Wednesday, August 11, 2010

App O' The Mornin': Rush Hour

If you don’t already have some version of the original Rush Hour, you really should find one. Now that ThinkFun (formerly Binary Arts) has found widespread distribution, you can pick one up in just about any book or discount store, and nothing quite beats playing with the original.

Rush Hour is played on a simple 6x6 plastic grid filled with little cars. The cars take up either 2 or 3 spaces, and must be slid in such a way that a red car has a clear path to the only exit. Cards instruct you how to set up each puzzle, with solutions ranging from a few moves to several dozen. It’s a game that can be simple enough for a kindergartener and complex enough for a puzzle master. It may be only a variant on the classic sliding-tile puzzles, but it’s a slick, engrossing one.

If you’re already familiar with the original game, all I really need to say is: “It’s Rush Hour! In app form!”

ThinkFun’s first foray into the world of iPhone/Touch is a straight-up port of their classic sliding puzzle game. There are no surprises here: slide the vehicles to get the red car to the exit in as few moves as possible. Actually, there is a one big surprise: the game contains a whopping 2,500 puzzles, split evenly among Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert levels.

The puzzles can be played in any order, and each one records the Squares Moved, Previous Record, and Minimum Possible score. The complete game costs $1, while Rush Hour Free offers 70 puzzles as a taste, just like drug dealers do!

As an alternative for kids, check out Wriggle, which comes in both full and free versions. The mechanics are a little bit different, since you’re moving fuzzy worms rather than cars, but the puzzle style is very similar


charlotte said...

So glad to hear a review from a longtime fan of the original Rush Hour game... hopefully these 2500 new challenges will keep your brain busy for quite some time! Stay tuned for more ThinkFun apps coming soon!

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