Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Taxi Chaos is, as best I can tell, a spiritual successor to Crazy Taxi. But how does it compare to your old memories of those arcade days? Is it a hit or miss? Is it worth the fare, or is it like being stuck in New York traffic? Well, I’m here to help you figure that out.
Taxi Chaos doesn’t really have much of what could be called a plot. Basically you’re a taxi driver in New York City, or at least a very small rendition of it, and you have to collect and drop off customers in order to earn as much money as you can during your rather short shift. You can choose between Vinny or Cleo, a veteran taxi driver and an “up and coming” influencer turned cabbie. Your choice of character doesn’t really matter, but you do get to choose the vehicle with which you drive around picking up passengers. You only start with the one, but can unlock more through playing.
There are three modes available, all of which follow a similar set of mechanics. You drive a taxi around, stop to pick up passengers, drive them to their destination, then stop and let them off. I would suggest Free Mode to get yourself used to the game, as there aren’t really any instructions or controls presented for you. As you’re driving around, with or without passengers, there are cars you need to avoid on the road. While you can drive around them, you can also jump right over cars and small buildings. There are little sidequest style objectives as well you can pick up.
The key point however is that for the primary arcade style mode, you’re on a timer. By picking up and dropping off passengers you can add a few seconds to the timer. Pick up passengers, do the best driving job to get a better rating and more cash from your passengers. In arcade mode, when you pick up a passenger you get an arrow indicating where they want to go. In Pro Mode this arrow is chucked and you need to prove you know New York streets like the best of cabbies. Swerving to avoid cars, jumping, and taking shortcuts gives you a combo bonus, so try your best to rack up the best combo you can.
So how does the taxi handle? Well, different taxis have different specs, such as speed and handling. The taxis, even the higher speed ones with poor handling, are pretty easy to control, and traffic is surprisingly sparse. This brings up the interesting fact that I’m not entirely sure how to classify Taxi Chaos. Is it a racing game? I mean, not really, since you’re not really racing anything other than the clock. Is it an action game? Well, the gameplay isn’t really hectic or anything, so it’s not really action like. To be frank, it feels way to “lazy” to be New York traffic, and the biggest problem is how the car handles off road.
You see, well things are all well and fine on road, but as soon as you start jumping or driving offroad, things start getting a little bit different. Car physics are like driving a styrofoam block on anything not flat. You can’t drive up a small ramp, and hills are a bit of a problem as you can easily get thrown off. Jumping is also entirely dependant on the slope of where you’re jumping, and may not always go in the direction you want.
So, how does Taxi Chaos stack up? Well, it’s definitely not going to make you go praise it out on the streets. It was certainly fun for a period of time, that period being about an hour, after which it loses its novelty. I never really played Crazy Taxi as kid, but Taxi Chaos doesn’t really instill in me a desire to play Crazy Taxi. Taxi Chaos isn’t very chaotic, but there are taxis.
There is a bit of personality in the interactions your chosen cabbie has with the passengers, but these get reused so quick you’ll know them by heart after about twenty minutes. There isn’t nearly enough draw for the game to really warrant much attention. Yeah, I might have had fun with it for about 15 to 20 minutes, but it isn’t something I would suggest for anyone looking to really invest themselves in.Score: 5 / 10