Jul 15, 2013
Crazy Taxi was just as important a part of the nineties bands as The Offspring and Bad Religion were. Disregarding the fact that it was originally released in 1999, of course. It actually has The Offspring and Bad Religion as a soundtrack! Come to think of it, whenever someone mentions Crazy Taxi, it’s because they make a remark about how they became fans of those bands because of it. I know I did. Still, although iconic soundtrack is what makes Crazy Taxi remembered to this day, the rest of the game was just as good – when it was originally released on Sega Dreamcast, at least.
The idea behind Crazy Taxi is really simple and interesting. It’s not a game about a homicidal maniac, and it’s not about a hotshot street-racer. It is about an honest, taxpaying, hard-working taxi driver, driving his clients around town in an appointed vehicle. He is also completely bonkers. They don’t call it â€œcrazyâ€ for the crazy cheap rates, after all.
Crazy Taxi offers several game modes, mostly only differing in the time limit. There’s also an option to compete in Crazy Box, which is a collection of small stunt maps. Unfortunately, there’s no unlimited, or career mode, which would be of great benefit to Crazy Taxi. Anyway, apart from the Crazy Box, the task is always the same. The cab drives through a vast city, and takes passengers by stopping somewhere around them. After a passenger loads, he asks to get to the required destination as fast and smooth as possible, relying on a green arrow above the car that points towards it. If he gets there sooner than required, and the player performs some tricks on the way, there’s additional fare to be offered â€“ but only if the client gets to his destination in the end, and the cab won’t get shaken too hard, of course.
The town is always the same, and its urban greyness becomes tiresome after a while, but there are four different taxi cabs to choose from, with different drivers. Several tricks that can be performed while driving are also a neat addition, and they are not that difficult to execute. The controls are generally quite simple: two arrows to turn the car, and acceleration and brake/reverse buttons on the right. It is also possible to switch to tilt controls, but there are no other options.
In general, Crazy Taxi leaves a nice, but a bit of a disappointing feeling. It’s a gold classic, flawlessly transported to mobiles, sure, but it looks dated quite a bit, mainly because it lacks several fundamental features that could make Crazy Taxi interesting for a long time. There’s no chance to roam around the world, spend money to improve the cab, or unlock new features, and there’s no multiplayer, which I think, is what could make Crazy Taxi a lot more enjoyable. In the end, not counting the nostalgic bliss, great soundtrack, and a basic idea of driving carelessly around an open world, the game is just a bit more than mediocre. If the fact that this is Crazy Taxi on mobiles isn’t exciting enough, the whole game probably won’t be, as well.