ThinkFun Launches Universal Rush Hour App For iPad(TM)

Apr 09, 2010, 09:26 ET from ThinkFun

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Renowned game and puzzle manufacturer, ThinkFun Inc., is proud to announce the release of Rush Hour for the new Apple iPadTM.  Rush Hour for iPad is the latest addition to the suite of Rush Hour apps available across a wide range of mobile platforms.  The new iPad app is designed to take advantage of iPad's larger screen and Multi-Touch user interface to enhance the play experience.  The universal app costs $2.99 while existing Rush Hour for iPhone and iPod touch customers will receive free upgrades.

"It's fitting for Rush Hour to be one of the first apps launched on the iPad," said Bill Ritchie, CEO and Co-Founder of ThinkFun.  "Rush Hour is the original sliding block logic puzzle, and it is the granddaddy of all the 'beginner to expert' logic puzzles now on the market.  The iPad is a genuine game changer, and we are thrilled to again be at the beginning of a new era in game playing."

The Rush Hour iPhone App has received rave customer reviews on iTunes for its clever challenges and intuitive navigation.  For the iPad, ThinkFun has completely rebuilt the game graphics to take advantage of the iPad's innovative Multi-Touch interface and large screen.  

Rush Hour for iPad is packed with features, such as:

  • The free application has 35 original challenges and the $2.99 full version has 2500 Challenges -- Challenges ranging from EASY to EXPERT will entertain novice players as well as test advance players with super-hard expert levels.
  • Perfect Score -- Rush Hour tracks the distance that players move to get out of the traffic jams and compares it to the shortest path possible. You win when you get the Red Car out the Exit Gate… but you can't claim challenge mastery until you tally a perfect score.
  • Hint Button -- If you feel a little lost and want a nudge in the right direction, you'll find a HINT button ready for you to press.  Again and again, if you want.
  • Solve Button -- No matter where they are in their challenge, the solve button will show players how to solve it, and then put them back where they left off so players can learn and complete the challenge themselves.
  • Multi-language -- In addition to English, Rush Hour is now available in German, Spanish and French.

"Rush Hour is a game that should be in every home, on every cell phone and on every computer," says Liz Deakin, Director of Marketing and Sales at ThinkFun.  "With digital distribution being the platform of the future, it was a company priority for ThinkFun to quickly introduce the universal Rush Hour application to the iPad market."

For more information on the ThinkFun Rush Hour iPad app, please visit:

About Rush Hour

The story of Rush Hour began almost 15 years ago when famed Japanese inventor Nob Yoshigahara traveled to America to present his Tokyo Parking Lot puzzle to ThinkFun.   While the company's game designers created the Beginner to Expert system and added the Tail Finned Red Escape Car and the Rush Hour name, Nob and his collaborators supplied the Rush Hour challenges. The creative alliance lasted until Yoshigahara's death in 2004.  

Rush Hour is one of the most successful puzzle games in history, having won Games Magazine Puzzle of the Year, a Mensa Select Award, Consumer Reports Top Game, and a Top 25 Toys of the Past 25 Years by Parents Choice Foundation as well as numerous international awards.  More than 5 million Rush Hour games have been sold since 1996.

Rush Hour has had an influence on popular culture as well.  Jerry Seinfeld used the Rush Hour vehicle color palette as the background colors for Bee Movie, released in 2007.

"Rush Hour was late to the mobile app market, and we knew we needed to do something special to make an impact," said Ritchie.  The company contracted with a master computer programmer to reimagine how to generate the puzzle challenges, developing a system that was able to create literally tens of thousands of fresh, new Rush Hour challenges, and to rate them by difficulty and other measures.  "Bringing that program up to speed was like discovering a gold mine; it brought a whole new dimension of play to what was already the world's most fun puzzle!"

So is having Rush Hour available at the launch of the iPad a pinnacle of success for this venerable puzzle game?  "Not at all," says Deakin.  "We are now working on a Multi-Player version of Rush Hour, slated for release this Summer, where players will compete for fastest times over the internet.  We are developing an online version of Rush Hour to help teach thinking skills as part of a disciplined program for families and schools.  For us, the Apple iPad release doesn't represent an end, it's more like a new beginning.  We are very excited!"

About ThinkFun Inc.

ThinkFun Inc., located in Alexandria, VA, is a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of innovative, educational games and services. ThinkFun understands the essential link between "Think" and "Fun" and is committed to developing products that ignite the mind, motivate learning and encourage fun play for all ages whether in school or at home. All of ThinkFun's products organically teach problem solving and critical thinking skills...preparing today's kids to be tomorrow's adults.

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