Rock Band Blitz

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Rock Band Blitz Game Poster Image
Downloadable music game delivers simple, rhythmic fun.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about popular music and rhythm in this simplified take on the once-popular Rock Band formula. Selecting from a database of thousands of well-known songs, players get to hear the individual tracks that make up each ditty, including bass, guitar, keyboard, drums, and vocals. They feel the beat of each instrument as they tap corresponding buttons. Kids will also need to develop and employ a bit of strategy, switching tracks and selecting power ups with an aim to achieving higher scores. 

Positive Messages

Rock Band Blitz promotes a healthy appreciation of popular music while encouraging players to get involved and feel the rhythm. However, some of the music featured includes suggestive lyrics meant for old listeners.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Unlike previous Rock Band games, there are no player avatars in this game, or even any characters beyond the pedestrians on the side of the track. Songs contain lyrics about people who exhibit both good and bad behaviors.

Ease of Play

Much more accessible than other Rock Band games. No instrument controllers are necessary. Instead, players just tap buttons on a controller. There's no worry of failing levels, though it can be very hard to earn a perfect five gold stars.

Violence

Players earn power-ups such as bombs and shockwaves, but they don't hurt anyone. Instead, they simply help players hit notes on the road and earn higher scores.

Sex

A few of the female characters on the side of the road are dressed in lightly revealing clothes, including short skirts and low-cut tops. Many of the 4,000 songs in the Rock Band catalog contain suggestive lyrics about love and sex, but explicit lyrics are censored.

Language

Players will likely encounter songs with light profanity, including the words "hell" and "damn". Songs containing stronger language are censored. 

Consumerism

This game exposes players to thousands of pop bands and acts as a means of promotion for their music.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many of the songs in the Rock Band catalog make reference to drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Rock Band Blitz is a downloadable rhythm game that's part of the Rock Band franchise. It exposes players to and helps foster an appreciation of popular music, allowing kids to feel and become part of the rhythm via well-timed button taps. However, moms and dads should also note that within Rock Band's catalog of thousands of songs are many that include suggestive lyrics, mild profanity, and references to drugs, alcohol, and smoking. 

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What's it about?

After enjoying years of popularity, rock band simulation games suddenly fell out of favor a few years back. Harmonix is attempting a modest revival of the genre with ROCK BAND BLITZ, an inexpensive downloadable game for consoles that offers a different take on the once popular category. Rock Band Blitz still offers a scrolling track filled with notes to hit in time with a wide variety of authentic pop songs. But rather than hauling out bulky plastic instruments, gamers need merely grab a controller and start tapping buttons. Plus, they can play any part of the song they like, switching instruments mid-song as they like. There are five tracks in each song (one each for drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and vocals). Each track is a binary system with notes on the left and right. Tap any part of the directional pad to strike a left-hand note, tap any action button for right. There's no story or career to follow; instead, players slowly work toward unlocking more than a dozen power ups that make it easier to achieve higher scores.

Is it any good?

Rock Band Blitz probably won't usher in a new rock game era, but it should prove reasonably fun for those who miss evenings spent rocking out in their living rooms -- assuming they don't mind trying something both a bit different and a little simpler. With no difficulty levels to choose from, veterans may find it a bit easy, though achieving a perfect five stars on most songs is still a challenge prior to unlocking point-boosting power-ups. Plus, folks who like to play with friends will be disappointed that there's no local or online group play. You can pose challenges for your friends, but that's it.

However, when things are clicking and you're in the zone, hopping between instrument tracks in your favorite songs, it can be a blast. Plus, Rock Band fans can access all previous music they've purchased so many players will have no shortage of songs to try. This may not be the second coming of rock-and-roll games, but it is a nice little revisiting.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about popular music and music games. What types of music do you like? Have you ever considered trying a musical instrument? If you were in a band, which role would you like to fill?

  • Families can also discuss rhythm. Are you able to keep a steady beat over a prolonged period? How can you improve your sense of rhythm? Do you think games like this help?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love music and rhythm

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