Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom Review – Click Click Vroom


Before you turn on Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom from developer Panik Arcade, take a moment to remember what it felt like the first time you had an energy drink and then prepare to experience it again in video game form. I played the short demo for this a few months ago and fell in love with the sheer frenetic energy of it all, so now it’s time for Jesus to take the wheel in the full release.

Taking on the role of a little wind-up yellow taxi created by a man called Morio, I had but one mission. I have been made to help fight the threat of Tosla and its evil CEO, Alien Mosk. This game is a work of fiction. Any similarities to people, living or dead, are purely coincidental. Even though Alien Mosk resembles nobody, I did feel an overwhelming need to destroy him. With that out of the way, Morio needs help restoring oil’s glory as Mosk corrupts it all. Taking down the sinister Tosla will take crashing, smashing, and platforming through different levels, helping a lot of bizarre characters, and collecting gears to unlock even more worlds.

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom Morio
Image Credit: Panik Arcade.

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom Is A Platformer Inspired By Past Classics In The Genre

While the main character is a little wind-up car and is therefore driving, Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is predominantly a platformer rather than a driving game. However, there isn’t a jump button. Instead, I had to rely on special moves, speed, and environmental factors (like creepy-faced bombs that hate you but can help launch you upwards).

The levels are absolutely stuffed with collectibles and secrets, which meant that I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get every single thing I could see and some that I couldn’t. Keep an eye out for caves, secret underwater places, and false or destroyable walls. There could be gears, coins, or just an absolute weirdo waiting for you.

The Characters In Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom Are A Delight

Speaking of weirdos, this brings me to the art style and character design. The game is an homage to the heyday of the Nintendo 64. It incorporates pixel art, bright colors, and bonkers architecture. Apart from the overall “nightmare from Venice beach” vibe, the prevalent motif of the game’s art style is massive noses and moustaches in what I assume is an homage to the second best Mario character Wario.

Waluigi is, of course, the best. Mario is probably fifth.

Many things have gigantic noses and mustaches. The hatred-filled bombs make a beeline for the taxi, their gigantic noses and blank eyes fixated only on their target. Think of the Moon in Majora’s Mask. Beautiful and terrifying. Strange and unnerving. A hilarious harbinger of doom. The mustaches everywhere are like that.

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom the looming stache bomb
Image Credit: Panik Arcade.

There’s more than a hint of psychedelia to the surroundings and NPCs. Barrel-chested muscle men with painfully underworked legs and tall hair strut around like alternate universe Johnny Bravos. One NPC is a red-horned demon girl called Primula. Primula is a type of spreadable cheese that you squeeze out of a tube in Europe. This is an A-plus name for an NPC.

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom Will Test Your Platforming Skills

Beyond the lack of a jump button, there’s still plenty of challenge found in the game. As a wind-up taxi, someone needs to wind me up and keep me going. In one level early on, Morio forgets to do it, and I had to rely on the NPCs to keep me wound up and moving. Crashing around this area is entirely dependent on helping out the NPCs. Driving into characters with quest markers will activate their request, and then it’s just a matter of getting them where they need to go.

Each quest adds some time to the countdown at the top of the screen, and when it hits zero, it’s game over. The NPC requests respawn, so there is no real danger. It’s just a question of getting around the level and finding the treasures. Oh, and this level has a giant bomb boss on the top of a mountain, which is definitely not the same as any other game featuring a character with a name similar to Morio.

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is fun. It’s such a weird world to zoom around in. It’s also hard. Really hard. Reaching many areas off the beaten track of any given level requires a fair bit of dexterity. As I’ve said before in many reviews, I have arthritis, which can make things that require precision difficult.

I played using the keyboard and a controller to see which was easiest. They were pretty equal control-wise, but my hands hurt significantly more after using a controller and playing for half an hour. I also found that even when not accelerating and just trying to line up a maneuver, the taxi would swing left and right like a compass needle, which made it more challenging to stunt over gaps and land where I wanted instead of in the deadly deep water.

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom stache everywhere
Image Credit: Panik Arcade.

I can’t give the perspective of someone without dexterity issues. It’s still a challenging game with plenty of opportunity to scream at platforms as you sail through the air over them and into the water for the twentieth time in a row. I plowed through the basic level without getting all the secrets, gears, coins, etc.

It’s fairly doable, but I think I could play for 100 hours and never be able to reach all the secrets and collectibles. Not without some serious pain, anyway. There is, however, the option to turn off screen shakes, flashes, and motion blur in the settings. For those with visual sensitivities, it’s a big win.

Wrapping Up

Despite the issues for the less dextrous, I do love this game. It’s filled with a delightful weirdness and energy that is palpable and infectious. It knows the jokes it’s making, and it also knows that you know. It’s both self-referential and filled with pop culture references. Its art is occasionally nightmarish but colorful and quirky, with NPCs sometimes verging on the grotesque. Overall, Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is an excellent homage to all the things the developers clearly loved about the N64 era of games. And mustaches.

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is out on Steam on April 9th.

Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom Review – Click Click Vroom
Despite its flaws, Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom is a delightful platforming adventure that offers plenty of nostalgia and challenge.
Creative mechanics and art design.
A good variety of weird and different environments to experience.
Energy-filled fun.
Not for those with dexterity issues.
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Written by Emma Oakman

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