A Christian alternative to the highly popular video game "Guitar Hero" will be hitting stores this month and promises to have guitarists of all levels "rockin' with the best while praising the Lord!"
Like "Guitar Hero," "Guitar Praise" requires players to hit the correct notes on their guitar controller as each song plays. Notably absent, however, will be scantily clad cartoon female guitarists and songs like "Cheat on the Church, "Cowboys from Hell," or "The Number of the Beast."
Instead, players will be jamming to tunes from Christian artists including Flyleaf, Skillet, Stellar Kart, tobyMac, Newsboys, Petra, 12 Stones, Spoken, Whitecross, Thousand Foot Krutch, Paul Baloche, David Crowder, Red, and many others.
Tom Bean, the president and CEO of the Christian software company Digital Praise, which developed "Guitar Praise," said the game was created in response to its gaming fans.
They "started e-mailing us and writing us and calling us and asking us to create a game that they could play along with using a guitar," he told FoxNews.com.
"People love the console guitar games on the market, but many would like more family-friendly songs and graphics," Bean explained in a news release announcing the game.
In October 2005, Digital Praise had introduced "Dance Praise," the first Christian-themed home PC product to capitalize on America's dance arcade craze. While "Dance Praise" disappointed many experienced "Dance Dance Revolution" players, the game series has been highly popular and acclaimed among Christian communities.
And for the same reasons why "Dance Praise" became popular, Digital Praise is expecting rave reviews for "Guitar Praise."
"We see it ('Guitar Praise') as another fun way for kids to spend time together and have a positive experience with positive content," Bean told FoxNews.com, adding it works well for youth groups, who can sing along as two players face off in the game.
While some gamers have accused "Guitar Praise" developers of "stealing" from "Guitar Hero," others point out to the fact that Digital Praise is not the only company set to release a game based on "Guitar Hero," which had itself drawn inspiration from Konami's "GuitarFreaks" arcade game.
Konami will be releasing "Rock Revolution" this October, XS Games will be releasing "PopStar Guitar" that same month, while Game Tank is set to release "Guitar Rising" later this year. "Guitar Praise" is set for release on Sept. 25.
In response to critics, Bean told FoxNews.com that game developers at the Christian-themed and family-friendly company were careful not to infringe on other games' copyrights.
"We've attempted to be careful and respect other people's products and create games of a similar genre but solely created with our programs and programmers," Bean said.
Digital Praise came across similar issues with the release of "Dance Praise," which is played similarly to other dance games, such as "Dance Dance Revolution" or "StepMania."
Unveiled at the International Christian Retail Show 2008 in Orlando, "Guitar Praise" features 52 tracks from the Christian rock world, combining today's most popular hits with classics from the 80s and 90s.
As players shred through their guitar solos, "Guitar Praise" records high scores per song and unlocks new songs – in sets of five – along the way. By tilting the guitar, players can activate spinner bonuses. And as they increase their skills, players can earn new onscreen guitars with richer sounds and different effects.
The game also allows either one player to perform in solo mode, or two players to compete for the better lead guitar score. With a second guitar, players can jam at the same time – both on lead guitar, or one on lead and the other on bass. The game's Power Duel mode also lets players send "surprises" that impact their opponent's play.
"Guitar Praise" supports both Windows and Mac personal computers and includes one wireless guitar controller, a USB wireless adapter, plus the game CD-ROM.
Unlike "Guitar Hero," "Guitar Praise" is not available on Xbox, Wii, nor PlayStation.
"Guitar Praise" carries an MSRP of $99.95 (USD).