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Rock Band iPhone: Finger-cramping fun

Rock Band for iPhone may be one of the most expensive games in the Apple App Store, but it's worth every cent.

(Screenshot by CBSi)

Back in our parents' day you were either a Beatles man or an Elvis man, these days you're either a Rock Band guy or a Guitar Hero guy (or some weird kind of non-gaming hermit).

Game developer Harmonix is making sure its loyal fans can get a fix of Rock Band while away from their home consoles, releasing a version for the iPhone. It costs AU$13.99, which is a fortune for the Apple App Store, but fans will be happy to hear that its worth every cent.

The core game consists of 20 tracks including Rock Band favourites Saboutage by the Beastie Boys and Cherub Rock by the Smashing Pumpkins. What sets Rock Band apart from Tap Tap Revolution and Gameloft's Guitar World Tour is that it offers the full band experience; guitar, bass, drums and vocals. While haters will argue that the gameplay for guitar, bass and drums are virtually identical in theory, it is worth pointing out that each has its own note-map to follow, so you can play your favourite songs four times each.

There's also online play and local multiplayer over Bluetooth. There's multiple game modes, including Quickplay and World Tour modes, and in true Rock Band fashion there is also downloadable content, with five songs available at launch at AU$1.19 each. The art style of the games comes across well to the iPhone and it has to be one of the best looking iPhone apps around with barely any Apple-like styling.

Activision is yet to release a similar app for the iPhone for its Guitar Hero franchise, but did delve into portable gaming with its Guitar Hero port for the Nintendo DS last year.

Rock Band for the iPhone delivers a solid rhythm game experience and will no doubt have an impact on your remaining iTunes credit, whittling down the tally AU$1.20 at a time.