This review was originally written in 2021. It is reproduced here with no edits.
- Makes great use of the touchscreen
- Easy portrait-oriented gameplay
- Clean visuals
- Fast and fun gameplay
- Frequent ads in the free version
- Mediocre sound design
- Levels can sometimes feel too short
Sega wowed both the arcade and console worlds with their popular Crazy Taxi series, which began in 1999. Often copied, but rarely matched, Crazy Taxi set the standard for stylish, over-the-top score attack racing video games. While gamers on iOS can enjoy a great mobile port of the original game with Crazy Taxi Classic, there’s a lot of additional mileage you can get out of the basic concept of throwing out traditional road rules and getting passengers from point A to point B in the fastest possible time.
Taxi Run keeps the wacky theme of its inspiration, setting play in a nice looking, colorful, and blocky 3D world filled with obstacles. However, instead of worrying about finding the best path, Taxi Run takes mobile gaming control limitations into consideration and simplifies play down to a single tap.
Although the game is conceptually an endless runner, it gives the player more direct control than those types of games typically offer. Instead of being focused on swipe-based obstacle avoidance, Taxi Run focuses on stop and go action. It’s a subtle, but important, distinction, and helps elevate this game above the typical entry in the bloated endless runner genre.
To play, simply tap and hold to get your taxi moving, then remove your finger to stop. You’ll need to dodge other vehicles, dash between speeding trains, collect coins and keys, and more, by getting your timing just right. This can prove quite the task because once you get your taxi moving, the game’s speed doesn’t let up until you react, which can be a real test of your reflexes.
As you would expect, there’s plenty to discover, uncover, and unlock, including tons of additional cars with different attributes. The free version of the game is fully playable, but does feature loot boxes, and does run regular ads. Fortunately, ad removal is inexpensive at $1.99 USD, and gives you three storage containers, which normally cost 1,000 of the game’s currency. You can of course also choose to watch ads to get in-game currency should you prefer that option.
While the visuals are pleasing in their own cartoony way, the sound design is fairly pedestrian. You’ll hear basic car engine and coin collecting sounds more often than you’ll probably like.
Despite some rough spots, Taxi Run does a great job of capturing both the basic spirit of Crazy Taxi and the fun of endless runners without slavishly copying either. It’s a fast, fun game that’s especially great for quick play sessions, with enough to unlock and collect to keep you coming back longer term.
Score: 4 (out of 5)