There’s simulators for just about everything these days: powerwashing, farming, running an animal rescue, village development… take your pick. There’s something I’ve never done, though: drive a taxi. (Okay, so I’ve done in by picking up fares in Grand Theft Auto, but that doesn’t count.) And that could change very soon with Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator, a game that puts you behind the wheel of a cab in Barcelona. It will be released sometime in February.
Taxi Life’s genre lands somewhere halfway between a simulation game and a management game, allowing players to be the driver while also running their own company. Take passengers to their destinations while adhering to the rules of the road and adapting to whatever is thrown at you (like car accidents and traffic jams). Cater to every passenger request to secure good ratings and generous tips. Develop your own company by hiring other drivers, expanding the fleet, and making business decisions.
A large area of Barcelona has been reproduced at a 1:1 scale, creating a realistic driving experience. Explore the city and earn experience points by finding new points of interest to unlock new skills. You can choose your own model of car, then customise its size, colour, cab, wheels, components, and accessories; these options can also be enhanced with accumulated funds and experience.
To develop the company, buy new cars with profits from your fares then hire employees based on their profile and assign them to cars, neighbourhoods, and time slots. It’s all about maximising profit – yay, capitalism! When driving, be sure to keep an eye on the dashboard indicators. Service or clean your car when required.
Participate in challenges like flooring the accelerator (without worrying about speeding tickets) or sticking strictly to the rules of the road. Customers on these missions are particularly demanding.
Developed by Simteract Studio and published by Nacon, Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator will be released for PC via Steam/Epic, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series in February 2024.