Lots of individual puzzles
Ideal coffee-break game
PyTraffic is a faithful rendition of the boardgame Rush Hour - which in turn is of course based on a type of block puzzle likely to have been popular long before cars were invented. The object of the game is simple: move the red tractor towards the exit of the parking lot by pushing around the other cars to free a path. What makes it tricky, however, is that all cars can only be moved forward and backwards. Hints are available if you need them, but be warned: using just one hint will mean that your win will not be counted and added to the statistics.
The game comes with different sound effects for each car, which are played whenever the car is moved. This gets a bit tiresome after a while, but thankfully they can be turned off, as can the (fairly boring) background music. You can, however, play some of your own music as background music, which is a nice little feature.
In terms of graphics, PyTraffic is minimalistic but easy on the eyes, as suits a straightforward puzzle game. The option 'theme' in the 'settings' menu allows you to choose between five different views. DeLuxe3D replicates the Rush Hour board, Blocks gives you a simplified 3D board in which cars are represented by multicoloured blocks, Minimal 2D makes the board look rather like a Mondrian painting (which is fun and even quite aesthetic in a simplistic sort of was but actually makes it tougher to solve the puzzles). The remaining two views are pretty much unplayable, though. According to the help file, it is possible to create your own themes, but this requires knowledge of Python - which I don't have, so I'm afraid I can't comment.
PyTraffic contains some 19,000 different puzzles in five different difficulty settings, ranging from easy indeed to seriously challenging, so each player can play at the appropriate difficulty level, which makes the game suitable for people of all ages. While there are a lot of puzzles, the individual puzzles are of course quite similar, which means that if you are looking for a game which you can play for hours at a time, you will probably be disappointed. On the other hand, if you just want to play a nice 5-minute game during your coffee breaks and are looking for a more challenging alternative to Minesweeper, PyTraffic is the perfect game for you.
Review by: A.J. Raffles
Safe for all ages
Windows or Linux