In Taxi Sim 2016, you take on the role of a taxi driver on the busy streets of a major city. As you might expect, you pick up passengers, drive them safely to their destinations, collect fares, and then do it all again. It's enot a fast-paced racing game, but its driving gameplay and naturalistic environments are compelling in their own way. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to drive a cab, this is the game for you.
Getting behind the wheel
The game has three modes of play: Free Drive, Career and Multiplayer. In the Free Drive mode, you drive around the city of your choice picking up passengers and taking them to their destinations. In Career, you track your progress over time, trying to make enough money to stay in business. In Multiplayer, you compete against other drivers. No matter the game mode, the basics of gameplay are the same. Choose your car, then head out on the streets. On-screen buttons control the brake and accelerator pedals, windshield wipers, lights, turn indicators, gearshift and more. You can choose between third-person and in-cab perspectives to steer your vehicle. The button controls are simple, but steering can take a little getting used to.
Once you've picked up a passenger, you have a limited amount of time to transport him or her to the destination (indicated by an orange arrow on screen). For each journey, you'll receive a reward both in cash and in experience points. The amount of money you make is determined by the length of the journey, whether you were on time and how happy the passenger was with the trip. Run red lights, drive too fast or otherwise scare your passenger and you'll be losing out on your reward. Graphically, Taxi Sim 2016 looks quite good. The cities are a little unrealistically empty of cars and pedestrians, but no mobile game is going to simulate how densely packed central London is on any given weekday. The cars look nice -- they're clearly a major feature of the game, and there are several to choose from or unlock, including classics like a New York yellow cab and a London black cab. The weather also changes, with rain and darkness adding complications to your driving. Most importantly, the controls and environment are clear and easy to see, even on a small mobile device screen.
Take to the streets
Taxi Sim 2016 is, like most other non-racing driving simulators, a pretty simple proposition: do you think that driving around, carrying passengers from one place to another, sounds like fun? If you do, this is a well-executed game based on that concept, with enough variety in its vehicles, locations and play modes to keep it interesting for some time. If you're looking for something a little more high-octane, however, you're not going to find it here.