Crazy Taxi Hands-On Preview and Video

Sega’s about to bring the arcade and home console classic Crazy Taxi to the App Store very soon, and we’re awfully excited. Not driving-the-wrong-way-through-traffic, throwing-money-at-the-cabbie excited, but after some hands-on time with the iOS version, our blood’s definitely pumping.

If you’ve never played it before, Crazy Taxi is a loose driving sim where you play as a taxi driver in a San Francisco-like city. When you choose your game mode, you can decide how long you want to play, with one minute, three minute, five minute, or ten minute game modes.

Once you’re behind the wheel, the goal is to pick up as many passengers as possible and drop them off at their destinations. You’ll earn tips for delivering them quickly and giving them a thrilling ride by weaving between cars and catching some scary air. After time runs out, you’ll be ranked based on your performance and have your score uploaded to Game Center.

Though other games like Grand Theft Auto 3 have riffed on this theme before, nobody’s managed to replicate the haphazard action of Crazy Taxi. Citizens will jump out of the way, but between destinations you’ll constantly crash into buildings, cars, and outdoor restaurant seating. Colorful landmarks will whiz by at top speed and a steady frame rate, all to the high-adrenaline soundtrack of 90s punk bands Bad Religion and The Offspring.

Sega’s iOS port has both the arcade mode (where you’ll earn extra time for speedy deliveries) and original mode, plus a collection of minigames called Crazy Box. Crazy Box will be familiar to anyone who has bought a console version of the game, and it includes quick challenges like long-distance jumps, along with more challenging goals like knocking over bowling pins with your car.

Control-wise, Crazy Taxi on iOS uses either touch and tilt controls, and we found the touch controls to work better for precision driving. You simply steer with digital left and right buttons, double-tapping a direction to drift. All four cabbies from the original game are included as well, and they each feel slightly different in addition to offering some visual variety.

It delights us to see Dreamcast-era games like ChuChu Rocket, Fur Fighters, and Re-Volt available on iOS. It’s good to know that these games don’t have to fade away with the passing of console generations, and it makes our iOS devices feel like a Greatest Hits collection. We’ll have a full review of Crazy Taxi once the game hits the US App Store, which will be happening very soon.

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