PopStar Guitar

Game review by
Harold Goldberg, Common Sense Media
PopStar Guitar Game Poster Image
Weak addition to the library of music-based games.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Game encourages social gaming as you rock out, strut, and sing loud with a friend.


You'll hear hear some teen angst and sexual innnuendo in the lyrics.


The songs promote the artists, which includes Rihanna, Maroon 5, Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Fall Out Boy and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a music game where players imitate playing music. The "T" rating is for lyrics in some of the songs. And these popular artists are the same you're kids probably hear on radio each day. There's no rap, no world music, no folk, no old school rock. It's pure pop.

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What's it about?

With Guitar Hero and Rock Band topping the best sellers lists, music game clones are coming fast and furious. Every company seems to have one, including XS Games, which brings you POPSTAR GUITAR, a Wii offering. But unlike the best sellers, PopStar Guitar has no online capabilities, no instrument-like peripherals, and about 60 songs, most of which are by indie bands. As you play your way through these tunes and perform well, you climb the music industry ladder all the way to fame and glory before big crowds in giant \

Is it any good?

PopStar Guitar is a decent rhythm-based music game, but it's played without instrument controllers. Without an instrument controller, you feel as though you're playing air guitar, which can be fun, but is very geeky nonetheless. Your fingers may get stiff after a while because the buttons are so close together, so you might want to limit playing to half hour intervals. Since the gameplay isn't new and there's no online capability, you'll want to check out the songs to see if they're by artists you will enjoy.

Remember that after the 14 original songs, you have 16 covers by uncredited bands doing their renditions of Avril, Good Charlotte, Kelly Clarkson, etc. Then you have 29 songs by generally unknown indie bands, the best of which is all-female Led Zeppelin cover band, Lez Zeppelin. But do you really want to spend $60 for a game that includes only 10 original artists you know doing 14 original songs?


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Parents can talk about what makes a pop song these days. What is it in Miley, Avril, the Jonas Brothers, and Rihanna that makes them easy to listen to? Does playing the game make you want to play real instruments in a real band? Why or why not?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Release date: November 18, 2008
  • Genre: Music & Dance
  • ESRB rating: T for Lyrics
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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