Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s is an incremental title in the Guitar Hero series, using the features and gameplay from Guitar Hero II but with a completely new batch of songs. The game's theme is the eighties, reflected by the characters and their clothing, the venues and of course the songs themselves. It is the last title in the series developed by the original creators Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
As in the previous games, in the single-player mode the player works his way through a setlist unlocking increasingly difficult songs, divided over 4 main difficulties. By performing well, new songs and venues become available, but there are less unlockables compared to the previous titles. Notable bands in this edition include A Flock of Seagulls, The Police, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Asia, Dio and Anthrax. Unlike the previous games, there are no bonus tracks.
The game is played through the guitar controller introduced for this series. The multi-player modes include Co-op, Face-off and Pro Face-off, identical to the previous game.
On 20th November 2007 Activision Publishing, Harmonix and RedOctane were sued by members of the rock band The Romantics. They claim the version of the track "What I Like About You" by cover group Wavegroup Sound, included in the game, sounds too much like their original song, making it "virtually indistinguishable from the authentic version". One month later, on 20th December 2007, a federal judge in Detroit denied The Romantics' request to stop the use of the song.