, but without music games.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Language

A couple of the songs contain "damn" and "Hell." One of the song titles is "Jack-Ass."

Consumerism

Players can perform songs by commercial artists such as Avril Lavigne, Coldplay, Nirvana, and Beck.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game is designed to simulate playing the guitar, so gamers expecting music games will be disappointed. Younger gamers might get bored with the game's simple, no-frills interface and lack of characters, story, and traditional gameplay challenges. Older players with an ear for music should have fun teaching themselves to "play."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

Fun in the beginning

this game will hook you at first with it looking like guitar hero by it ends up to dissapoint it is confuseing and hard!!
Teen, 15 years old Written byPacsonic May 14, 2018

Totally appropriate commercials.

Jam Sessions Australian commercials: -Spongecake(The reason this game is known for)- Kid says F word 3 times in front of mother, friends, and relatives. -Aunt... Continue reading

What's it about?

JAM SESSIONS is not really a game but a portable guitar simulation that allows you to realistically re-create the experience of playing guitar along with your favorite tunes. Once you've mastered the basics, you can experiment in Free Play mode and record your ideas for posterity (you can transfer your creations off the DS using a line-in cable). You don't \"win\" anything by playing through a song accurately.

The interface is exceedingly simple: It's literally a guitar string stretched across the DS' lower screen with the stylus doubling as a plectrum for strumming. Up to eight musical chords (such as C, Am and G7) are mapped to the eight directions of the directional pad. By holding down one of the buttons and dragging the stylus across the string, you can strum a chord. Jam Sessions has a library of more than 100 chords you can map to the chord palette, and you can also assign effects such as Distortion, Chorus, and Flanger to the L and R buttons to apply on the fly.

Is it any good?

It's quite amazing how realistically Jam Sessions captures the mechanics of guitar playing. For example, longer stylus strokes create louder chords. Up- and down strokes sound different as they do in real life, and you can even do muted string effects (to re-create the cool wocka-wocka sounds in "Wild Thing," for example).

Jam Sessions would be more accessible if it had some sort of game mode. As it stands, it remains a rather idiosyncratic piece of software. It's also a shame that you can't record vocals via the DS microphone along with your guitar playing. However, Jam Sessions is still a useful tool for budding composers and serves as a great stepping stone towards learning to play a real guitar.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the musical pieces the child has composed and why they chose certain chords. What chords naturally sound good together? How do major, minor, and seventh chords relate to each other? Does this game make them want to play an instrument in real life?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: UbiSoft
  • Release date: September 13, 2007
  • Genre: Music and Dance
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes

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