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Video Games Based On Bands – TheGamer

In the late aughts and early 2010s rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band were at the peak of popularity, with plenty of entries in their respective series. Some games in each series even focused on specific bands, such as Beatles Rock Band and Guitar Hero: Metallica.

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While these games featuring plastic instrument controllers eventually lost their popularity, there are still plenty of games made in the past, and even still made today, that are based on various famous musical groups. There are surprisingly a handful that aren’t even rhythm games, or at least aren’t rhythm games primarily.


10 Journey 1983

Not to be confused with the hit 2012 video game by Thatgamecompany, Journey is based on the band of the same name, and is an arcade game launched in 1983. It is also the second game to be based on the band, after 1982’s Journey Escape for the Atari 2600.

Journey features each band member, with photos of their actual faces pasted on character sprites, taking on various challenges while chiptune versions of Journey songs play in the background. This does mean that Journey’s most well-known song, Don’t Stop Believin’, is featured in the game; it even appears in the first level.

9 Seikima II Akuma no Gyakushū!

Seikima II Akuma no Gyakushu!, or Seikima II The Wrath Of Satan, launched for the Famicom in 1986 and is based on the Japanese heavy metal band Seikima II. The only playable band member is Demon Kogure, now known as Demon Kakka, as all the other band members have been captured by the Greek god Zeus. Players must collect all of the items in each level and avoid enemies to complete the game, and they will instantly die if an enemy touches them.

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The following year an enhanced version of the game, Seikima II Special, was launched, It featured improved graphics and actual Seikima II songs, instead of 8-bit versions.

8 Beatle Quest

Made several decades before The Beatles Rock Band, Beatle Quest is a text-based adventure game that launched for the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum in 1985. While it doesn’t have visuals like some of their album covers, or the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine, it does feature lyrics from various Beatles songs placed throughout the text.

While Beatle Quest got mixed reception, it did well enough financially for the creator to start working on a sequel titled A Day In The Life, with a third game named Across The Universe initially planned as well. Unfortunately, these games were never completed.

7 TM Network: Live In Power Bowl

TM Network: Live In Power Bowl launched for the Famicom in 1989, and is based on J-pop group TM Network. Unlike other band-based games, Live in Power Bowl only features one of TM Network’s songs, an 8-bit version of Come On Everybody.

Live In Power Bowl has the player go back in time and make the correct choices when talking to various characters, preventing World War III and the destruction of Earth by having the TM Network hold a concert for world peace. TM Network have also had some of their songs featured in the Mobile Suit Gundam and City Hunter anime series.

6 In Bred With Rednex

In Bred With Rednex is a point-and-click adventure game based on Rednex, a Swedish band perhaps most well known for their hit Cotton-Eye Joe remix, and was included with the eponymous album in 1995. The player must find all the band members in the game, by exploring a town called Brunkeflo and completing different minigames.

Since In Bred With Rednex is a computer game, it has the actual likenesses of each band member as they comment on what is currently happening around them. Due to its many weird aspects, it’s probably one of the strangest video games based on a band ever made.

5 R: Rock’n Riders

R: Rock’n Riders is a snowboarding game that launched on PlayStation in 1999 exclusively in Japan, and featured a Japanese rock band simply known as R. The band was created specifically for the purpose of both this game and an animated short also called “R.”

Like other snowboarding games, the player must perform tricks with the selected character to accumulate points and reach the end of each course before the time limit runs out. Once the game has been completed with all the playable band members, an extra mode is unlocked where the band must compete against a series of opponents, who they can punch during races.

4 *NSYNC: Get To The Show

*NSYNC: Get To The Show launched for the Game Boy Color in 2001, and is based on the popular boy band *NSYNC from the late 1990s and early aughts. Get To The Show has the group going on tour, and has the player participate in four different minigames. These range from driving a limo and running errands, to having the group play hacky sack or ‘Kick The Sack’ as it’s called in the game.

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Surprisingly, Get To The Show does not feature a proper rhythm minigame, but it does have chiptune covers of a few select *NSYNC songs in its soundtrack.

3 Hail To The King: Deathbat

Hail To The King: Deathbat is a dark fantasy action RPG that launched for PC and mobile devices in 2014. It’s based on the artwork featured on the cover of the Avenged Sevenfold album Hail To The King, as well as the band’s mascot, the Deathbat.

The game has you play as an incarnation of the Deathbat, a skeleton known as Andronikos, king of the underworld. You must explore Haides and take his land back from Dark Andronikos. Levels are based on different Avenged Sevenfold songs, band members are playable in certain instances, and the score was even composed by the band themselves.

2 KISS: Rock City

KISS: Rock City is a management simulation and rhythm game that launched for Android and iOS mobile devices in 2017, and is based on the legendary rock band KISS. In Rock City, the player gets help from the members of KISS themselves, so that their amateur rock band can reach the heights of fame and fortune.

The management part of Rock City includes customizing each band member and interacting with them to make sure they’re content, while the rhythm game part consists of band performances of various KISS songs. It’s relatively generic compared to similar mobile games, but it might be worth trying out for KISS fanatics.

1 BTS World

BTS World launched for Android and IOS mobile devices in 2019, and is based on the immensely popular K-pop boy band BTS. World plays similarly to many games in the visual novel genre, with players conversing with the band members and selecting different dialogue choices that may affect what happens in the story at a later part.

Additionally, there is a card game that players can play, featuring each member of the band. Like other band-based games, World features music from BTS, although it has a completely new and original soundtrack instead of only using pre-existing songs.

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