Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Space Taxi - Commodore 64 - 1984

Space Taxi does not exactly stretch the graphical capabilities of the C64 

Space Taxi is a very addictive arcade game for the Commodore 64.  The aim of the game is simple – ferry customers from platform to platform around the screen in the quickest time possible.  The joystick controls thrusters that fire in the four cardinal directions and the fire button lowers or raises the taxi undercarriage.  With the undercarriage lowered, the left and right thrusters are disabled. There is inertia and gravity which must be taken into account when controlling the vehicle.

When you enter a scene a customer materialises on one of the platforms and shouts “Hey Taxi!”.  You have to land on the pad to pick him up.  If you hit anything, land too hard or don’t land fully on the platform you lose a life.  If you hit the customer he disappears and you lose some money.  When a customer boards he tells you where he wants to go.  You earn a fee when dropping him off and a tip based on the time taken and the smoothness of the landing. If the customer says “Up please” you can move to the next level by flying through a gap in the top of the screen.  As you get further, levels get progressively harder with smaller gaps to get through, more things to avoid and objects such magnets and a black hole that interfere with the handling of the taxi.

Space Taxi is an excellent game.  The speech is rudimentary, the sound limited and the graphics extremely basic but the gameplay and controls are spot on.  Now I must go and try for that next level…

Things start getting tricky when moving objects appear - in this case the white ball.

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