Common Sense Review
Updated December 2012

Rush Hour

Colorful, easy-to-play mobile version of classic strategy game
Common Sense Rating 3
  • Players need to get the red car out of rush-hour traffic in as few moves as possible.
  • Kids can choose easy, medium, hard, or expert levels.
  • Kids can replay a level to work at getting the car out in the fewest possible moves.
  • Each level gets a bit harder as traffic gets more congested.
  • The Rush Hour app is developed by the makers of the board game.
Pros
Replay feature encourages perseverance; kids will want to keep trying for success.
Cons
Lack of a teacher dashboard or explicit content connections make it difficult to implement in the classroom.
Bottom Line
Great brainteasers build thinking and reasoning skills.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

The brain-challenging fun of the classic puzzler game is even more exciting for kids on mobile devices, and the messy setup and clean-up hassle is eliminated.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Each level increases in difficulty, and there's enough to keep kids quite challenged. Scores show how many moves kids make to solve each puzzle along with the minimum number of moves possible, encouraging kids to beat their best scores.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

Aligned lesson-plan ideas for teachers are available on the developer's website. The puzzle app includes hints, a viewable solution for kids to mimic, and opportunities to replay to improve score.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Though there’s no teacher dashboard or way to manage multiple users on the device, the developer's website offers lesson plans for the board game version that you could use for the app as well. The challenge of the game makes it a classic, and the tutorial, help features, and data tracking make Rush Hour a learning favorite.

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What's It Like?

Rush Hour is a puzzle app with 2,500 games spread over four levels of increasing difficulty. This adaption of the classic sliding block puzzler Rush Hour offers four levels of challenge –- easy, medium, hard, and expert. Players slide small cars around on a grid, moving only forward and backward, to create a path so the red car can emerge out of the parking lot grid. Completing the puzzle is only half the goal. To get the best score, kids need to do it in the fewest possible number of moves. Kids can see how many squares they move through, and when they solve the puzzle, the game shows the minimum number of moves in which the puzzle could be solved. Kids can replay that level to try and succeed in fewer moves.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Since kids can complete the puzzles and then strive for perfect scores, there’s plenty of play time involved. The tutorial is excellent, and hints show kids the next move if they need help. One amazing feature is the Solve button, which shows step by step how to solve the puzzle. It may feel like cheating, but on the more advanced levels, kids will still be challenged to solve the puzzle on their own even after watching the solution. Rush Hour is an engaging puzzle game with great help features that make it even better than the original. The iOS versions work beautifully, but the Android version, even on a tablet, is small –- the size of a phone screen –- which is disappointing since the app could be really vivid on a bigger screen.

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