I don’t think I have ever watched a Jackie Chan movie. Maybe I am missing out, maybe I’m not. If I were to settle down in front of the TV to watch some amazing martial arts and stunts in one of his films, I’m not sure Rush Hour would be top of the list. However, I was keen to see my boys try out Rush Hour the ‘Traffic Logic Game’ from Thinkfun.
It has become a bit of a stalwart in the kids solo puzzle category since it was launched over 20 years ago. I was intrigued to see if it had become as stagnant as a traffic jam described in Jimi Hendrix’s song ‘Crosstown Traffic’ or whether it stood the test of time like his music.
Rush Hour is a single player puzzle game, predominantly for children. The game offers 40 challenges graduating in difficulty through four levels of play from Beginner to Expert. A numbered card dictates the setup of the 6 x 6 grid. Once vehicles are placed, you slide the cars and trucks around to allow the red car to escape the grid through the one gap in the edge of the board.
What it’s like
If you have ever had one of those tile sliding games in a Christmas cracker or stocking you will be vaguely familiar with the mechanics of this game. Rush Hour is bigger and better than that.
It is strangely addictive and almost hypnotically consuming. It can be understandably repetitive so it is a puzzle you will want to bring out for less time more often rather than trying to blitz it.
Rush Hour is a convenient size to take out in a bag if you need to occupy a child when out and about. It’s small footprint on a table is ideal for this too.
The whole thing is a bit plastic. It feels like a mass market item, but I realise I sound a bit snobby writing that. It’s not that the components are bad, just very plastic! Nice colours on the trucks and cards though and the components will outlive me!
The board is sturdy and has convenient grooves to keep cars in their place but allow for sliding. The board also has a convenient little drawer to stash the cards in to keep them safe.
It also comes with a convenient grey drawstring bag to take the game out and about. It is certainly less bulky out of its box.
What the kids thought
Harrison (12): I played it and enjoyed it enough to complete it. I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t like it. It’s a very cleverly constructed game.
George (9): It isn’t too hard, but it isn’t too easy, I like the challenge as the levels get more difficult. It’s a good puzzle.
Max (5): I like that you have to get the red car out of the board, because red is my favourite colour. I enjoy trying to figure out the puzzle. It’s really good.
Final thoughts on Rush Hour
As you can see from the comments above, my boys, who are the target market, enjoy and have been entertained by Rush Hour. They don’t naturally gravitate towards it as much as some other games, but they certainly have played with it enough to make it a worthwhile addition to our collection.
This puzzle game encourages problem solving and helps develop critical thinking. In that regard it contributes toward STEM learning. That’s always a bonus!
Of course, I’ve tried it out, and its unsurprising that I don’t get the same enjoyment from the puzzle as my kids do, from their point of view it’s good and that is probably more important than my viewpoint anyway! On the occasions I have sat down and helped them out I can confess to it occasionally being quite challenging, especially on later levels.
Number of players: 1
Board Game Review Recommended Age: 6-9
Publisher’s Recommended Age: 8+
Playing Time: variable
Setting Up and Take Down Time: 1 minute
Designer: Nob Yoshigahara
Publisher: Think Fun
It has been twenty years since Rush Hour appeared on the market. I’m pleased to say it entertained my boys as much as it has amused countless others. If you are looking for a solo puzzle game for kids this will certainly do the job.
Artwork and Components
Value for Money
- Fun puzzle game for kids
- Good travel game
- Some educational benefits
- Good value
- Can get repetitive
- Primarily suitable for children
- Components are nothing special
Buy Rush Hour
If you want to buy Rush Hour after reading our review click on one of our affiliate links below (note there has been no affiliate links until this point)
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