Rush Hour has to be one of our best toy discoveries of the year - it's a portable puzzle game that has everyone who has played with it in this house from age 6-70 enthralled.
The game consists of a plastic box with a 6x6 grid on it, 42 game cards and, as the name of the game would suggest a number of vehicles (4 trucks and 12 cars) that fit onto the grid and are the pieces you play with. Everything is compact - the grid is about 13.5cm by 16cm, and fits into a small drawstring bag, making the game very transportable and quick to set up. Game play is simple but engaging - in theory it's for one person to play at a time but we quite often find that one person will play and several more will get involved leading to co-operative puzzle solving and much discussion and scratching of heads.
The basic idea is to use one of the cards to set up a traffic jam of trucks and cars, these being variously 2 or 3 squares long of the grid, and then to free the red car and let it "drive" out of the gap in the grid, a bit like the illustration on the packaging as seen above. The cards show in pictorial form how to lay out the cars and lorries horizontally and vertically. To make it easy the pieces are all totally different colours and made of a hollow, light, but robust plastic. Once you have the game is set up you move the vehicles forward and backwards, but in no other direction, as much as you want until you find the sequence to free the red car. It's a bit like tetris in reverse and instantly addictive.
I like the fact that there is a little drawer in the grid to store the game cards and the game itself is expandable as you can buy more cards and special vehicles. We have just stuck to the original cards so far, which come in three different challenge levels and have kept members of this house amused for hours. A card can take seconds or up to an hour to solve, it depends on the complexity of the card and the skill of the player. The solution is printed on the back if the jam becomes too much, when playing you really do have to think about how to work out the puzzle it's great fun but also can get quite frustrating as you wonder how a few pieces of plastic can have you so stumped!
The set is pretty well made and well worth the £10 purchase price in my opinion, it's definitely a great item to fill an ideal five minutes or the tricky time for children in a restaurant when colouring no longer appeals. I like the fact that it is so tactile - the game is available on i-Pad also but somehow in 2-D, though it is to all intents and purposes identical, is much less involving than having to physically push real pieces around a board.
I'm not a huge board game fan in general but this game is great, and it's a real must-have for holidays. There is a junior version available but this one is suitable for anyone aged 4 or above who will be able to access it in different ways, with the very youngest setting out and pushing around the cars and older players enjoying the very real challenge that such a fun looking game can provide. Highly recommended.
Rush hour traffic jam puzzle game
I have always been one for puzzles etc. I love doing anything that means my brain has to work that little bit harder. So when I saw this in Woolworths many moons ago, I decided to give it a go as it looked like something I would enjoy playing. I think I paid around £7.00- £8.00 for it at the time but you can pick it up for about £10.00 these days. Amazon sells it at present.
The puzzle consists of a plastic base on which there are several little brightly coloured plastic truck and car shapes and a little red car shape that you need to move and get out past the cars and trucks that are blocking it. Also provided with the puzzle are a set of 40 cards which show you how to set up the base before you begin to try and get your car out, these cards get progressively harder as you go along. The idea of this puzzle game is really simple. I had to get my little red car from one side of the base to the little exit by moving all the trucks and cars out of the way that were blocking me, but I could only move them either back or forward depending on which direction it was placed in, and this all depended on the cards and the actual game card I was using at the time.
The cards start at beginner right through to expert. At the start the puzzle is very easy and I managed to whizz through quite a few of them, I did actually begin to think that maybe I'd wasted my money, however as I made my way through the cards I did find myself taking more and more time over each puzzle, as they do get more and more challenging.
But not to worry if you do get stuck, as all the solutions are provided, just in case you get to the point of pulling your hair out or throwing the whole thing across the room.
Quality and durability
I like the way the base or game board if you like, has a little draw on the side for you to keep the cards in and there is a space for you to stand the card up that you are currently working on. It is a very neat little thing which would be ideal for taking with you on a long car journey or similar. The quality of the puzzle pieces and the base are very good, tough and sturdy like it's built to last a very long time.
I have had this little puzzle game quite a while now, considering I got it from Woolworths shows I've had it a fair while. My husband and my son have made their way through the cards as well, not sure if they cheated or not but we've all had our fair share of fun with it.
What I think needs improving
If I had to pick any fault with this Rush Hour puzzle game, I would say apart from it needing more game cards it also needs a better lid because to me although the lid does fit on top of all the cars/trucks, it never seems secure, so I just feel a better fitting lid is called for.
Out with the old in with the new
To be fair I personally don't think puzzle games such as these are as popular as they once were due to all the great Apps you can get for your iPod/iPhone etc. They seem to have killed the physical puzzle games that were once very popular. But maybe there are still some people out there whom enjoy sitting playing with the physical game/puzzle or whatever. After all not everyone has got a device to download Apps, although nearly all probably have, I guess it's just a case of moving with the times. I just think it's such a shame.
Thank you for reading my review which may also appear on other sites.
My children were given Rush Hour for Christmas and it was a game that I was totally unfamiliar with, but having played it for the past five months I have to say that I have become somewhat addicted to it and I feel as though I need to spread the word about this fantastic game.
Within the box you get a playing grid, 40 challenge cards, 16 3D vehicles (4 blocking trucks, 11 blocking cars and a red car) a drawstring bag and instructions. The idea behind this game is really simple. Essentially you have to get your car (the red one) out of the traffic jam.
Start your engines
The Challenge cards are divided into four categories - beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert. I would advise that you start with beginner until you get the hang of it - especially younger children because if they start off with something too taxing, the whole thing is likely to end up on the floor in a frustrated tantrum (I hold my hands up of being guilty of this, very ashamed!). The playing grid has a slot on the rear edge to allow you to prop your card up which is a handy feature and the idea is that you copy the plan on the card onto your grid: The cars are all colour and letter coded, and as the grid is only 6x6 squares, it is really simple to recreate and it only takes a few seconds to set up.
The aim of the game
By strategically moving the cars and lorries around, you have to manoeuvre your car through the "traffic" and out of the other side of the grid - there is only one exit. Only sliding of the vehicles is allowed and the vehicles must remain in the same direction as they were originally placed. If you pick them up to move them (as tempting as it is) you are only cheating yourself! Simple? Not always!
I really feel very enthusiastic about this game. The pure simplicity of it highly appeals to me, yet even though it is so simple on first look; it is engaging to a high degree. You get a different challenge every time, and even when you have worked your way through all forty challenge cards, you can easily start over again as you would have forgotten the methods. The different levels of difficulty make it appealing to all age groups and so I would say that this will last for a long time. The box states that it is suitable from aged eight upwards (up to old age in my opinion), but I think that the easier puzzles could be done by children a bit younger than that, and this also aids manual dexterity.
This is a one player game, so it is perfect as a travel game and the bright yellow drawstring bag that is supplied easily fits all of the games' components inside. The grid is only 20cm square, so it really does not take up too much space and it is also very light weight. The bag is also handy if you want to discard the box if it becomes tatty and broken. The playing grid has a small sliding drawer in the base where the challenge cards are stored so it is easy to keep them in good condition - this is another feature that makes me really like the game and makes me think as though the inventor has really thought it through.
All of the components of the game are made of plastic (apart from the cards) and they feel sturdy and good quality, and can of course be easily washed with water if they become soiled. Even the drawstring bag is made of a wipeable fabric. The vehicles slide around on the playing surface easily; absolutely no pressure required at all, and the base has small rubber pads on the bottom so it isn't going to move around the table if you get too enthusiastic with your movements! You can also hold the grid to around a 30 degree tilt before the pieces fall off, which again, makes it ideal for a long car journey. The best thing about this game: No Batteries!
This intriguing puzzle like game really does get your grey matter moving. Some cards take a few minutes to complete, but others can take quite a while depending on how many mistakes you make and how frustrated you get, but as there is no time limit, you are under no pressure. If it becomes too hard, or you feel as though you have really messed up the sequence, you can start over or abandon it without losing too much dignity! If it all becomes far too much for you and road rage starts to set in, the solution is on the back of each card, but do not give up too soon - sometimes the answer comes from nowhere, and the sense of satisfaction when you drive your little red car out of the grid is immense!
Price and availability
Created by Ravensburger, Rush Hour is widely available and I am surprised that I haven't come across it before as it makes an ideal present. I have seen it in Tesco's and Amazon for around £10 which I think is good value for such an enjoyable and long lasting game. I think that you should definitely buy this as a gift for a young relative and then borrow it for yourself!
Also published on Ciao under my username chilcott1
I really enjoy playing with different puzzles, and when I saw this I insisted that my boyfriend get it for me for my birthday.
At £15 this is quite expensive, although a deluxe version is available for even more, which I believe has a gold car and some extra cards inside. While the toy can provide a lot of fun, i'm not sure that paying for some bits of plastic should really come to that price. The amazon price of £10 is far more reasonable, but even still a bit steep.
The aim of the puzzle is that you set up a grid with plastic cars and by sliding them around you have to release the red car through a passage. The cards provided go up in difficulty and some will genuinely have you stumped for a while. Having said this, I did complete the whole thing in about an hour. Whether that's because I am used to puzzling or because it's a very easy game is for you to decide, but i'm not sure that £15 is worth that time you play. It is also worth mentioning that I have seen some refill cards available in my local puzzle shop for only £1.50, which make the game go much further and uses all the same materials.
The game does come well presented and is made with good quality pieces. It comes in a nicely made box and everything inside can fit into a pouch that is also provided. This is quite nice to take it on holiday and such, without having to lumber the box around but on a bumpy ride I would be worried about dropping the bits down the side of a plane chair or something!
On the whole this is a good gift to yourself or to another person. Most people would enjoy it, although some would find it easier than others. Due to the cards that vary in difficulty you can suit your ability to certain conundrums. Maybe a good secret santa this year!
If you have ever been stuck either in a jam,or on a very busy car - park, you will appreciate this classic game from Ravensburger.
The aim is simple, guide your little red car out through the gap by sliding the other cars and trucks out of the way. All is not as simple as it seems though...
Remember thos sliding puzzles you used to get when you were young, where there was a grid of plasic squares with one missing, and you had to slide the squares to re-arrange it into a picture, well this is along those lines.
You start by picking a card out of the deck - my advice is to do them in order, as the difficulty increases with each one - and laying the cars and trucks out in the order described. Then, by sliding the pieces round, you move your car. You can oly move the pieces up, down, left and right, and must not lift them. The starter challenges are great fun, but as it goes on, you will be tearing your hair out.
The board is in grey plastic, but the vehicles are all bright colours.
What happes when you have done all the cards? You can buy new sets from larger toy shops, amazon or ebay, and you can also download thousands of puzzles from fan sites, so you will never run out of puzzles.
It is also available as a childs version, travel version and a deluxe one with sparkly pieces. You can get it from most toy shops or online from between £9.99 and £14.99, but I got mine from tesco's after christmas for a fiver!
It has won countless awards and is endorsed by Mensa.
I've always loved puzzle games and this is probably one of the best. It is a modern incarnation of what is quite an old game.
The general idea of the game is to get your car out of the car park. However this is complicated by the various cars trying to stop you leaving. You have to move these cars around inside the limiting grid to leave you a clear route to the exit.
The board is well thought out with a proper place to leave your cards, one place for cards yet to be used and one for cards you have already used. the cards have different scenarios for you to escape from drawn out on them. These scenarios are wide-ranging, from beginner to expert.
Overall I think this is an excellent remake of the original which has many excellent features. It is not a family game but may be good for families with only one child.
You are the red car and are stuck in traffic surrounded by four big trucks and eleven other cars. Can you manoeuvre your way through the gridlock to escape the jam? 40 challenge cards guide you from the beginner levels through to expert. This highly addictive game has won over 15 international awards