Rush Hour Game, from ThinkFun

Who knew that rush hour could be such a gas—and not a waste of it?

The Rush Hour game.

A sliding block logic game for ages 8 – adult.

Along with Chocolate Fix and Solitaire Chess, Rush Hour was one of the games I tested for ThinkFun. Once again, I find the story premise behind the game delightful: The object of the game is to drive the red car straight out of rush hour gridlock.

It’s a sliding block logic game. You set up the game board according to one of the challenge diagrams. Then you move gray and black blocking cars forward or backward to open a path for the red car. There’s a simple example of how this is done on the website, but don’t be fooled: The 80 challenges grow from easy to difficult, and the solutions sometimes require much pulling forward and backing up to make a tiny bit of progress. The red car sometimes inches out—which is a lot like real rush hour gridlock, no?

The goal is to get the red car out in as few moves as possible, but I confess I’m just happy when I get the red car free. I’m not so much a study-and-plan player as a shove-pieces-about-and-figure-it-out-along-the-way player. I think the fewest-moves aspect of the game is easier to track when using an online or app version because the computer keeps track of the number of moves. That’s a good way to make the game competitive, though—either with another player or yourself. You know how I love competition.

Despite the number of small pieces, the game is small and durable, and I think it travels well. Just find a storage bag for it—a Ziploc will do. I’m not an app user, so my tolerance for this might be higher than normal.

It’s also a great game to have in the secret gift drawer for presenting on a moment’s notice: It’s accessible to kids as young as 8 and challenging enough for adults, so it’s appropriate for a wide range of ages. The small size makes it easy to stow.

The Rush Hour game is great for developing and exercising brain power. From now through 12/31, use the code FUNKWEBER (all caps) at checkout for 10% off your order at ThinkFun.com.

Categories: Puzzles

2 replies »

  1. There is actually a kids’ version of this. The target car is an ice cream truck. The challenges are simpler. Rush Hour is one of my very favorite games for myself and for the kids I work with.

  2. I’m house/pet sitting, and they have it Rush Hour, Jr. here. I’ve seen it slow down a very active eight-year-old kid.