Casual Corner: Crazy Taxi

We know how it is. You worked hard for your 10:1 KDR, but sometimes, you just want to take five, relax, and enjoy a quick game on your phone. Unfortunately, finding good games is anything but quick – most mobile gems end up buried under a mountain of trash. But like we said, we know how it is, so every month we shine a spotlight on a great diversion to get you through the work week.

If you’re anything like me, there are some moments in life where you just want to drive like a madman. Traffic laws in most places aren’t too accommodating to someone looking to let loose and burn rubber, but luckily Sega’s Crazy Taxi has stuck around since its days on the Dreamcast for some virtual catharsis. Originally released in 1999, the mobile version of this arcade-style driving game features enhanced visuals and the same bonkers driving players have loved since they first took the wheel.

50739c943ea241349754004screenlg6_large_verge_medium_landscape

For the uninitiated, Crazy Taxi is all about getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible. You’ll choose to pick up whoever you want off the street, and they’ll pay you more depending on how quickly and outrageously you drive. In Arcade Mode, you’ll have to be as speedy as possible to keep adding seconds onto the clock, but the mobile version of the game also offers 3, 5, and 10 minute sessions for a more bite-sized and relaxed experience.

You’ll choose one of four drivers before each round, and each controls slightly differently; One might be faster, while the other takes corners smoother, etc. What remains the same between them all, however, is the fact that the game controls beautifully on the touch screen. Simple accelerate, reverse, and left/right directional buttons plant themselves in the bottom corners of the screen, proving to be surprisingly responsive as you cruise through the winding streets of the city. There’s also the option of using tilt controls, although they feel a little loose by comparison.

crazy-taxi-hack

Crazy Taxi has aged well, especially for those gamers who love a bit of 90s flare. The game is still all about catching big air, weaving through traffic, and making loads of cash, and new players will likely be surprised at just how expansive its city is. The memorable tunes of The Offspring and Bad Religion are back in all their hard rocking glory, but if you find yourself craving something a bit more esoteric you have the option of playing your own tracks as well. It’s a nice addition that makes the experience as exciting or as mellow as you like, the perfect remedy to a rough day on the job or a boring commute.

Players looking for a bit of challenge and variety will find just that in the Crazy Box mode, which offers a load of timed challenges that test your driving prowess. One might have you attempting to jump a certain distance, while another might ask you to deliver a customer under constrained circumstances, but they’re all quick, exciting additions to an already awesome game.

For $0.99, you can carry around a Dreamcast classic with you, ready for your thumbs at a moment’s notice. It plays smoothly, looks great, and is as addictive as just about any mobile game out there. Quality arcade fun is hard to come by these days, but Crazy Taxi sets the high score for mobile games.