Crazy Taxi
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2014-03-25 Android Racing E (Everyone) SEGA / Criware

Crazy Taxi on the Dreamcast was one of my first reviews ever, and is still one of the games in my fairly long list of favorites. It introduced a new take on the racing genre by having us explore a city freely instead of driving on tracks, while doing little “missions” in the shape of fares. The Xbox 360 version that became available on XBLA initially had me pretty excited about the re-release, but playing it ended up more in disappointment than nostalgia.

Crazy Taxi was made available for free for a short period of time on Google Play, and while I was pretty reluctant about downloading it because of the changes made on the Xbox Live Arcade version, there was one piece of the announcement that made me download, install and play it right away: this version came with the original soundtrack.

Crazy Taxi on Android brings back the Dreamcast original as best as it possibly could, the only exception being some of the licensing issues. While the popular franchise stores didn't make it into the game, the fantastic soundtrack featuring The Offspring and Bad Religion returns!

For everyone who is too young to remember what Crazy Taxi was all about, the game sums itself up in picking up fares and driving them to their destination within a time limit while doing stunts to earn extra tips. Fare distance is represented by colors (red, orange, yellow and green, respectively from the closest to the furthest away). Drifts, jumps and passing really close to other vehicles gets your customer excited and earns you extra cash.

Longer fares are the way to go if you want to keep your timer going, unless you're playing one of the short sessions of 3, 5 or 10 minutes. You can pick up your fares in either in Arcade or Original, or you can tackle the gameplay mechanics challenges in Crazy Box.

You can choose to play as one of four cabbies, each with their own advantages. Axel is your balanced character. B.D. Joe has a faster cab which results in longer jumps and shorter drive times, but lacks a bit on the handling. Gena has great acceleration and brakes, but if you hit something, you're tossed around a lot. Gus has a fairly heavy cab, so you won't get the best jumps, but has the best handling for complicated manoeuvres.

The Arcade map resembles San Francisco, and has two distinct areas separated by a freeway. However, they do wrap around, and the map is fairly compact. The Original map has everything spread out a lot more, plenty of sharp turns, some of them that can easily land you in water and make you waste time.

I was actually surprised with the way the game controls, I honestly thought it wasn't going to work out. You turn left and right by touching one of the arrows on the bottom left of the screen, and switch between Drive and Reverse on the bottom right. Double tapping Drive gives you a speed boost, double tapping and then holding either direction does a Crazy Drift.

If you switch the control scheme to tilt, you won't need to worry about tapping the arrows to turn, but you will need to tap the bottom left icon to do a Crazy Drift. I found that turning was more accurate with touch controls than tilt. Wireless MOGA controller support allows you to play the game as a console experience. You can also turn the vibration off, fortunately, since that becomes slightly annoying after a while.

I can't tell you how happy I am with this port of the game! Crazy Taxi is still as fun and exciting as I remember it, and there's really nothing quite like driving like a mad cabbie while seeing your passengers going nuts and having a blast in the backseat.

Nothing will take you back to 2000 like revving up your cab to The Offspring, so grab yourself this fantastic mobile version of Crazy Taxi and get ready to make some craaazy money!