Version Reviewed: 1.0
Graphics / Sound [rating:3/5]
Game Controls [rating:5/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:4/5]
Gridlocked: Rush Hour is a casual strategy game where you have you have to control the lights in intersections to be sure the traffic moves smoothly. There are six intersections and, like real life, they quickly get packed with cars. In addition to normal cars, just to make things difficult, there are also emergency cars that you must get through before 15 seconds, creating a monster of a task when you find you have more cars then there is room for!
Gridlocked takes what is becoming a popular format of games of strategy lately: time management. This means you are controlling the organization of the items, in this case cars. The idea is executed quite well in terms of styling. The simple grid layout is really great because you get to see the play area and can guide the traffic through with only a simple click of the intersection.
I have to admit... I kind of really like the mundane-ness of directing the flow of traffic, heck I was a buyer of Rush Hour for Sim City and took it to a whole new level. There is something therapeutic about directing a smooth flow of traffic. I would almost would like to see the developer give us a level where it was management but in a really simple way, so we could just spend endless hours changing the lights, then have the hardcore levels for the folks who really want it to get difficult. I always feel sad when the game ends and I have achieved so little!
One thing that I found a bit annoying about this game though was that the traffic back ups tend to happen off the screen so it's hard to tell where the traffic is backed up. The cars come in off screen but the light just turns amber to tell you that there is a traffic jam, but it is really difficult to know when it's happening off the game play area. I think it would be really great if it did a similar thing to other styles of games where after a period of really busy activity (lots of cars) then there is a slight lull so you can catch up with it all and clear the space a little bit. If the entire screen is covered in cars, the game quickly becomes tedious. If it gave you a slight clearing time then back to intense it would be great.
Also future updates of course would be more types of cars (thou I like how they are now anyway) and maybe a few other types of roads / intersections. A highscore area could be popular, but I'm not sure how high the scores are going to be :)
Overall, for the price of this game, and the potential it has, it is worth it. It's a nice simple game that you can pick up and play and pause when you need to, making it a nice time waster without commitment. You may want to turn off the sound effects thou, all those traffic sounds makes me angry grrrrrr.