Top 10 Games & Music Apps

Guitar World picks 10 of the best games & music apps for your smart phone and tablet.


Robots, unicorns and German power metal—’nuff said. A metalized update of the popular Robot Unicorn Attack game, this iteration is equally straightforward. Run, jump and smash your way through a landscape of bones, talons and pentagrams in order to keep your unicorn alive—all to the sweet sounds of Blind Guardian’s war-metal anthem, “Battlefield.” Epic, indeed. Adult Swim, $1.99


You know the drill: pick an artist or song, sit back and let Pandora do its thing, employing its “complex algorithm” of hundreds of attributes of music to figure out exactly what it is you want to hear. Punch in “Van Halen” and you’ll be met with additional tunes by AC/DC, Priest, Rush and others; call up “Slayer” and you get a steady stream of Pantera, Metallica, Sabbath and the like. An oldie but a goodie—if not the bestie. Pandora Media, Inc., Free


The huge console hit translates well to mobile play, with high-quality graphics, great animation and the same choice of four instruments (though on the app version vocals are “played” rather than sung). In addition you get 32 songs free with the download, with more tracks and packs available for purchase. And if you’re not interested in being a solo artist, you can jam with up to four other users in real time via Bluetooth. Electronic Arts, $6.99


This mobile extension of the Wolfgang’s Vault web site offers full streaming concerts from scores of classic and current bands. Browse by artist, genre, featured concerts or several other options, and be amazed at what comes up: Jeff Beck at the Masonic Temple Theatre ’75, AC/DC at Towson State College ’79, Sabbath at Musikladen ’70, the Stones at Forest National ’73… The list is seemingly endless. And did we mention it’s all free? Wolfgang’s Vault, Free


Touted as “part instrument, part composition and part artwork,” this generative-music app sounds droning and chiming tones and sprouts swelling, multi-colored dots, either randomly on its own or when you touch a finger to the screen. The results are then looped to create a gentle and soothing musical and visual pastiche. Sounds positively ethereal? It should—one of Bloom’s creators is ambient-music pioneer Brian Eno. Opal Limited, $3.99


In the past, the combination of heavy metal and pinball would be reason enough to never to leave your parents’ basement. With this app, you can unleash your inner hesher anytime, anywhere, as you bang your virtual silver balls to tunes from Slayer’s recent World Painted Blood. Features plenty of blood, fire and pentagrams as well as multiple angles, and original voice recordings from Tom Araya. And there’s the animated skull that eats your ball—and spits it out through its eyehole. Sony Music Entertainment, $2.99


Ever been at the movies or chilling at a bar and wondered what song was rocking through the speakers? Simply open Shazam, touch the screen and point your phone at the music source. Shazam “tags” the sound clip and quickly runs it through a database to find its exact match. From there, you can read artist bios, Tweet your findings and even purchase the track through iTunes. Shazam Entertainment Ltd., Free


No app rocks harder than Revolver magazine’s Revolver TV. It offers exclusive live performances, artist interviews, music videos, guitar lessons and behind-the-scenes access to Revolver photo shoots and events, including backstage footage, interviews from the magazine’s annual Golden Gods award show and outtakes and videos from their ever-popular Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock collection. Revolver, $1.99


Offers streaming access to more than 50,000 terrestrial and internet radio stations, from practically anywhere in the world. Weed through the huge number of feeds by genre, location or station name, or simply use GPS to find local stations wherever you are. The built-in Twitter feature lets you send song requests directly to the Twitter feed of the station you’re listening to. Weather Underground, $6.99


This version of the insanely popular Tap Tap Revenge game features extra modes, Bluetooth connectivity to battle other users and, oh yeah—Metallica. Tap and shake your phone to 10 ’Tallica tunes, including “Seek & Destroy,” “Master of Puppets” and “All Nightmare Long,” and keep up to date on band happenings with a news ticker and live message board. Tapulous, $4.99

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.