Inspired by the recent Guitar Hero craze, Mattel takes the genre a step further and sets out to actually teach gamers how to play guitar. I Can Play Guitar requires no set-up and easily plugs into your television set. The game comes with one cart containing four songs to rock out to, a strap, plug and play chords, and a sticker pack to customize your guitar’s appearance. Additional carts can be purchased with songs from the American Idol series as well as the popular SpongeBob SquarePants.
The concept behind I Can Play Guitar is that it teaches you how to strum like a real guitar by gliding a pick across a string of pickups. However, instead of placing your fingers on real strings to manipulate the chords you have to place your fingers over color-coded buttons. This reviewer has adult hands so I had a difficult time placing my fingers on the right buttons, but in the hands of a child it may be a little easier. I’ve also played the guitar for 12 years, so changing chords to color-coded frets took some time getting used to, but for the most part feels more like a real guitar than its GH counterpart.
The videogame interface is simple and intuitive and a young gamer shouldn’t have any trouble navigating through the different game modes. The animations and Guitar Hero-like gameplay should keep the younger set motivated to continue learning, but with only four songs in the box there isn’t a lot of replay value unless you buy additional carts.
Overall, I found the concept behind I Can Play Guitar intriguing. While it never felt like a real guitar to me the concept of learning how to play through a videogame is a great idea if you want to get your kids interested in learning the guitar. However, you’ll soon discover the limitations of the game and any real guitar player will note that button chords are nothing like string configurations.
- Overall: 6
- Great concept to get your kids to learn to play the guitar, but the color-coded buttons over complicate things and never feel as natural as a real guitar.
— Jason Thomas