Games

Top Five Online Games to Rock out To

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Obviously everyone here likes to rock, right? And everyone likes to play games, right? And no-one likes to work right? Ahem, well, we wouldn’t honestly admit to that last one actually, but when there are a few minutes to spare/a few minutes to waste/a dull report that needs writing/a boring meeting to avoid, then online gaming is the perfect way to while away the time instead of clock-watching. I will admit that I have spent countless hours listening to and watching music videos here. For a change of pace, I decided to do more than listen – play games!

Yes, they’re highly addictive; yes, you’ll probably spend far too much time playing them; and yes, you really should be working, but enough of the minor details, let’s get on with talking about the games. More specifically, the best music and rock based games that we’ve found online to help music lovers get through the day with their sanity intact, when they are finished reading news, reviews and interviews of course!

Here’s our Top Five Online Games to Rock out To:

  1. Rockstar Dreamer

Rockstar Dreamer is one of our favourite games for its sheer playability. Some of the most successful online games (think Candy Crush or Angry Birds) have a very simple premise, but for some reason you just can’t stop playing them. Rockstar Dreamer certainly falls into that category, and it is instantly playable.

The game features quite simple graphics with an American rock style teenager the main character, standing on his bed, playing his computer keyboard as a guitar (which will make more sense later). To either side of the bed is a 2D silhouetted crowd which moves up and down as the music plays. The crowd is very simplistic with no real animation, but they are barely noticeable as the centre of the screen is dominated by the neck of a guitar which scrolls down from the bed in the background to the foreground of the screen. There are five strings on the neck, and each leads to a different coloured button at the bottom of the game screen. As notes scroll down the strings, the aim is to hit the corresponding button on your keyboard to ‘play’ the note.

The game is clearly influenced by the likes of guitar hero, but it has a fairly unique feature in ‘rockstar’ mode. When you begin the game you are asked to select ‘basic’ or ‘rockstar’. The basic mode uses key A,S,D,K & L on the keyboard to play the five notes as they move towards you on screen. The rockstar mode uses keys 1-5 to play the notes, and requires you to press enter at the same time to ‘strum’ each note. Just take a look at your computer keyboard right now, and imagine you picked it up, you can see how using those keys would have you holding the keyboard in the general manner that you’d hold a guitar.

It’s an innovative little feature and one of our favourite things about this game. In each mode, there is an easy, normal and hard option, with easy using just three notes, normal using four, and hard using all five notes. A power bar appears alongside the neck of the guitar, and when it is full you can hit the space bar to make your character really rock out! There’s a good selection of tracks to play along to, although none that you’ll recognise as real rock classics, which is a bit of a shame. All in all though, this is a very accessible game, and one you can start at a moment’s notice with no real set up to go through. Be warned, however, that you will become instantly hooked on this game!

  1. Guns N’ Roses Online Slot Machine

Okay, so this choice is a strange one, because the game hasn’t officially been released yet, but it’s made our list because there is so much hype about it. Slot machines, fruit machines, pokies, whatever you want to call them, have been around for years in pubs, casinos and social clubs, but more recently they’ve made a big splash in the online world.

The key difference between the real world machines and their online versions is that you can play the internet games for free! Yes, that’s right entirely free! Okay, you won’t be able to actually win any money playing this way, but it will definitely pass the time.

The reason we’ve included the Guns N’ Roses online slot is because, frankly, they are the gods of rock. Net Entertainment is the company behind developing the slot, and having signed a contract for the official rights, they will be able to incorporate classic tracks like November Rain, Sweet Child of Mine, and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.

With the growth in Flash and browser-based games over the last few years, the quality of graphics has increased dramatically. Online slot makers have taken advantage of this, using 3D graphics to create complex ‘video slots’. Unfortunately at this stage there are few specific details about what graphics and features the game will include, but it is due for release before the end of 2015, and it’s definitely a game to look out for.

  1. The Rockstar Game

Okay, so back to the games that are online and ready to play right now, and the next on our list is The Rockstar Game. This is a much more involved game than Rockstar Dreamer, and will probably appeal to those who tend to like more in-depth strategical games.

The game requires you to create an account before you can play, but don’t let that put you off, as it’s essential for you to play the game against other players all over the world. The idea of The Rockstar Game is to create a band and lead them on a journey from writing their very first songs all the way to world domination! There are over 30,000 players online with a competitive singles chart, album chart, rich list and so on.

The game is based on a points system (you are credited a certain amount when you start and three points are added to your total every hour), whereby everything you do will cost you an amount of points. Points can be considered as time according to the game developers, so you can select the amount of points (time) you want to spend performing certain actions – e.g. practising or writing songs. You are also given a cash amount for the band, which you can grow as you go on tour and eventually sell singles and albums.

While the game doesn’t feature any animation or gameplay as such, it’s very easy to get sucked in to developing your band once you’ve started. Band actions include – Rest & Recover, Practice, Go on Tour, Write Songs, Release Single, and Release Album. Practice and rest will increase your band’s performance ability when you write songs and perform gigs, and the better the gigs are, the more you can charge for tickets and the more money you can earn. The game tries to mimic real life to a degree, and you will have to spend some time developing your band and playing gigs before you have enough money to pay a producer to record your song.

As you grow the band you can release singles and albums and check their position in the relevant charts. As your popularity grows you will be able to charge more for gig tickets, use better producers to record your music, and eventually export the band to new regions. The game is split into seven regions – UK, USA, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, South America, and Asia. Your band must have a popularity rating of 25 in their home region and over £1,000,000 cash before you can ‘buy’ your way into another region, so there is a long way to go before you can conquer the world.

This game won’t appeal to those who want something that is easy to play and requires little thought, but we love just how complex this game is. It really enables you to take your band on a journey, and it makes it much more ‘real’ playing against other people and competing in the online charts. If you like the thought of seeing your band at the top of the world singles and albums charts, and you’ve got copious hours to waste, this game will be right up your street!

  1. Official Kiss Online Slot Machine

Next up is another online slot machine, but one which is available to play online today. The Kiss online slot machine features imagery and music of the iconic band, and is an instantly playable game.

As we mentioned earlier, online slot machines can be played for free, and where they used to require a software download, most games can now be played in your web-browser. Traditional slot machines used to feature three reels and a single ‘win line’, but the online versions offer much more variation. The Kiss slot features five main reels and a second ‘colossal’ reel to the side, which means in total there are 100 win lines. You can choose to play for anything from 20 win lines up to the full 100, and you can choose to bet anything from 1 cent to 5 dollars per win line. You are credited with 1000 ‘free’ dollars when you start the game, and if you lose it you can simply refresh the game and start again.

The symbols that revolve around the reels include guitars, plectrums and classic images of the band. When these line up to award a win a different Kiss guitar riff is played to signify each win, which is very enjoyable. The best bit of the game though, is when you hit a bonus round. This happens when certain symbols line up on the reels to award you with a number of free spins. When you land the bonus, the entire game screen is taken up by real video footage of Kiss in concert, and a full track begins to play for as long as the free spins are rolling around the reels awarding you various wins along the way. The bonus round ends with more video footage, before you return to the standard game.

Of course, online slots can also be played for real cash, which can make them much more exciting (and dangerous!), but if you love Kiss as a band, this game is great fun to play regardless. The graphics are good, you’ll get to hear some of the band’s classic guitar riffs, and you’ll be treated to some real concert video footage. What better way to spend Tuesday lunchtime!

  1. Rock Band Sim

We’re not necessarily saying we’ve left the best for last, but Rock Band Sim makes a good effort at combining the gameplay of Rockstar Dreamer and the band management of The Rockstar Game.

When you begin playing you are prompted to choose your four band members and name the band. You start with a balance of $1000 and must hire a vocalist, a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer. Don’t forget to save a bit of money for equipment later on too, because your musicians will start with the worst instruments available.

Once you’ve picked the band and given them a name, you are taken to a 3D map which features six buildings that you can enter – A shop, the band’s house, a record company, a venue for gigs, a recording studio and the band manager’s office. You have the option to buy equipment and accessories for the band in the shop, before going to the band’s house to write songs. You can record these songs at the studio, but it will cost you money, with the best studios charging higher prices. The way to earn money is by playing gigs at ‘The Rock Pit’. Here you can choose a variety of gigs ranging from easy to hard, although the harder the gig the more money you will have to pay as an advance to play it. If you play badly you will end up losing your advance, but if you play a great gig you can make plenty of money.

The gigs are where the gameplay element comes in, with a guitar neck scrolling across the game screen from left to right. The four arrow keys on your keyboard are used to play the corresponding notes as they scroll across, while a silhouetted band plays in the upper part of the screen. The 2D graphics of the band are nothing special, but you’ll probably be too busy playing the game to notice them much anyway. This part of the game is instantly playable, and when you’ve finished a gig you’ll be given a score based on how many perfect notes you played and how many you missed. You’ll also be given a cash amount and will generate more hype for your band with each gig you play.

As you progress you can write and record more songs, and eventually release an album with the record company. Once you’ve got this far you’ll also be able to pop into the manager’s office to check on chart positions and band stats. Rock Band Sim is a very easy game to get started with, and combines addictive gameplay with a good storyline which can progress over a period of time. If you get hooked on this one (which most people will), don’t say we didn’t warn you!


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