Developer: UMG Recordings, Inc
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★☆☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

IMG_0595The thing about music and rhythm games is that they just aren’t very realistic. Six-String tries to be different, and it’s certainly the most realistic music game I’ve yet played..and more complex than other titles like Tap Tap Revenge. If you’re looking for a different music experience, you should definitely give Six-String a strum or two.

The main game interface presents you with a portion of a guitar. There are (surprise!) six strings for you to pluck and strum. Things are different than in other games; you don’t simple tap on the strings. Instead, some notes require a single tap; others must be held; still others require you to strum up or down the strings. When the chord changes, you won’t change your fingering as you would on a real guitar (alas, the all-too-real limitations of an iPhone!), but you will have to hit a “CHORD CHANGE” button. It takes a bit of getting used to, but soon Six-String makes other music games seem pathetically simple. I found the controls to be well-implemented, and though I wish they were a little more precise, they work very well. It’s hard to blame failure on anything but your own ineptitude!

The song selection is somewhat sparse, considering that the basic app costs $4.99. In the App Store, that’s almost-premium territory. For your purchase, you get six songs. 20 more songs are available for purchase in-app. Six included songs might not be a lot, but it’s still a decent start even if you don’t want to buy more. Make sure to check the songlist to see if you like them before purchase! The songs sound good…when you’re playing well, anyway; if you play wrong notes, your mistakes are quite audible. It’s a nice touch. Also of note is that these are full versions of the song instead of shortened clips.

IMG_0593Armed your music, you can dive straight into gameplay. Practice Mode is failure-free, and you’ll need to do well here to unlock songs in Studio Mode. In Studio Mode, which is supposedly the “real deal,” you can compete in the high score rankings. There are three difficulty modes per song. Easy is as easy as you’d expect, while Hard provides a solid challenge.

Six-String is a lot more complex than your standard button-tapping “music” game, and real guitar players and those who have tired of other games will both get a real kick out of this one. Your sense of rhythm is important, and adapting to Six-String’s gameplay adds a layer of challenge. Of course, this is still nothing compared to a real guitar, and five bucks is a bit steep for only six demo songs. And besides its added complexity, there’s nothing supremely fun or new here. Still, Six-String is a solid new contender, and many should enjoy taking one step closer to “real” guitar mastery.

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