The days of exploring through Shenmue are long over for me, but I can remember the countless hours that I spent playing my Sega Dreamcast. There were two games which got the most use out of my console. The first was the previously mentioned Shenmue, the other was Crazy Taxi. To my great joy, Crazy Taxi is now available on iOS.
The game is the same version that shipped with the Dreamcast and features every bit of crazy driving that you might be expecting. For users not familiar with the game, Crazy Taxi offers the player the ability to drive a taxi around and earn fares based on driving skills and how quickly customers arrive at their destination. Drivers must avoid other customers and traffic, all while trying to beat a game clock. Let’s find out more after the jump.
Traffic Laws Are Suggestions
For the fans of the game, the game will look exactly the same and in my opinion that is not a bad thing. I enjoy the simplistic game style as it reminds of the game I grew up on and loved. Since the game has been remastered for iOS the game is an exact copy of what was available on the Dreamcast. The game modes are Arcade and Original. Within the subset of these menus are the options to play by the Arcade rules, 3-minute, 5-minute and 10-minute long games.
The difference between the two modes of gameplay is the map for the round.
The arcade rules differ from the timed games. The arcade rules will start with 50 seconds on the clock. Delivering customers increases the clock exponentially for how quick you drive a customer to their destination. Summed up, this basically means the quicker you are, the more time will be credited to the clock. The fixed time games cannot be increased in time length and will expire no matter how quickly each customer is delivered to their destination.
Earning money is the main goal for a taxi driver. In Crazy Taxi the money is treated more like points. More money is credited to your account the quicker a customer is delivered. However, along the way to the customers destination, you are free to create the best path to arrive there. Near-misses avoiding traffic and jumping over street cars are all encouraged. For each exciting item, the customer will reward you with extra money.
Steering Through Traffic
The game offers two ways to control your taxi through the crazy streets. Tilt control is my preferred method, which is not enabled by default. The default method is to use the on-screen controls to steer which I found very awkward, but the option is there if you prefer.
The accelerator and brake are on the bottom of the right corner on the iPad screen. I wish tilt control could also be used for the accelerator. I have found it somewhat hard to get used to pressing down on the accelerator and switching to the brake. At times my finger appears to be on the accelerator but it is just off, either above or below. I wish the area around the accelerator was a little more forgiving.
Using tilt control for steering is easy and users who have played any racing game on their iPad will adjust easily. When tilt control is enabled, more screen real estate is available and the drift button will show allowing the taxi driver to drift through and around traffic for extra points.
Using drifts will earn extra money from the passengers.
It is not always about the customers
While it might seem that driving on the same two game maps for customers will get old, I have found joy playing the game that I played as a child. Maybe that is what attracts me to the game but Crazy Taxi also features mini games to keep the driving going. In the mini game section (Crazy Box) there are several games including crazy jump where you try to perform a long jump; crazy balloons where you try to pop all of the balloons; crazy bowling which involves trying to make strikes as you drive down lanes and more.
Crazy Taxi will take many iOS users back to their childhood to enjoy speeding around in a taxi cab and getting customers to their destination as fast as possible. I tested the game on the new iPad and the game does perform well. At times the gameplay can lag, but I remember the game doing this on the Dreamcast as well.
Overall, the game is a blast to play. While there is not much variation in the gameplay it does remain fun for an extended period of time. My main wish is the tilt control could control the accelerator as well, meaning the accelerator was always active and braking would require touching the screen much like in the Real Racing series. In the end, Crazy Taxi will provide hours of entertainment for new players and fans of the game already.