When I was a kid games were pretty simple. You could learn the rules in about 5 seconds and jump right in on mastering the straightforward skills required. Oh, they would take a lot of effort to master and some people are still pushing the envelope on high scores in those classics, but anyone could play and enjoy them without any preparation or even a tutorial. While I’ve grown up with the gaming industry and love a good involved RPG on my PS3 or complex simulation on my PC (to name some favorite examples), sometimes you just want to get back to the basics, especially on a phone.
Traffic Rush is basic. So basic there is one rule: Don’t let the cars crash. Two instructions: “Slide on the vehicle to accelerate it.” and, “Tap on the vehicle to stop it.”
Don’t you dare let that simplicity make you think that means the game is simple, however.
The screen is a 4-way intersection with no stop signs or traffic lights. Trucks, cars, and motorcycles cruise along with no regard for whether anyone is about to hit them. It’s all up to you to keep them from crashing. You earn a point for each vehicle that makes it across safely and the game ends the moment there is one crash. No extra lives or mulligans here.
The first few times I played I think my high score was 6. It was deplorable. I simply had to get a better score! I eventually did and instantly was determined to score higher still. Finally, I got a round to last a whole minute for the first time. I play a lot of games very well but, boy, this one was getting the best of me in a delightful way. It never really gets easier, either, a 54-point round will often be followed by a 9-point round or even lower. You get better but it’s still easy to mess up at a crucial moment.
One of the best perks of this game, though, is the shortness makes it perfect for anytime you need something really quick to fill a minute or three of already-wasted moments like standing in line. Even better, it loads so quickly and has such simple menus you can jump right in instead of wasting your precious time-wasting time on load screens.
When the game ends it takes you to a score summary that includes your score, the duration of the round in seconds, your best score that day, and your best score overall. It encourages you to hit that “Replay” button without any fanfare or effort!
Of course, none of this would matter if the game didn’t have good mechanics. I’m not the biggest fan of touchscreen gaming (on any platform) but this one takes advantage of it quite well. It’s responsive and makes intuitive sense.
To sum it all up, Traffic Rush is pretty much the most solid and utterly useful game on my Droid. I can’t recommend it enough. Even if doesn’t become your favorite it will probably come in very handy as you go about your daily life. It’s certainly earned a featured place in my games folder!