The original Crazy Taxi is now free on both iOS and Android

Credit: Sega
Credit: Sega /

SEGA has made the original arcade hit Crazy Taxi free to play for both iOS and Android users. But not free of ads!

Crazy Taxi is one of those games that you either love or hate. The gameplay loop is simple and repetitive: you pick up customers and take them to their destination as soon as possible, earning extra cash for performing over-the-top stunts along the way. The soundtrack is filled with The Offspring and Bad Religion on repeat, making you either want to crank up the volume or play the game on mute. Ultimately, it’s a nice little arcade game perfect for a little burst of fun.

Which makes it a great fit to play on mobile devices! If you ever want to scratch that itch of wild open-world racing while listening to 90s rock, now you can – free of charge. The original version of the game is available for free for all iOS and Android users. Granted Crazy Taxi has been available on smartphones for about five years now, but at a retail price of $1.99. And this premium pay-to-play version still exists.

And that is because…drum roll, please…ads! Yes, while Crazy Taxi is free to download and play, it is littered with in-game advertisements. Not all that surprising in the current landscape of free-to-play mobile titles, though.  To quote The Offspring: “nothing changes ’cause it’s all the same!” I can think of two main reasons for this new pricing model. Firstly, SEGA is potentially using this as a nice handout to fans of the series who have probably already purchased the game previously on one of the eight platforms it is currently available on.

More from Mobile

The more likely reason is that SEGA is using this as a marketing tactic to bring in new players. As crazy as it might sound (pun intended), Crazy Taxi was originally first released for arcades back in 1999 and ported to the Dreamcast in 2000. There is an entire generation of mobile users who have very likely never even heard of the game. Feeling old now? I sure am!

One thing to note for users (such as myself) you have previously bought the premium version of Crazy Taxi, you will need to use the “Restore Purchases” option to remove all non-SEGA ads from your game. The free version of Crazy Taxi is available for smartphones and tablets on both the Apple App Store and on Google Play.