Crazy Taxi, a port of the classic fare-finding game from SEGA, is now available from the app store. Even its decades-old look and feel and decidedly untrustworthy directional arrow and vehicle controls aren’t enough to sour us when it comes to enjoying this arcade classic that never pretends to be anything more than what it is.
Crazy Taxi Pros:
- Colorful cartoon presentation straight out of the original; expansive city maps
- Soundtrack provided by Bad Religion and The Offspring; you can play your own tunes, too
- Controls offer tilt or touch steering options; easy to use
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements to earn
Crazy Taxi Cons:
- Neither control option gives very precise control
- Looks a bit dated
- Chugs a bit on an iPod 4th gen
Crazy Taxi puts you in the driver’s seat of a convertible cab and sets you loose in a San Francisco-inspired city, charged with successfully picking up and dropping off as many fares as possible within the allotted time. You select any of 4 different drivers to play as while engaging in either Arcade or Classic mode, using time limits of one, three, five, or ten minutes per attempt. Additionally, there is a Crazy Box mode where you can engage in a series of mini-games that break up the action in fun ways. Each fare is color-coded to indicate the drive distance required to get the passenger to his destination, as well as the size of the drop-off area. The money you earn corresponds to the speed with which you reach the target location, with additional money earned for near misses with oncoming traffic, launching your car off ramps, and other crazy stunts. Successful fares also add time back to your meter, allowing you to play for longer stretches of time. Each passenger has his own personal tolerance for slowness that will cause him to jump out of the cab if you take too long. This limit is indicated by a countdown timer next to the passenger, which is separate from the overall timer that counts down in the upper left corner of the screen. Plowing through environmental objects and scattering pedestrians adds a lot of fun to the overall experience.
Graphically, Crazy Taxi is certainly showing its age, as it looks exactly the same as it did when it was first released in the late ‘90s. Oversaturated colors and stiff animations are the order of the day, and they reinforce the off-beat and whimsical nature of the game. In addition to the overhead directional arrow that should point you in the general direction of your target (though it sometimes has a mind of its own), a picture of your target location flashes on the screen’s left side to help you familiarize yourself until you learn the ins and outs of the city. There is even a distance indicator to clue you in to how close you are to the goal. The soundtrack is composed of tracks from Bad Religion and The Offspring, one of my personal fav bands whose popularity peaked in the ‘90s. The music is upbeat and fun, bringing back fond memories of our youth. You can also play music from your own collection if you’d prefer to go a more modern route. You can control the vehicle via tilt or touch controls, with the latter placing a left and right arrow in the lower left corner of the screen. A drive button is perched atop a reverse button in the lower left corner regardless of which control method you choose. We found the touch controls to give us a slightly better sense of control, even while drifting.
Replay value is very good, especially for those who enjoy chasing high scores and trying to earn their S-license. GameCenter integration allows you to compare your best runs with gamers from around the world, as well as pick up a handful of achievements. A universal app for $4.99, Crazy Taxi is a 4-Dimple blast from the past.
Crazy Taxi Review,