UK-based Hidden Games has recently released a side-scrolling 2.5D point-to-point transport game with the feel of a cave-flier.  Cabby [App Store] is a lot of fun.

cabby screen

The goal of the game is simple: drive (pilot?) your taxi cab from place to place, picking up passengers and packages, dropping them off where they need to go. What makes things interesting is the fact that you're not negotiating city streets but the far more challenging environments of air, water, and space across 15 different levels. The various levels are made up of twisty cave-like routes, floating taxi platforms, moving obstacles, and even mines. Your cab is equipped with vertical and forward thrusters, and each type of atmosphere responds quite differently to them. The bit of vertical thrust that lifts you off the ground in an air environment might send you through the roof in a space environment. It's nicely frustrating to work with these rather different sets of physics while trying not to crash into a cab platform or a mine.

cabby 2Each level has a set number of customers that must be ferried to their desired destinations before the level is complete. Along the way it's important to keep an eye on your fuel level. A quick stop to the gas station is sometimes necessary, though it will cost you some of the funds accumulated as you work the level. Happily, some of these funds can also be used to purchase new lives when you've wrecked one-too-many cabs.

Cabby offers two playmodes to choose from: Career mode and Arcade mode. The former takes you from level to level, earning as much money as possible and unlocking new cabs and levels as you go, while the latter allows for a quick game in any unlocked cab or level. The game features a left / right touch slider for direction control, with onscreen buttons for thrust and descent. And while the developer tells me that he's tried various control arrangements and that the current controls work well for most in playtesting, I find the touch points to be a bit small for my fairly large hands, which occasionally gets me into trouble in the game. Your mileage may vary, and the developer promises to look further into the control system as he receives feedback from users.

See the developer's Cabby trailer video for a closer look.

Despite my issue with the controls, I find that Cabby's obstacle-filled routes, varying and well-done physics, and money / fuel metering delivers a highly enjoyable and challenging game experience that is well-matched to the type of pick-up, 4-minute game sessions that best suit mobile gamers. But, if you're not convinced, give the free, lite version a try [App Store].

App Store Link: Cabby, $0.99, Cabby Lite, Free

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Vector Calculus

    Reminds me of Space Taxi for the old Commodore 64 . Good times.

  • Vector Calculus

    Reminds me of Space Taxi for the old Commodore 64 . Good times.

  • Adams Immersive

    Reminds me of some levels of Blimp (which is no bad thing).

  • Adams Immersive

    Reminds me of some levels of Blimp (which is no bad thing).

  • MrMuesli

    It's fun. Why do some of the girls sound like they've been sucking on a helium tank though, and the men like they've got a serious cold coming on?

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      Note that if you use a black taxi the voices are "british" :-)

      • MrMuesli

        Jolly spiffing, what: ) But seriously, it's a stylish little game. Is it pixel art or a very slick imitation? I can't tell.

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  • MrMuesli

    It's fun. Why do some of the girls sound like they've been sucking on a helium tank though, and the men like they've got a serious cold coming on?

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      Note that if you use a black taxi the voices are "british" :-)

      • MrMuesli

        Jolly spiffing, what: ) But seriously, it's a stylish little game. Is it pixel art or a very slick imitation? I can't tell.

  • SteffenMoss

    It's prettty fun!

  • SteffenMoss

    It's prettty fun!

  • http://www.HiddenGames.co.uk HiddenJ

    John the coder on Cabby here...

    Thanks for the FP Blake - internet hat tip to you :)

    There's a thread here http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?threadid=33310 if anyone wants to leave feedback or ask anything about it and I'll be happy to answer.

  • http://www.HiddenGames.co.uk HiddenJ

    John the coder on Cabby here...

    Thanks for the FP Blake - internet hat tip to you :)

    There's a thread here http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?threadid=33310 if anyone wants to leave feedback or ask anything about it and I'll be happy to answer.

  • NotYo

    This actually reminds me of drops, just without weapons.

    • NotYou

      I meant Dropship

      • http://www.twitchfactor.com Twitchfactor

        Reminds you of Dropship or Blimp, because you've never seen Space Taxi on the C64 (probably long before you were even born). And Dropship is just Gravitron (arcade) or Thrust (C64/Atari). It'll be interesting to see what kids/games/old timers are like 10-15 years from now... ;)

        Cabby looks good. Will have to try it out.

      • NotYou

        Lol, I'm not a kid. I know that dropship isn't a %100 unique concept, but this game reminds of it specifically. I think it's the whole 2.5d thing.

  • NotYo

    This actually reminds me of drops, just without weapons.

    • NotYou

      I meant Dropship

      • http://www.twitchfactor.com Twitchfactor

        Reminds you of Dropship or Blimp, because you've never seen Space Taxi on the C64 (probably long before you were even born). And Dropship is just Gravitron (arcade) or Thrust (C64/Atari). It'll be interesting to see what kids/games/old timers are like 10-15 years from now... ;)

        Cabby looks good. Will have to try it out.

      • NotYou

        Lol, I'm not a kid. I know that dropship isn't a %100 unique concept, but this game reminds of it specifically. I think it's the whole 2.5d thing.

  • jaytee

    why does this sound so much like a press release (except about the thumbs)?

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      If by that comment you mean why is our look at it so positive, it would be because it's a particularly enjoyable game. It's a great value at $0.99 and anyone who wants to try before they buy can grab the free, lite version.

      We typically only post about games that we do not like if they have particular momentum behind them, to save readers from wasting money on them based only on a big studio name or heavy promotion. Make sense?

  • jaytee

    why does this sound so much like a press release (except about the thumbs)?

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      If by that comment you mean why is our look at it so positive, it would be because it's a particularly enjoyable game. It's a great value at $0.99 and anyone who wants to try before they buy can grab the free, lite version.

      We typically only post about games that we do not like if they have particular momentum behind them, to save readers from wasting money on them based only on a big studio name or heavy promotion. Make sense?

  • zztfox

    Glad TA directed me towards this game, as I would have passed over this excellent game.

    Glad they have a lite to try, as it was the final push to get this game. It is so smooth and gameplay is awesome!

  • zztfox

    Glad TA directed me towards this game, as I would have passed over this excellent game.

    Glad they have a lite to try, as it was the final push to get this game. It is so smooth and gameplay is awesome!

  • Darwiniandude

    I'm a sucker for these kind of titles (never heard of space taxi despite being a C64 fan, thanks guys I'll check that out) and cabby sure doesn't disappoint. My girlfriend loves it as well. I wish the devs all the success in the world, I love this game!

  • Darwiniandude

    I'm a sucker for these kind of titles (never heard of space taxi despite being a C64 fan, thanks guys I'll check that out) and cabby sure doesn't disappoint. My girlfriend loves it as well. I wish the devs all the success in the world, I love this game!

  • Bruno

    The controls of the game are really bad.

    There is no way to buy it right now. I tried the lite version and the game is not ok because of the controls.

    Try the lite.....

  • Bruno

    The controls of the game are really bad.

    There is no way to buy it right now. I tried the lite version and the game is not ok because of the controls.

    Try the lite.....

  • Stan Winsone

    Your review is far too kind Cabby is a nice looking game but with horrible, unplayable controls. The developer has some serious work to do to make this game work. Buttons need to be much bigger, or add a virtual joystick or drag to fly. As is, pretty much impossible to play this game in present form. I love Space Taxi and went for the 99 cent version right away, sure wish I'd tried the Lite first.

  • Stan Winsone

    Your review is far too kind Cabby is a nice looking game but with horrible, unplayable controls. The developer has some serious work to do to make this game work. Buttons need to be much bigger, or add a virtual joystick or drag to fly. As is, pretty much impossible to play this game in present form. I love Space Taxi and went for the 99 cent version right away, sure wish I'd tried the Lite first.

  • jgrug

    ...gotta love the A-Team van, looks like a cool game properly priced.

  • jgrug

    ...gotta love the A-Team van, looks like a cool game properly priced.

  • Mike

    I thought this sounded like a press release too. The main problem here is that your cab explodes like it's made of nitro glycerine if you so much as rub a vertical wall. Also the landing gear in its current incarnation Is pointless, and the controls are too linear. Why isn't this a tilt to move game? I was also disappointed by the lack of story. Why go to the trouble of making a taxi universe only to have people saying, "take me to 1,2,3" etc instead of a
    building or area name. It would give some much needed depth. This game seems half baked as-is.

  • Mike

    I thought this sounded like a press release too. The main problem here is that your cab explodes like it's made of nitro glycerine if you so much as rub a vertical wall. Also the landing gear in its current incarnation Is pointless, and the controls are too linear. Why isn't this a tilt to move game? I was also disappointed by the lack of story. Why go to the trouble of making a taxi universe only to have people saying, "take me to 1,2,3" etc instead of a
    building or area name. It would give some much needed depth. This game seems half baked as-is.

  • http://www.twitchfactor.com Twitchfactor

    Okay, played it and it's okay. The controls are a bit twitchy, primarily being the thrust seems to need a bit of tuning. Also, it's kind of annoying to come down on a pad just a bit "too hard" and blow up. Honestly, I'd rather leave the challenge to time and not crashing into something sideways vs. crashing from landing too hard. I'd suggest the developer deduct points for hard landings instead of crashing me.

    Very nice graphically and the sounds are adequate and almost funny.

    It's definitely Space Taxi.

    I'd say it's good, given it's 99 cents, but if you're down to your last 99 cents, I dunno. I found it far more playable than Blimp!

    Oh one other thing; why are the menus portrait and the game landscape?!?

    Weird. I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars. (I give Blimp 2 stars and Dark Nebula 4 stars, if that helps you to understand).

  • http://www.twitchfactor.com Twitchfactor

    Okay, played it and it's okay. The controls are a bit twitchy, primarily being the thrust seems to need a bit of tuning. Also, it's kind of annoying to come down on a pad just a bit "too hard" and blow up. Honestly, I'd rather leave the challenge to time and not crashing into something sideways vs. crashing from landing too hard. I'd suggest the developer deduct points for hard landings instead of crashing me.

    Very nice graphically and the sounds are adequate and almost funny.

    It's definitely Space Taxi.

    I'd say it's good, given it's 99 cents, but if you're down to your last 99 cents, I dunno. I found it far more playable than Blimp!

    Oh one other thing; why are the menus portrait and the game landscape?!?

    Weird. I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars. (I give Blimp 2 stars and Dark Nebula 4 stars, if that helps you to understand).

  • TKO

    Yeah, I've gotta agree that the controls aren't right. (IMHO) :) The buttons can stay the same, but the hitboxes need to go further up the screen. IMHO a tilt-controls option would be nice too. Other than that, it's very good.

    Though I saw just about every notable game on the c64, I somehow missed Space Taxi. For me, this is a dead ringer for Air Taxi, the shareware Amiga game. The speech sounds similar too. I like the destinations just being numbers ..that's how it was on the 8/16 bit versions too.

  • TKO

    Yeah, I've gotta agree that the controls aren't right. (IMHO) :) The buttons can stay the same, but the hitboxes need to go further up the screen. IMHO a tilt-controls option would be nice too. Other than that, it's very good.

    Though I saw just about every notable game on the c64, I somehow missed Space Taxi. For me, this is a dead ringer for Air Taxi, the shareware Amiga game. The speech sounds similar too. I like the destinations just being numbers ..that's how it was on the 8/16 bit versions too.

  • Dark NRG

    imo, blimp is a superior game, much more bang for your buck.

  • Dark NRG

    imo, blimp is a superior game, much more bang for your buck.

  • John

    Reminds me of a game called UGH! back in 1992:)

    http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/ugh/

  • John

    Reminds me of a game called UGH! back in 1992:)

    http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/ugh/

  • http://www.eknizky.sk Martin

    good games

  • http://www.eknizky.sk Martin

    good games

  • jill

    Ok this game had me hooked for HOURS! love it!

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  • jill

    Ok this game had me hooked for HOURS! love it!

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