Day 247: Astro Taxi

Posted: 2011/07/14 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #247, and today’s game is “Astro Taxi”.

This review is purely self indulgence. I loved a game called Space Taxi on the Commodore 64 growing up, and I had already reviewed the sequel “Astro Taxi 2”. I really wanted more Astro Taxi levels to play, so buying the first game was the answer. Playing it as an adult I can see the Space/Astro Taxi games in a new light: the game is a hybrid of the gameplay from the Rare (at that time, Ultimate Play The Game) classic “Jetpack” paired with Lunar Lander. Pick up fares, then thrust off to deliver them. The gameplay is simple yet surprisingly compelling.

First, from the developer (FifaKane):

“Astro Taxi is a 2D Flying game which takes you into the year 2061 where you are the first Astro Taxi Pilot. Bring all your passengers to their destinations and prove that travelling with an Astro Taxi is the fastest and most secure possibility to travel.”

I included this after the jump to hopefully guarantee that people seeing this video had actually read some of the article first. This video is of Xmas Taxi, a third Astro Taxi game that adds 24 Christmas-themed levels. I wanted to add it to help show the gameplay, though you’ll have to imagine it with different levels and without the wintry theme.

The graphics received a bit of a facelife for Astro Taxi 2, but there’s a certain retro charm to the presentation of the first Astro Taxi (though neither can be considered graphically stunning). Engaging your landing gear impairs your ability to thrust left or right, so you have to make sure you either have no lateral momentum, or just enough lateral momentum to land at your chosen area for more advanced players. This limitation is one part of the game’s challenge, the other being getting to the fares before they wait too long and walk off in disgust. Getting them safely to their destination in a reasonable timeframe is also key to success in the game. With 30 levels for only 80 Microsoft Points, this is a guilty pleasure that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Click here to download “Astro Taxi”, and then please come back after playing to rate the game.

Know someone else who would want to read the review, or rate the game? “Share This” and invite them to.


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