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In 1984, Space Taxi arrived on the Commodore 64 heralding a few new refreshing concepts in game design. Over 24 single-screen levels (which as you progressed, became increasingly bizarre), the player controlled a floating taxi with thruster rockets and landing struts. Picking up customers from various numbered platforms (known as 'pads'), the player would be forced to negotiate numerous obstacles (flying objects, other pads, confined spaces) to successfully deliver the customer to their pad of choice.

It was one of the first C64 releases to successfully implement audible speech in a relatively simple game. When customers appeared (spookily, from out of nowhere) they demanded to be picked up by the player by yelling "Hey taxi!". Their destination was numbered and so they would direct the player with "Pad nine please!" or a different numbered equivalent.

The gameplay was scarily precise. If your taxi so much as scraped any object in the game, the player's game would instantly end as the taxi would explode and fall to the bottom of the screen in a ugly mass of fiery death - your current customer along with it. Also, the player had to be exact in landing to pick up customers. If the landing gear wasn't extended or your aim was slightly off, the fireball would again reappear. If you happened to misjudge your landing and collide with you customer waiting on the pad, they would exclaim a quick "Hey!" and then disappear, presumably crushed to death from the massive weight of your taxi.

A refreshingly original and bizarre game.

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