Crazy Taxi has been around for a rather long time on a variety of platforms, and now there is a new version available for Android. Crazy Taxi: City Rush has been rebuilt for the mobile devices by offering a new touch control system, a free to play setup and focused missions to achieve. For instance, you just swipe to change lanes and tap and hold the screen to drift around the corner while picking up passengers and delivering them to wherever they requested. This version maintains the old arcade style that fans of the series love as you earn points for avoiding collisions and getting air time.
The makeover is a good one for the most part; City Rush combines the old mechanics with easily accessible in-game maneuvers common in modern games. It’s filled with the same old goofy fun, making it clear that the development team is aware why fans enjoyed the original Crazy Taxi. Unfortunately, the free to play setup offers too many trappings every which way you turn.
There are story based missions to complete in Crazy Taxi: City Rush, although you have a number of opportunities to pick up customers quickly and get some good cash. No matter which way you decide to progress, your mission remains the same: Hurry and deliver your passenger for the best possible fare, and don’t worry about preserving the environment at all; traffic laws are just suggestions in this world.
The taxi automatically propels itself and players swipe to swap lanes. The controls are responsive and function well; in fact, it’s pretty satisfying to make a sharp turn. Unfortunately, it’s a little cramped and compressed compared to the original. There are shortcuts you can come across, but there are not nearly as many chances to wander too far away.
It’s perhaps most frustrating that City Rush is a good, playable game but you can’t enjoy it for long unless you keep purchasing more gems for your gas tank. If there was a single in-app purchase to take away the fuel tank, it would perform much better overall. The customizations make sense for the game, but the fuel tank is what detracts the experience.
On the other hand, it may work out better that you can only enjoy four rounds at once before taking a break since the mechanics can grow surprisingly stale. At first, it’s a fun experience, but once you’ve gone through a few times, you don’t have much else left to see. You can unlock a few environments, but it will require grinding in order to get enough for the upgrades just to complete the story missions required to advance the world.
There is a promising beginning to Crazy Taxi: City Rush, but the end isn’t quite as satisfying thanks to the fuel meter and redundant gameplay.