First look at Sega's Crazy Taxi City Rush, coming soon to iOS

In 1999, Sega released a fast-paced driving game called Crazy Taxi in arcades and on their Sega Dreamcast console. The combination of driving passengers to their destinations, wild and humorous gameplay, and licensed punk music helped Crazy Taxi find a permanent parking spot in many gamers’ hearts. Two sequels followed, not to mention a popular iOS port of the original game.

Sensing that Crazy Taxi has even more life on mobile, SEGA has just announced a new mobile-exclusive sequel called Crazy Taxi: City Rush for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The new game will have everything fans loved about the original, plus a new touch-friendly control scheme and lots of fresh content. We met with SEGA to play an early build of City Rush and came away highly impressed.

Crazy driving on the go

Crazy Taxi has always been a great game to play in short sessions, making it uniquely suited to mobile play. Just like previous games, the goal in City Rush is to pick up wacky passengers and deliver them to their destination before time runs out. To beat the timer you’ll have to drive crazy, soaring over ramps, through the grass, and pulling off stunts like Crazy Drifts, Brakes, and U-turns.

City Rush features four brand new city maps to cruise through, with the promise of new content in the future. Players can now select individual passengers from the map, which breaks the game up better for mobile and provides the opportunity for passengers to have amusing stories. You’ll help a business man ditch the rat race and get back to nature, deliver a skater to the ultimate trick spot, take a cheerleader out to find her team’s missing quarterback, and other silly missions. The best one so far lets players hop into a tank and smash cars out of the way!

Seeing as how most mobile gamers don’t own a physical controller, SEGA has given City Rush a brand new control scheme for touch screens. Players now swipe to the left or right in order to change lands on the road or make turns. This makes it easier to drive in a straight path, but still affords plenty of chances to off-road it and discover the shortest of cuts. That said, it would still be nice of SEGA to offer a more traditional control scheme and controller support for players who crave them.

Social and Free to Play

Crazy Taxi City Rush

Crazy Taxi has never been a multiplayer game, but City Rush takes a step in that direction by adding Facebook integration. When browsing the map screens, you’ll see your City Rush-playing friends available as passengers. Taxi them around the city or simply compete for the best leaderboard ratings on the story missions.

City Rush will be free to play, with both a soft and hard currency for players to earn through gameplay or purchase. The money you earn from completing missions and performing stunts can be spent on new taxis, car upgrades, and cosmetic features. The upgrades will improve your car’s engine, body, power, tires, and provide other bonuses. And the cosmetic features let you add all kinds of paint jobs and decals (not to mention physical decorations like bull horns) to your ride. Dare we hope for Sonic decals?

Coming soon

Crazy Taxi City Rush

Balancing an established game for free to play can be difficult – just look at the reception to Dungeon Keeper. But from what we’ve seen and played so far, Crazy Taxi City Rush adds a lot of longevity to Crazy Taxi without losing the gameplay and attitude that made the original games so special. It will even feature licensed punk music PLUS the ability to import songs and create your own crazy soundtrack.

Crazy Taxi City Rush has soft launched in a few test regions in order for SEGA to collect feedback and fine-tune the gameplay. It will go live worldwide on both iOS and Android sometime between spring and the beginning of summer. In the meantime, SEGA has just made the original Crazy Taxi free for a limited time. Grab it and practice driving like crazy!

Paul Acevedo

Paul started writing about games in 2003 with his first strategy guide (Bomberman Land 2) for GameFAQs. He continued writing guides while earning his B.A. in Literature. When Windows Phone launched in late 2010, the Xbox integration lead our hero to jump on board the platform. He joined Windows Phone Central as Games Editor at the beginning of 2011, going on to review over 125 mobile Xbox titles over the years. He now leads Windows Central's Xbox One coverage, personally specializing in developer interviews, indie games, controllers and accessories, and Twitch broadcasts. Paul loves games on all platforms; he goes where the games are. Although very busy with console coverage, he sometimes contributes gaming articles to iMore and Android Central.

  • You lost me at "Free to play". Still no hope for gaming on iOS. See:
  • There's good free to play and bad free to play. We can't tell for certain until the game actually comes out, but everything I've heard about the implementation here sounds reasonable and unobtrusive.
  • I really wish they'd release this for the vita or 3ds. I much prefer it with a controller. Sent from the iMore App
  • I mean the original version, not whatever the new version will be. Sent from the iMore App
  • They need to add MFi support to the original
    Version, and bring OutRun 2006(with the 1986 arcade original) to the App Store.
    I loved it on the PSP, back in 2007. Sent from the iMore App
  • Great review! This game seems like fun. Thanks for sharing. Sent from the iMore App
  • I never knew there were sequels to the original. I must find them.