We have many simulation experiences in the gaming world that are purely focused on public transportation and many have been pretty successful. I’ve covered most of these with reviews in the past such as Train Sim World, Bus Simulator and many more. The last title focused on taxis that I can remember is Crazy Taxi back on the Dreamcast, unless you count stealing one on Grand Theft Auto and driving around ladies of the night. Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator developed by Simteract and published by Nacon focuses on the realism of being a taxi driver rather than cruising around picking up cartoon-style characters from KFC and Pizza Hut whilst blasting out The Offspring.

Having clapped eyes on this one a few months ago when the first trailers were released, I was very intrigued since it seems to be presented much better than your standard sim-style game. The game promises 286 miles of roads across Barcelona at a 1:1 very impressive scale. Not only will you be collecting randoms and taking them to their destinations, but you’ll also be able to expand your business and grow a taxi empire on the Spanish streets.

Giving Uber A Run For Their Money

When you begin your Taxi Life journey you’ll need to create a business name and colours for your company along with a prebuilt character. Unfortunately, the selection here was a bit barebones with only 5 characters and not much in the way of customisation. It isn’t an issue since your driver is always inside the taxi and the colours are purely for aesthetics. You’ll be introduced to a short tutorial at the beginning that will allow you to become familiar with how to manoeuvre your vehicle and parallel park along with turning in confined spaces. You can completely skip this, but I found it like an enjoyable mini-driving test.

Once you’re good to go, you can get out onto the streets and start earning some hard-earned cash to kick-start your company. You’ll start with a few thousand dollars and at the start, you’ll need every scrap of money you can grab, because if you’re anything like me you’ll be prone to errors early on. Driving against oncoming traffic and speeding are just two reasons you can be landed with fines to pay. Cause cosmetic or serious damage to your car and you’ll need to get it to a garage to get things fixed up. Here you can also fuel up if you don’t fancy using petrol stations and if you have some disposable income you can purchase new vehicles for your fleet or modify your taxi.

Drive Sensibly For Maximum Reward

Adhering to the traffic lights, being in the correct lane, and driving on the correct side of the road are all good factors to start with in this game. Sure, you can drive around like GTA but it won’t get you far. Your patient driving is rewarded with money, tips and XP points. Build your XP and unlock access to more perks to unlock more opportunities for you and your other drivers should you choose to hire them.

Drive erratically and your passengers won’t be happy causing them to completely abandon their journey sometimes. They may not like it if you skip red lights, drive too fast or don’t do as they ask. They may want you to open the window, whack some tunes on or get some heating going. Responding to these requests will keep the punters happy. What I did find is that AI pedestrians have a complete mind of their own, stepping onto a zebra crossing without even waiting, or randomly just walking into a road then doubling back to where they came from. There needs to be some work here to stop such spontaneous behaviour as its way too common.

The Map Is Huge

The more you play, the more the map opens up and it becomes massive. They weren’t kidding when they said 286 miles of roads and as you progress you’ll be able to take on longer and further fares, allowing you to get some lengthy drives in on top of the short hops. Along the way, you can gain experience for sitting by a landmark and pressing X to tick it off the list and the map is showered with these and sometimes you’ll have to go off the main road to discover them. It is a fun sway away from the repetitive nature of taxi driving.

Barcelona Is Beautiful

Now without sounding disrespectful to other simulation titles out there, I’ve played many poorly presented experiences that have lacked both in looks and sound. Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator looks fantastic and you can certainly tell that a lot of work has gone into the design of Barcelona and the surroundings. You’ll come across many real-life landmarks which are yours to discover as you explore the roads, you’ll even gain XP for discovering them. There is also some exceptional art that can be found which is scattered across the world map and again, it is yours to explore and find should you wish.

Unfortunately, there were some visual issues with the game at the time of writing and I encountered frame drops quite consistently on Xbox Series X and whilst it didn’t ruin the game, it did become a bit frustrating at times. What was way more noticeable though was the amount of assets and textures popping in as you were driving. It appeared as if the draw distance wasn’t as good as it should have been at several points during my 25+ hours with the game. This needs resolution pretty soon and after reading some comments on the PC version, this is also occurring there.

Sublime In-Car Presentation

By far the most impressive part of the game for me was the presentation from the viewpoint inside the vehicle whilst driving. You can go for other camera options like behind the car or from the bonnet for example, but the view from the driver’s seat is much more immersive. You have a fully working sat-nav, and reversing cameras and you can even turn on the air con, and roll the windows up and down at the request of your passengers. The attention to detail here is by far the strongest point of the game and I was getting far too much enjoyment turning my head to look at my passengers and then ignoring their requests. But I found out this instantly pisses them off and lowers their patience levels.

Final Thoughts

Taxi Life: A City Driving Simulator has been a very enjoyable and well-presented experience. Anyone who knows me or who has spent time reading my reviews knows that I target the simulation genre head first as I like to dive into something out of the norm. This game is probably the most beautifully crafted simulation title I’ve ever played.

I love that the development team didn’t skimp on the map and that there are other elements to the game other than just ferrying people from A to B. Some minor flaws could perhaps be ironed out in future updates such as further development on the AI both in pedestrians and other drivers of vehicles. Steering wheel support appears to be an issue from countless reports on the Xbox Store stating that they don’t seem to be compatible.

Well Worth A Look

Overall though, the game exceeded my expectations and you can see that a lot of work has gone into the design process and how well the game functions. If the developer can iron out some of the above issues and work on the visual hiccups slightly, then it would be perfect. Aside from what I have mentioned, I find it hard not to recommend playing this at a very reasonable price of £34.99. The hours that enthusiasts of the genre could pile in are in the hundreds if you want to achieve everything on offer. It is the ideal game if you’ve just come from an intense multiplayer shooter and want a casual simulator with some progressive business management elements.

  • 75%
    CX Score - 75%



  • The design work that has gone into Barcelona is exceptional with 286 miles of roads
  • Driving mechanics are pretty solid and responsive
  • Barcelona is full of life and traffic making it a believable atmosphere
  • In car presentation is outstanding



  • Some visual issues are holding the game back a little
  • AI character models are repeated and have very spontaneous behaviour
  • Could be repetitive for some
  • Steering wheel support is lacking

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *