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Traffix: City Rush – smart minimalist highway puzzles

Take control of traffic across the globe in this minimalist puzzler

Price: $4/£4
Version: 3.2
Size: 441.5 MB
Platform: iPhone / iPad
Developer: WebAvenue Unipessoal Lda


Ever dreamt of directing your own traffic? Great! Us too. Let’s be friends and sit around playing Traffix: City Rush because that is exactly what this new iOS puzzler is all about.

It starts simple – just get a few cars across the highway by tapping the light when it’s clear

It takes a lot to find a unique take on the puzzle game in this day and age, and while we’re not entirely sure if Traffix has found it, we did experience emotions that we hadn’t previously experienced while playing an iOS game before. Somewhere between road rage and sympathy for municipal traffic controllers.

Loops and other traffic measures make it more difficult

Because in Traffix, you take control of the roads, or rather the controls that control those who use the roads. It starts off easy – you’re basically given a small map, covering a segment of road with a couple of traffic lights. Your aim is to tell when cars need to go and when they need to stop, to avoid them colliding with each other.

Each city or level gets progressively more difficult. Some with mind-bending loops, brain-confuddling bridges, and major highways. The traffic gets faster and heavier too and new you have to employ new techniques. You stop and start traffic lights by tapping on them. One tap tells the driver to go, while a double-tap tells all drivers to go until you tap again to stop.

Lorries are trickier to maneuver

It’s generally quite easy (at least at first) to avoid traffic simply by working with one set of traffic lights at a time – but if you leave drivers too long then you’ll see a clock appear above their heads and when the timer runs out, you have a road rage incident on your hands. You can only have a finite number of crashes or rage incidents per level before you fail.

Some levels really take things to the next… uh, level

Now, you may be picturing dramatic scenes, but Traffix really takes minimalism to heart. It largely focuses on grayscale, but delves into a few neutral color gradients which relly pop. The graphics are incredibly simple, but we think that’s by necessity, because as you progress you simply don’t have the time or the brainpower to be dealing with over-the-top graphics.

When it all gets a bit much you’re prone to pile-ups or road rage – swipe to clear any accidents

While sometimes we think the approach is too simple for its own good, there are a few other frustrating elements. One is that the levels don’t only increase in difficulty but also the number of cars you need to safely navigate to win the level. It quickly goes from a quickfire game suitable for quick sessions to one that needs a decent length of time to progress.

Despite its surface-level simplicity, its deeper levels are devilishly difficult leading you to display the very emotions you’re trying to prevent in the drivers. This can be a plus point if you like a challenge, though.

Furthermore, we’d also advise the developers to ease up on their thirst for reviews. No one needs to be asked to leave one after every turn – it feels like the $4 price tag should buy us that privilege.

However, overall Traffix: City Rush is a great game – refreshing, enjoyable and challenging.