Sim Taxi Game

Sim Taxi – Taxi-driving fun that is more fun than it could ever sound on paper

Glorified Roundabout

The experience I have with games of the car-involving genre is comprised very heavily of ones that don’t technically involve racing in the traditional sense. Sure, I cut my vehicular teeth on Mario Kart for the SNES like any self-respecting gamer with a happy childhood, but my disdain for any game that involved repeatedly doing laps for the sake of doing laps without the ability to even drop a banana skin or turtle shell here grew rapidly. To me, traditional racing games feel like the equivalent of going around a fancy roundabout really quickly, and if I wanted to do that, I would find my nearest real-life roundabout and just go nuts; virtual roundabout simulation just seems extremely pointless to me. I approached Vehicles 2 with some dubiousness in the hope that it would provide an altogether difference experience, so it pleased me when it turned out that my dubiousness was unfounded and my hopes were met in an extremely large way. Vehicles 2 instantly tickled my fancy for physics-based fun, not to mention the fact that it involves some Grand Theft Auto-style treatment of vehicles. Ready to get creative with cars? Let’s go.

The Wheels Have Eyes

Far from the drab, sleep-inducingly mundane procedure of driving your car around for a seemingly endless number of laps, Vehicles 2 is actually a vehicle-based physics-following sensation of a sequel that involves a little thought and application of logic with a just a dab of reasoning thrown in for fun. You are in control of a city’s municipal vehicles and your job is to deal with the cities’ emergency situations and come down hard on any vehicle that isn’t conforming to the laws and regulations of the city. You’ll find yourself dealing with parking violations and troublesome vehicles in a very practical way that avoids the need for the red tape or ‘proper procedure’, instead favouring the swift remedying of the situation by ramming the offending vehicle off the road entirely, and not just on to the pavement, but sometimes off the edge of the scenery and down to certain destruction below. The method of dealing justice here may sound like wanton corruption, but you’re not going to enjoy a game that involves dealing with offenders in an official manner by gently issuing a parking fine and walking away now, are you?

What’s your Emergency?

The gameplay has you take control of vehicles such as police cars, fire engines and ambulances in order to deal with the offending parties; simply click on the vehicle to get it moving and click it again to apply the brakes and bring the vehicle to a swift stop. A new addition to the gameplay is the inclusion a special power that is unique to each individual vehicle, such as a U-turn for police cars and a super-jump for ambulances. The inclusion of unique powers for the vehicles is a variable that enhances your performance and also increases the complexity of the puzzles at the same time.

The game is split in to 40 separate levels, each involving a puzzle that is more complex than the last. As is standard procedure for physics-based games, further variables wriggle their way into the gameplay such as bridges, switches, neutral vehicles, cranes, and see-saw objects, all with the same goal which is to facilitate the swift (and often crooked) solving of the city’s various problems, which is usually to ram the offending vehicle into complete oblivion.

Situation Report

Vehicles 2 is a fine example of a physics-based puzzler game with a vehicular edge that allows it to stand out from a rather saturated genre. The hands-on approach to justice is amusing at times and is kept light-hearted through playful and some high-quality sound effects. This game is a credit to sequels in general, since it improves upon the gameplay of the original whilst maintaining its characteristic playful style.

85/100