Title AirTaxi Publisher David C. May (Shareware) Game Type General Action Players 1 Compatibility ECS Submission Jason Compton This Amiga Report review appears here by courtesy of Jason Compton Review Commodore 64 nostalgia mode engaged. Muse Software was a great company in its day, the early to mid eighties. Most notably, they're responsible for the "action/adventure" games Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein (Nothing to do with the 3D perversion by a similar name. In some ways, the 64 version is still more fun), and Space Taxi. If Muse had consistent qualities, it was for enjoyable gameplay and crude digitized sound. They would cram little voice snippets into that small memory to add atmosphere to their games. (Who could forget Hitler pacing back and forth in his bunker, frequently stopping to say "Heil!" to the seated Nazi officers, who would reply in a deeper voice the same "Heil!"?) Space Taxi wasn't about Nazis, but it made use of voice samples as well. The premise was this: You drove a small flying vehicle and shuttled people from pad to pad on a screen which could have anything from candy to a marching Nazi to block your path. It was, in short, a fun game. I remember discovering that the level of my choice could be reached by shutting off the disk drive on level 1, playing it X times, then turning the drive back on: X+1 would be loaded. I've seen other Space Taxi clones on the Amiga, but none that captured the spirit of the game as well as David May's AirTaxi. Even though the original samples have been replaced by much less scratchy incarnations, the old feelings come back with every call of "Hey, Taxi." May has put a lot of sophistication into the game. No longer just an experience for one player, with the right tools (a parallel-port joystick adapter) and 4 friends, you can have up to 5 taxis cruising around the screen at once. However, based on results of my games with Katie, two's a crowd, as things can get pretty cramped on the screen, and collisions are fatal. The upshot of the game is still the same: Fly customers from one pad to another, and get paid based on how long it took you to get them there. This, of course, means that if you're not a quick and efficient cabbie, you'll be a cabbie operating at a loss, since fuel is necessary and expensive. There are three types of customers: red, yellow, and white, who offer increasingly large tips. However, since you get penalized for killing customers (as in, getting yourself killed with a customer onboard) according to how much they tip, if you get killed with a white customer in the car early on, you may as well hit ESCape. The levels are often quite complex, offering zero gravity environments, drafty areas, hell-bent destructive seeking satellites, and magnetic spheres to make your job difficult. The game is written in AMOS and is ECS, playable on just about any configuration, and is NTSC. It's also a mere US$5 to register, and the shareware levels should be more than enough to convince you. Arcade fans and those who shiver in anticipation at the words "Pad 3, please" will want to pick this up.