Originally released on the Meta Quest, Unplugged: Air Guitar is a rhythm game where you, well, play an air guitar. You strum with one hand and move the other to different parts of the neck according to a note chart similar to games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero.
With a core track list of 20 plus tracks from across the history of rock music and another 20 tracks unlocked along the way, the game provides a nice, varied list of tunes. However, while the campaign mode doles the tracks out slowly, it does so with no sense of cohesion. All of the tracks are grouped into tiers with seemingly no real rhyme or reason, solely serving as an obstacle to unlocking the next admittedly impressive venues. We did encounter some issues with the progression where we'd miss out on crucial tutorials, so things can feels a little slapdash in places.
This tutorials are essential, too, as they're anchored by “Satchel”, the guitarist of Steel Panther, and dish out crucial information at a good pace. The first impression of these is cringe-inducing, ridiculing “nerds” in what feels like a very outdated skit, but as you go along, the videos get progressively cheesier and genuinely funny. Plus, they teach you the game’s robust and precise mechanics.
To play, you hold down different numbers of buttons on your PSVR2 Sense Controllers to approximate notes – you’ll also be tilting the guitar at different angles on higher difficulties – all while the game’s impressive tracking is put to use. Strumming patterns approximate real life in a way even Rock Band doesn’t, and fretting on the neck is great, as it's able to differentiate between very slight differences in hand placement on your guitar. This precision leaves a lot of room for mastery.
As a result, the game subscribes to the “easy to play but difficult to master” cliché, and offers enough replay value thanks to its varied track list that it's worth sticking with over many sessions.