Rock of the Dead is a horror-rhythm-comedy-action game released on October 19th, 2010 for Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3 by Epicenter Studios. The game is a mish-mash of different genres; specifically the light-gun, on-rails shooter (specifically, the House of the Dead series) and the music/rhythm game popularized by the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series. A Wii version had been in development but was "put on the back-burner" shortly before the game's release to focus on the other platforms. The Wii version never materialized.
Instead of shooting enemies using a traditional light gun-type cursor, such as in other genre titles like Dead Space: Extraction and Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, Rock of the Dead-players eliminate foes by stringing together series of color-coded notes that appear above the enemies' heads using their guitar peripheral. Each character on-screen has a unique series, letting the player can choose which baddy to deal with first.
Specific guitar "riffs" are attached to specific enemies. Zombies have an average amount of notes, roaches & other insects have only one or two note sequences, while larger enemies have significantly more than 3 notes in a riff. There are only a few moments in the game (mostly during boss battles) when playing notes in time with the backing track of the game, akin to a Guitar Hero title, becomes necessary.
Since Harmonix owns the "floating note highway" patent that is used in Guitar Hero & Rock Band, the note tracking happens horizontally in this title, the colors corresponding to those on the guitar peripherals. The game is compatible with most guitar game controllers, including those from third-party manufacturers such as MadCatz.
Rob Zombie was actually written into the fiction of the game, and players can collect 8 of his body parts to unlock a Rob Zombie boss character. He provided his likeness as well as a couple of his most famous songs.
PS3 and 360 owners will have the standard leaderboards and Achievements/Trophy support. They will also get 8 Rob Zombie and White Zombie tracks (including "Superbeast", "Dragula" and others), while the rest of the soundtrack consists of metal/rock covers of license-free, classical pieces from Beethoven, Bach and other famous composers. Each level has a specific theme or song tied to it, throughout the entirety of said level.
Epicenter Studios is aiming for a light-hearted, campy feel for Rock of the Dead. To that end they have announced that the lead character will be voiced by Neil Patrick Harris, the unnamed protagonist/slacker/stoner-type and that Felicia Day will portray his 'love interest'. This pairing is a callback to their roles of Billy & Penny, respectively, in Joss Whedon's web-musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.