If you’re a fan of crazy SEGA PR tactics, keep a close watch on Crazy Taxi: City Rush. Throughout October, wrestler Hulk Hogan guest starred in the mobile game, and that same month real taxis with Crazy Taxi branding invaded New York Comic-con 2014 to take attendees to their destinations for free with a bit of comic book and SEGA trivia along the way. This past week, SEGA released three videos showing off their Crazy Taxi trivia cab. Check out the overview video above, and after the break get a taste of a full ride and outtakes.
Crazy Taxi: City Rush
Well ya know somethin’ Segabits?!
I was driving down Venice beach on my way to Gold’s Gym. Sayin’ my prayers and eatin’ my vitamins, when a pregnant Hulkamaniac dove into the back seat of my convertible! She screamed “Shigster! I’m about to have a little Hulkamaniac and I need to get to the hospital as fast as possible!” I knew what needed to be done. I grabbed the wheel with my 24 inch pythons and drove like a mad man! I drifted up steep inclines and weaved in and out of traffic. Oh sure, I hit a few pedestrians but they were probably Piper fans anyway!
It seems that Hardlight Studios has another hit on their hands with Crazy Taxi: City Rush, as it topped the most downloaded game lists on iOS for August. Even though most fans where disappointed that it wasn’t a full fledged arcade experience, SEGA and Hardlight did have the designer of the franchise (Kenji Kanno) was brought in to help in development. The new mobile take on the franchise seems to be a hit, we even gave it a good review.
Crazy Taxi franchise is 15 years old, so its nice to know that a new generation of gamers will know what Crazy Taxi is and hopefully the brand doing well on mobile will open doors for a brand new home console release. We can dream, can’t we?
Free-to-play games can be hard to get right. They can either block customers from playing until they pay up or give them too much, making the grinding easy and fun which kills any reason to buy anything. The free to play approach on Sonic Jump Fever and Crazy Taxi: City Rush couldn’t be more different. Sonic Jump Fever is all about the high score by having you follow your Facebook friends and compete with them on the leaderboards. Sadly, the only way to get the best scores is to have that one rare chao that kills all of your enemies, Use your hard-earned in-game currency on items like power ups and more powerful characters, and have an energy bar that depletes super fast.
All of this forces you to pay-to-win, requiring you to pony out dough just to compete with your friends. This may be a free to play game, but I’ve spent $14 on Sonic Jump Fever. Curse you Sonic Stadium’s Adam Tuff and your super-high scores! In Crazy Taxi: City Rush, the “fare” is much more fair and just a better game all around. Read on for why this is one of the better ways to make a free to play game.
Want to play Crazy Taxi: City Rush on your iPhone and/or iPad? No problem, SEGA has announced that the game will be releasing globally tomorrow to the App Store. Soon fans can experience their new mobile, free-to-play revised take on the Crazy Taxi franchise.
Even though the new game borrows heavily from popular mobile games like Temple Run, don’t think that this entry has disregarded the Japanese team that created the originals. Kenji Kanno, creator of Crazy Taxi, has been overseeing development and lately been doing quite a bit of interviews on the web speaking about the game. The game is developed by Hardlight Studios who developed Sonic Dash, another title that was highly influenced by Temple Run (and Sonic Jump that takes notes from the popular mobile game Doodle Jump, though it should be noted that an earlier version of Sonic Jump released that pre-dates Doodle Jump).
This game is also supposed to be released on Android, but like always Android users must wait.
Kenji Kanno, the original creator of the Crazy Taxi arcade game, and Hardlight Studios gives us an insight on the development on the upcoming Crazy Taxi City Rush mobile game for IOS and Andriod platforms.
While working with the team at Hardlight Studios for the first time, Kenji Kanno wanted them to understand the roots of the game franchise in order for them to be more ambitious and keep the original concept true to the game. He also gives his opinion on the unique thing about smartphones is that you could start the game as a timewaster at first, but become sucked into it and get really addicted to the game.
Hardlight Studio’s Scott West explains that their company has a different audience and playstyle. So what they did with the game was to implement missions from pickup missions, daily challenges which are timed, regular missions, ranking missions and special missions. For more highlights from the video that are included in Crazy Taxi City Rush, be sure to hit the jump.
Canadian SEGA fans who want to get their hands on Crazy Taxi City Rush early can do so now, as the previously revealed soft-launch has begun with the Canadian App Store being the first to receive the game. The free to play game is to feature in-app purchases, and the Canadian App Store page for the game lists the following IAP tiers: Loose change $2.99, Sack of diamonds $9.99, Executive case $9.99, Box of diamonds $19.99, High roller $19.99. Note that these prices are in Canadian currency.
How in-app-purchases work was detailed in our interview with Hardlight Studio’s senior designer Scott West who told us “The main loop of the game consists of the player buying their own Taxi and then completing a series of 7 HQ missions in each District. As these missions get progressively harder, the player will have to upgrade their Taxi to improve its performance and lower the difficulty rating of the HQ Missions. In order to do this, the player can take part in a variety of other missions which are available throughout the district at any one time.”
After the break, check out the full App Store description of the game, and if you’re a Canadian download the game today and tell us what you think!
In collaboration with SEGA, we’re giving away some super slick Crazy Taxi City Rush iPhone 5/5s cases! To enter, all you have to do is:
- follow SEGAbits on Twitter
- Tweet a Crazy Taxi memory – it can be from any moment in time and involve any of the Crazy Taxi games on any platform (arcade, console, handheld, mobile) – your tweet must include the hashtag #CrazyTaxiMemories
- That’s it! You’ve entered to win a Crazy Taxi City Rush iPhone case!
So tweet your Crazy Taxi memories today! Multiple entries are accepted. The top three entries, as selected by our writers, will win. Contest ends April 30th. Good luck, and as always be creative!
Scott West: Hi there, I’m a Senior Designer at Hardlight Studios. As for favourite SEGA game, it would be impossible to name just one! I’d have to break it down into favourites throughout the course of the Consoles that I grew up with. From the Mega Drive days, I spent my childhood playing the likes of Golden Axe, Sonic, Streets of Rage and Outrun. Then on the Saturn it was Burning Rangers and Virtua Fighter 2 then of course the Dreamcast and House of the Dead, Jet Set Radio and Shenmue! That’s not to mention the hours I spent sinking into the Arcades on games like Rad Mobile and Crazy Taxi!
Update: We’ve added footage of the game in action above, check it out!
SEGA’s Hardlight Studio in cooperation with Kenji Kanno, the man behind the original Crazy Taxi, are back to make more crazy money in Crazy Taxi: City Rush – coming later this year to iOS and Android devices. In an interview with Polygon, producer Stephen Ye described the upcoming free-to-play game as something for “casual players and die-hard Crazy Taxi fans in the mobile space”. A teaser trailer, found after the break, reveals that B.D. Joe has set up shop and is employing players to drive customizable cabs. The game will feature music from some licensed music from indie bands as well as offering players the ability to create their own playlists from their device’s music library.
During their hands on with the game, Polygon noted that the gas pedal is permanently floored and breaking for passengers is done via tapping the screen. Turning requires swiping or moving your finger in a specific direction. Despite the simplified controls, the game was described as being “as frantic as console versions, thanks to the need to dodge cars or quickly switch lanes”. Being a mobile title, daily challenges will be available, and if players connect to Facebook they will be able to pick up their friends as customers within the game. And, as Ye told Polygon, “the more Facebook friends you have, the more social missions you have in the game”. Players can even visit their friends garages to view their cars, and clean them to earn in-game currency.
Crazy Taxi: City Rush will release later this year worldwide, and will be released in Canada and Australia this month as part of a soft launch to prepare the game for a worldwide audience. After the break, more screens and a teaser trailer!