The goal of Sega’s free-to-play Crazy Taxi: City Rush is very familiar—pick up a passenger in a taxi and drive around like a crazy person in order to deliver the passenger to his or her destination on time.
That having been said, besides sharing the same basic idea, both the gameplay and the controls of City Rush are completely different from the original Crazy Taxi, which is also available on mobile devices.
You begin Crazy Taxi: City Rush by choosing one of three different taxi cabs. Although they have slightly different speeds, handling, and looks, it really doesn’t matter which car you choose. They can be upgraded and re-painted later on, and new cars can be purchased as well.
After choosing a car, you can start doing missions. Like many other games, there are side missions and story missions, although for all of them you basically just pick people up and drop them off. The story missions need to be done to unlock new maps to drive in, while the side missions are a nice way to earn cash to buy new car parts or new cars.
The map screen actually looks pretty polished, and there are always a number of missions to choose from. Some deviate from the main theme of the game and have you doing other things besides being a taxi service, such as driving a tank and destroying things. These are another good way to earn money and provide a much needed break from the repetitiveness of the missions.
Although having all of those missions available to you is nice, it is also incredibly annoying. Crazy Taxi: City Rush is a freemium game, meaning that it is free-to-play, but buying things with real money, like in-game currency, is sometimes almost necessary to move on in the game.
With City Rush, Sega gets you by having each mission only take around a minute or two to complete, but after doing about five of them, you have to wait several minutes to play another one. Of course, players can use real money or huge amounts of in-game currency to play the missions right away, but that probably wouldn’t be worth it, making City Rush only fun if you play it for five minutes or less at a time.
Besides those deviations from the original game, Crazy Taxi: City Rush also has completely different controls. The game was made specifically for touchscreen devices, meaning the controls are completely tailored to them. Instead of being able to drive wherever you want, like in the original Crazy Taxi, this game limits you to driving in individual lanes. The car automatically moves forward, and to switch lanes, you have to swipe to the left or right in a way that is reminiscent of Temple Run.
While it makes it easier to move around, it does limit what players can do. Depending on what types of games you like, the change could either be a positive or a negative one.
To see for yourself if this a game for you, download Crazy Taxi: City Rush for your iOS devices. The game will be available on Android in the future as well.