Rock Band Blitz
What parents need to know
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.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
Health & Fitness
- fine motor skills
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids who like popular music will be drawn to this relatively simple rhythm game, which offers an unusual interface more focused on beat and scoring strategy than having kids play specific notes.
Players tap a button for each occurrence of sound within a given track, making them feel a part of the song. However, some kids will be sad to learn that, unlike earlier Rock Band games, this isn't a social game.
Simple tutorials provide all the information kids need to play. Not much external support exists, but this game has an active community of players who share their accomplishments online.
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.
Families can talk 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?