Developer: Oxybool
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

If taxi cabs could talk, the stories they would tell. The fat little taxi starring in Cabby Tales actually can talk, but more than that, he’s willing to share his experience with an audience. Get ready for busy streets, narrow alleys, demanding customers, and pylons everywhere.

cabbytales_04Cabby Tales is an adventure/driving game by Oxybool. Players assume the role of a tiny taxi that rolls around like an excited puppy instead of actually using its wheels. It’s pretty adorable to watch. Small though he may be, our checkered pal is ready to start acting like a real grown-up taxi. It’s time for him to drive around town, take requests from passengers, and, oh, no hitting pedestrians. That’s a real faux pas in taxi-land.

Each level of Cabby Tales takes place on city streets that are impressively rendered and teeming with life. People and cars are everywhere, as are hazards like tire-bumpers, pylons, and manholes that flip and dump our taxi pal if he drives across them. Obviously players should avoid said manholes; it doesn’t look as if city council is going to do anything about them.

Players earn stars in each level by completing certain tasks, most of which come as requests from the citizens milling around the streets. They might ask one to drive them to a destination, or maintain a certain speed for a set amount of time. Players collect coins while driving, which can be used to refuel at gas stations.

cabbytales_03With its bright visuals and cute character designs, Cabby Tales appears to be an ideal choice for younger players. However, youngsters may find the game a bit too unforgiving. The controls are precise (and players have their choice of tilt or on-screen buttons, both of which work well), but every level is thick with traps that are usually placed on narrow streets and bounce the taxi around like a rubber ball. The traps make getting from point A to point B frustrating, and the lack of manual camera control or a map doesn’t help matters. On-screen cues indicate goals, but it’s not enough to get around town in a timely manner. Also, it’s a minor point, but the poor text translation make some instructions hard to follow.

Cabby Tales has some great ideas and wonderful visuals, and it’s not a flat tire by any means. That said, it needs a tune-up before it can hope to reach top speed.

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