We see them daily. Those helmeted guys flailing their arms about while Fords and Hyundai’s dart around them. It sure isn’t an easy job standing enveloped in fumes. The good thing about simulation games – apart from the fun – is that they give you an idea of what it takes to do a particular job.
Admittedly, simulation games like SimCity or even OpenTTD are huge compared to simpler miniaturized mobile based simulation games. Simulation games like Flight Control and Harbor Master may lack the intricacies of their bigger brothers, but they teach us a lot about co-ordination and timing.
Traffic Rush follows the same arc. All three games have been nominated on our Best iPhone Games page. Traffic Rush takes the simulation to a familiar environment. Let’s say, it is a normal Monday morning office rush…
Playing Traffic Rush on Your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad
The Traffic Rush game is like those “Miniclip games” which we all have played at one time or the other. Those games had a simple premise – make it so easy to start off that even your technically challenged grandmother can play it. Traffic Rush is a cinch to begin with. There is a four-point intersection and you have to keep the roads crash free as the morning traffic builds up and vehicles (cars, trucks, and even bikes) start whizzing by.
Tap on a vehicle to stop it (tap again to restart it) and swipe to accelerate it and make it zip past the intersection. That’s all there is to it. Just two controls for you to remember – tap to stop and swipe to speed up. Simple right?
Not so. The Traffic Rush game begins with a few vehicles and gradually more are thrown into the mix. The vehicles also move at an even pace, though the bikes seem to go faster. You start racking up points with each vehicle that you allow to pass through safely. The game stops when there is a crash.
Check your score and tap again to beat your previous score. The scoreboard also gives you a few more details on your performance:
Traffic Rush does not have any levels, but you can target the Achievements. The screenshot below gives you some idea.
The Bonus Game Mode: Rail Rush
For the price of a dollar, Traffic Rush actually gives you two speed thrills. Rail Rush is almost similar to Traffic Rush, but with the obvious difference of course. Don’t confuse it with another similarly named but a mine exploring game that’s on the App Store. Here you have to control intersecting tracks and the trains passing on them. Again, your co-ordination and sense of timing will keep the trains from crashing. Rail Rush also adopts the same game play of tap to stop or start and swipe to speed up.
Small arrows on the end points of the tracks indicate an oncoming train and you can tap that arrow to make the trains appear faster. Scoring again involves the number of trains you allow to pass through without a mishap.
Hard to Avoid Crashes & Hard To Let Go
Like so many simple iPhone games (nay, mobile games) Traffic Rush gives you the rush of a challenge. The challenge is in beating your previous score. The crashes will frequently happen, and your first thought will be – shucks, how could I let that happen? Time and again you will be tempted to retry and play the game in an attempt to beat the previous score. Traffic Rush also succeeds in tapping that addictive instinct.
The core gameplay is not complicated. You have an interface that is without frills. The graphics are neat and there are no distracting elements. For instance, you won’t see any pedestrians on the road or any obstacles on the rail track. The vehicles also travel in straight lines without any lateral movements. The “drivers’ are also well-behaved with no bumper to bumper crashes.
Does that make the game predictable? Maybe after you play it for a month or so. But for the first week just avoiding the crashes and pile-ups is a challenge. The lack of more challenges or levels for that matter might be off-putting for some, but heck – Traffic Rush is not meant to be an urban car re-routing game like Crossroads, Taxi Jam, or even Car Mania. The concept here is much simpler.
If you like simple but addictive games that are without too much of a learning curve, give Traffic Rush a tap and a swipe. Survive the crashes and come back to tell us your likes and dislikes.