Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Review: Rush Hour Jr

I saw a copy of Rush Hour Jr for sale during the holidays and grabbed it, having had fun memories of the original, adult version. The game is essentially a "slide puzzle", but with restricted direction of movements for the "cars and trucks" and a goal of getting the key piece out.

The game components are better than the adult version: the toy vehicles aren't any better made, but the game comes with a carry bag, and the vehicles are kid-themed: buses, fire trucks, police cars, and of course, the ice cream truck "key" piece.

I expected Bowen to have to struggle with the puzzle, but he actually got to puzzle #26 before getting stuck! The best thing about this puzzle game is that if/when he runs out of the puzzles in the base piece, the expansion card decks are fully compatible with the adult versions of the game, so more curated puzzles are available. Whenever Bowen got frustrated, he'd put away the game for a few days and then come back and start all over at Puzzle #1. I'm rediscovering that kids just don't get bored of repetition the way adults do.

There are Android app versions of the game, but I discovered that they were all geared for adults and the puzzles are a bit too hard for Bowen. Curation is really what you're paying for, and of course, there's something satisfying about pushing the plastic pieces on a board versus swiping away at a phone.

To the extent that your child likes puzzles, this is a cool, easily portable kit that can actually engage your child for a good afternoon at a time. Recommended.
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