- Xbox 360 - 800 Microsoft Points (£6.80)
- PSN - £7.99
"Let's go make some crazy money!"
10 years ago, it was SEGA's next-generation battle cry. With its surly Offspring soundtrack, dayglo visuals and white-knuckle thrill-a-second gameplay, SEGA brought us cutting-edge arcade gaming right in our own homes. Who cared if it was a bit shallow? That was kinda the point.
A decade later, the connotations of Crazy Taxi's opening gambit are entirely different, as you stare aghast at the latest loveless Dreamcast port to emerge.
Shortly after being greeted with a murkily upscaled front-end, any goodwill you might have had for this initially promising conversion project goes out of the window after you hear the hideously low bit-rate speech samples, almost entirely drowned-out by a substitute soundtrack.
And if that's not enough to kill your enthusiasm, then the game almost certainly will. What was fresh and thrilling arcade fun then feels like a clumsily constructed mini-game now as you ferry badly animated polygonal aberrations to their destination in the quickest possible time.
Despite its long list of shortcomings, there's still a sliver of fun to be had blasting yourself around the city – especially if you can remember the somewhat obscure combos required to properly control it. The truth is, though, you can probably eke out most of that fun in the free trial, safe in the knowledge that the full versions doesn't offer a great deal more. This isn't how nostalgia is supposed to feel.
- PC - £14.99 (coming soon to iOS platforms)
There was a time when I'd have sat gazing with puppy-dog eyes at screenshots of Kaptain Brawe. I'd have marvelled at its gorgeously detailed backdrops, bold colour schemes and promise of witty dialogue and inventive point-and-click puzzling, and probably slapped down £29.99 without even seeing so much as a trailer.
But that was 18 years ago. They didn't even do trailers for games then, and the cover-mounted demo was only just starting to catch on. Are you nodding tearfully like a wistful old bastard yet? Good, because Kaptain Brawe's designed exclusively for you, friend.
It's so old school, it actually takes us right back to the best-forgotten floppy disk days when 'talkie' adventures were a glamorous new idea, and we had to sit and imagine what the characters' voices were like. Somehow, this isn't a terrible idea, and Croatian studio Cateia Games overcomes such limitations by doing what LucasArts used to do for years: make the writing sharp.
Cateia also remembers to come up with decent puzzles that aren't wilfully obscure, and offers a 'casual' mode of play that makes it possible to find out what objects there are to click on in advance of clicking on every damn pixel.
It's also decent value, offering a sizeable chunk of adventuring over four planets, and will probably run on any PC made in the past decade. But with undoubtedly cheap-as-chips iOS versions following within weeks, who needs clunky PCs? Let's prod our touch-screens in happy unison that the adventure game scene has finally spluttered back to life.
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