Frets on Fire is a basic but fun music game that’s similar to Guitar Hero. Although users seeking a full-featured guitar game will likely find this one lacking, we thought it was very good for what it is.
The program’s interface is attractive but simple. There are no fancy graphics to be found here; users see the frets with the notes coming at them, and that’s about it. A brief tutorial explains how the game is played and gives a few practice exercises. The game supports the use of guitar-style controllers, but we just used our keyboard. The default controls are arranged in such a way that users can hold the keyboard upside down like a guitar, which is fun, but the game can also be played using the keyboard in the standard position (good news for laptop users). We suspect that the thing about Frets on Fire that users are most likely to be disappointed in is the song selection. The game only comes with three songs, and while they’re good, it didn’t take long before we wanted others. The game allows users to import Guitar Hero songs, which is great if you already have that game, and users with an adventurous, do-it-yourself streak won’t mind digging through the various Frets on Fire message boards to find additional songs. The game also includes a song editor for those who want to create their own. But users who just want to sit down and play a variety of songs are going to find Frets on Fire more trouble than they bargained for.
Frets on Fire is free. It installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program to all users.