Going down a storm on the App Store this week is the brand new version of Crazy Taxi from Sega. Yes, it’s just like Crazy Taxi you used to play a decade ago. And that’s a good thing.
For those of you who’ve never played Crazy Taxi, the rules are mercifully simple. You are the taxi driver, and you task is to pick up passengers and drive them, as fast and as crazily as possible, to where they want to go. The faster and crazier you go, the more money you earn. The more money you earn, the more winning you do. That’s about it.
The key to getting lots of points is to drive crazily enough to have close shaves with other vehicles, without actually hitting them. A close encounter makes your passenger yell with delight and shower you with coins, but an actual collision gets them all mad. People are weird.
It’s not a terribly varied game, and the excitement can fade quickly, but if you do decide to explore the Crazy City as you play, you’ll find various hidden routes and shortcuts that can make life a lot easier. It’s often easier to go through parking lots, parks and malls than it is to round them. And driving underwater is slow, but can cut out long detours on land.
As with many driving games, you can choose between touch controls and tilt controls. I found the tilt control system way too sensitive on my iPad 2, and got much better scores using the tap-to-steer buttons. One minor complaint: the buttons are in the bottom corners, which makes it awkward to hold your iPad in front of you and still reach them. It would be nice to have an option that puts the buttons half-way up on each side, so you could comfortably hold the iPad and tap at the point your thumbs naturally fall on the screen.
If you, like me, played Crazy Taxi years ago on your Sega Dreamcast, this version will almost certainly make you feel all nostalgic. It’s an accurate re-working of the original, with the same crazy graphics and crazy sound effects. Perhaps Sega missed an opportunity to add new touch features – even something simple, like pinching in and out to adjust your view of the car and surroundings, would be a nice little extra.
That’s a very minor niggle. Crazy Taxi is lots of fun for five bucks, and your kids will love it. This is Sega doing what Sega does best.
Source: App Store.