Taxi Steam Review

Ever thought of owning your own Taxi business? Do you like games that are all about patience and following the rules? Then Taxi still isn’t for you. If you can get around the game’s lackluster driving, the big issue here are the game breaking glitches.

The driving controls are easy, up to drive forward, down to come to a stop and go backward. Left and right to turn. While the controls are easy, its just a little dull having to follow the rules. The camera is automatic and as you drive faster it will change from a near top down angle to letting you see in front of you. It would be nice if you could move the camera around to either soak up the sights of the city or peak around the constant 90 degree turns.

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Since you run a legitimate business, any speeding will get you fined. Most of the speed limits are 30 or 40, so I try to keep it under 20. Does that mean kph or mph? The game never told me. Running a red light is a fine. Damage is a fine. Even playing the game as carefully as I do and learning how to be patient, it was a struggle to make money, even when I wasn’t fined. In the game’s defense, the speed limit and your speed are clearly marked, as is the street lights. What’s really odd is the logistics of having street lights on the same side of an intersection rather than across. I suppose from a game standpoint it makes sense, since the camera looks down on you when you’re stopped rather than looking from behind you.

You own a taxi service, but in the hour that I played it, I never felt like I ran it so much as drove around picking up fares. In your garage, you can buy cars, hire other drivers, repair cars, clean them, paint them, and fuel them. They’re all useless add ons to a shallow driving game.

The core of the game is simple, you drive around picking up fares. Then you wait as they take their sweet time getting into your taxi cab. Once they’re in, your GPS shows you where to take them and you just follow the red line. This red line appears on your GPS from where you start, to where you finish, so if you deviate far away from the red line, you need to hit the refresh button on your GPS to get a new red line.

If you can’t find a fare, you can click on an icon that will show you to one. These are the more interesting fares. People with luggage that needs to stay on top of your car, because apparently your trunk is full of dead bodies or something. Some people need getaway drivers, so you’ll need to avoid cops, but that’s okay because the game glitches out where it doesn’t spawn cars until you quit and restart the game. Another quest had me following a car, but there was no subtlety. I could follow so close that when coming down off of a bridge I rammed it. That’s cool, my passenger didn’t mind I rammed what was probably his friend’s car.

Your fare has a happiness rating, break the law and the happiness goes down, but its so slight that its barely noticable. The further you drive, the more money you’ll get, so always take the long route and your passenger doesn’t care. If you want to drive around the city, when the person only wants to be dropped off around the block, go for it.

There are a few fares with time limits and those feel impossible, because you’ll need to end up breaking the law and therefore there’s no profit from it. So its better to waste time than lose money in the process.

One of the glaring issues with the pick up and drop off is how small the zone is. You need to stop in a narrow slot with no wiggle room. Its only a minor issue, until it comes to stopping in an area with a pot hole that takes up 50% of the zone. Your car takes up about 90% of the zone. So you have to take a hit from the pot hole.

You see pot holes damage your car, which has what I can only describe as a health meter. If your car is out of health, it needs to be towed back to your garage for a hefty fine, but the bigger issue is pot holes are like objects. If you run into them head on, that’s fine you can go through them, but if you try to turn into a pot hole or nudge it with the side of your car, it blocks you. In fact I’ve seen my car ram a pot hole and come to a complete stop.

Each fare tends to be around $100 which is fine. The real problem is the expense of repairs and cleaning. Fuel goes down at a laughably low rate. You’d assume driving around 24 hours a day with no brake would have your gas tank empty three times, but no 24 hours of driving is worth 10% of your fuel. I’d say fuel and cleaning is reversed. Cleaning runs about $50 or so.

You can get your car cleaned, repaired and fueled at your garage, but there are places out and about when driving to have it done. The really cool thing is your passenger sits happily as you get your car repaired. That’s super nice of them. I wish I could say easy mode lets you do that and hard mode doesn’t let you do that, but there are no difficulties.

Another problem is my car would get damaged without me understanding why it was damaged. Did I hit a pot hole? No. Did I ram a car? No. Did I hit a sidewalk or a stop sign? No. yet it went down. Repairing your car from low to full health can cost $250 – $400. That’s about 4/6ths of the money. To the game’s credit, there are no shifts, you can drive around for days and days. Just like you can in real life! Hey someone out there has probably done it before! How else will you get from Alaska to Argentina in a week? Buy a plane ticket?

While your car will need repairs, there’s no damage effects. So when you crash, that’s okay your car doesn’t crumple up. No one gets maimed when you plow into them. Street signs don’t even fall over when you hit them. Sure your car stops as if you hit a building, but the signs are okay.

What you really came here for is to know about the glitches in a $5 game. There’s nothing laughably awful, just game breaking. Such as the passenger that I picked up and the GPS didn’t refresh to tell me his destination. So I refreshed… well his destination is where I picked him up. That’s silly. So I drove around the block to get more money out of him. When I arrived back where I picked him up, there’s no drop off zone. I was stuck with him. You can’t tell a passenger to get out, you just need to make them unhappy, which is surprisingly difficult.

Then there was the glitch where my car was in pristine condition, cleaned, fueled and repaired to perfect health. Then I made the mistake of saving and quitting the game. When I returned the car was badly damaged and half clean. Maybe someone used it while the game was closed? No…. the save file glitched where it used my car’s status from a previous save using the same slot. I still had the same amount of money from my real save, which was virtually nothing. So I couldn’t repair or clean my car, because its 100% or nothing. You can’t repair 10% at a time.

For all of the laws and fines, the cops don’t care if you do a 3 point turn about in the middle of a 2 lane road, even when they’re right there watching. If you break the speed limit after the game stops spawning cars or even people, they still care.

The city feels like a shining point to the game, but anything can be a highlight in a game that I hold such low regard. There’s a bridge over the city with 45 degree on ramps. Its interesting. You’ll never get lost with your GPS and instant garage traveling icon. In a perfect world, the city would be vast and procedural generated.

As for the music and sound, there’s a music loop in the menu and your garage, but out on the road, you only have your car’s engine to listen to. It almost sounds like what I imagine a gentle spaceship to sound like. Its a gentle sound, instead of an over the top 50s style spaceship sound or what the Jetsons would sound like.

So with all that the game has going for it, how could I not recommend it? Well you see I like actual business with my business games. There is a business, don’t get me wrong, but after playing the game I wasn’t able to buy anything for the business. The game itself just isn’t fun. Even if I was let lose able to break the law, the driving just is dull,

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One thought on “Taxi Steam Review

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Worst Racing Games of Race-tember | Games That I Play

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