Guitar Geek – A browser-based Guitar Hero substitute with no cost and no fuss
If music is the universal language, then music games speak to us in a way that no other form of entertainment can. This is evident in the existence of dozens of music-based games such as Rocksmith 2014 and Guitar Hero, and even more so in the large number of music games available for your browser. While some choose to go with an original concept such as the incredibly innovative Music Catch, others opt for riding a wave that once stood tall above the ocean of musical entertainment: the rhythm-based music game. Santa Rockstar has a considerable share of the very narrow market that these games sit in, but Guitar Geek is today’s point of interest since it is one of the few that boasts the format of successful games like Guitar Hero as well as a good quantity of polish and professional design to match. Put your silly little instrument controllers down: all you’ll need is a keyboard, some ears, and a willingness to try and rock out using only your fingers to get the musical job done.
Since this game is based on the whole Guitar Hero lot of titles that used to be insanely popular with gamers for a relatively short period of time in the past, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the gameplay of Guitar Geek is remarkable similar to say Guitar Hero 6 or Green Day Rock Band, and these days even superior to the whole Guitar Hero trend since it has long since faded into nothingness. You’ve got the classic guitar neck display on the screen (sometimes referred to as a “highway”) which has notes flying down it that correspond with one of four buttons on your keyboard. The trick is to keep the on-screen meter filled to at least half way by hitting the correct notes at the right time as they fly past the indicator at the bottom. You can use the ASDF keys as standard but can also choose either HJKL or 1234 to get the job done as well, making this one a good game no matter what your level of dexterity or the nature of your handedness is.
Tune and a Half
Seeing as we’re not dealing with any officially-licensed or generously-funded console games here and are instead looking at a flash-based game from a relatively small developer, you’re not going to see any recognisable tunes to play along to as you would in this game’s console-based counterparts. Instead, you have six songs to choose from which represent a fairly wide array of styles though all with a heavy/metal-centric theme running throughout. You’ve got a variety of tempos and difficulties for each song as well, and you can in addition choose the difficulty of the game in general ranging from easy to geek level. Choosing to play the harder difficulties simply means higher frequencies of notes to concentrate on as opposed to having more keys on the keyboard to focus on tapping; it remains a steady 4 throughout (ASDF, remember?).
If You Can’t Beat ‘em, Emulate ‘em
While it may be true that games such as Megadev’s Guitar Geek don’t have much of a chance of being the better overall experience when compared with music-based console games, they still have their place in the browser-based music game genre. In fact, you’ll find that Guitar Geek’s design and note-input responsiveness is superior to other similar browser-based games like the original Santa Rockstar. The cartoonish graphics and the relatively high sound quality combine to make the game feel professional, with the only noticeable flaw being a disappointing lack of song choice since you are limited to six in total. Still, this game is superior to many of its competitors and is excellent for a bit of time-passing in the afternoon or a little bit of musical challenge to wake up to.