It looks like Flight Control, it plays like Pac-Man, what is it? It is Taxi Drive. It is easy to see the inspiration from Flight Control; some even call it a straight rip-off. To some extent I can agree but on the other hand the actual gameplay has nothing in common with Flight Control(4-star review here) other than the controls.
Taxi Drive gives you a taxi to go around picking up and dropping off customers in New York. To do so you simply tap where you want the taxi to go on the map. A dotted line appears showing the route the cab will take. This is the shortest route, and doesn’t take any note of traffic. We all know city folk drive badly but New Yorkers seem to be the worst, as you can’t meet traffic on your route. If you do you lose your cab, and if you haven’t received an extra cab as bonus it is game over. The further you survive without crashing, the more traffic the game throws at you. It feels a lot like playing Pac Man. You have a single cab at times chased by multiple cars. The AI seems out to get me once I get more than $300. Just tapping where you want to go doesn’t work then, as the shortest route is always full of traffic. Thankfully you can draw a route yourself. At times though it feels like I can’t be quick enough to avoid crashing. It takes really nimble fingers to get higher score in Taxi Drive. If you are the kind of player who likes casual games to be casual this is one to avoid.
There are two more maps to unlock if you reach $300 and $500. Other than that it is a race to get the most dough. You have local high score to beat, other than that gamelife is a bit limited. As the gameplay feels like Pac-Man I would like more maps to run around. The graphics are ok, but not more than that. The cars only have one look to them; they just come in different colours. I think they could have inserted more humour into the game, the game over screen is good but I would have liked more of it.
The music is funky with a Shaft vibe to it, suitable to the New York theme. Sound effects are a bit on the weak side. The cab sounds like a tractor, I haven’t heard a real New York cab but at least in Sweden cabs don’t sound like tractors. There is a tire squeal that soon becomes grating. At first I thought it was cute but when you have to make a lot of small adjustments, when traffic increases, you hear it every second. The game also fades away my own music.
I was a tad disappointed when I started playing Taxi Drive, as I would have wanted it to be a clear Flight Control rip-off. Instead it plays like a Pac-Man but with pickup/drop-off points. As you only have one cab and one passenger to drive around it is not a game about strategy. Quick reactions, and quick decisions are more important.
Still Taxi Drive has got that addictive thing going where you have to give it one more try when it is game over. If you are a fan of the run for your life gameplay found in Pac-Man, and like the Flight Control graphics and controls this might be for you. Reasons not to get it might be the annoying tire squeals, lack of online leaderboards, simple game mechanic and the fact that you will probably play it more than you intended to.