Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is a great platformer with no jump button

With a name like Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom, there’s probably very little imagination required to start conjuring up an image of the kind of game that it is.

If your mind goes to Crazy Taxi, from catching the odd screenshot then you might actually be surprised how far off the mark you are. There are definitely elements that are shared, the New York-Yellow Taxi, the circles around characters to interact with them and the surprising amount of time that you spend in the air for a four-wheeled vehicle. Don’t be confused though, Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom isn’t a game about getting people from point A to point B. In fact, it’s a world away from that Dreamcast and Arcade classic; It’s actually closer to the N64 classic, Super Mario 64.

That’s right. Big Twist. It’s actually a platformer, albeit a platformer where you don’t have, well, a jump button. You know, that thing pretty much foundational to the platformer genre?

I’m about to stop yo-yo-ing all over the place now, but I have to bounce back to Crazy Taxi one last time. Fans of the game will quickly remember the strange combo system that existed in it, which allowed you to do appropriately-named things like ‘Crazy Dash’ and ‘Crazy Drift’. This combo/cancel system is not just present in Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom, it’s fundamental to you progressing through it. You’ll quickly learn a dash move (thankfully, attached to the press of a button) which’ll make you spin on the spot before dashing off, this is how you hit ramps hard enough to get airtime and platform… except…

Well, except the fact that you cancel out of the dash, which throws you into a backflip. That’s a backflip that, if executed well, can send you into another dash. I don’t know if there’s a precise science to the whole thing, more of a flinching-and-pretending-it-was-deliberate when it flashes situation. I’m pretty sure I’ve managed three jumps, but I’ve also done that while doing the other main trick you’ll need: Stopping.

Stopping, much like not-stopping, is pretty important in a game where the only way you can cross great distances is through airtime. Both trigger buttons yanked in synch will grind you to a halt. It’s almost immediate and dumps out any speed that you’ve got. This is handy because, as you might remember, this is a platformer, and exploring the main town (rather than just the bevy of levels attached to the house of your creator, Morio) requires you to get between platforms and up mountainsides if you’re going to gather all the gears you need to stop the evil corporation that made cars bad (Teslo, or Tosla, or Telsi — but you get the point).

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is goofy, it’s loveable, it’s warm and nostalgic and it’s really, really juicy. The screen shakes, the camera wobbles, your little yellow taxi barfs out smoke and wails around the screen as you try to navigate the various rooms, gyms and hillsides of the world it occupies. The world itself, it doesn’t do too much clever stuff — it’s a little ridiculous, but so is the concept. This is a game entirely about cool stunt jumping and going ‘Oh, yeah, I did that. It was super deliberate.’

And that’s just really, really fun. That’s what games are about, right?

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is available now for PC

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