First airplanes, now taxis in Reflexive's GabCab
The publishers of this game (Reflexive Entertainment) didn't come right out and call it Airport Mania 2, but it's clear that GabCab is at least a spiritual successor to the time management game Airport Mania - except that instead of playing air traffic controller and guiding cute little planes on and off the runway, you're a taxi dispatcher helping a cute little yellow cab hustle customers around town.
The launch date for GabCab is still to be determined, but the kind folks at Reflexive offered Gamezebo a hands-on sneak peek that let us take the little yellow cab out for a test-drive. Like Airport Mania, all of the vehicles in the game have little faces on them and behave like people. Thus you aren't just driving a nameless yellow cab around, but a cheerful-looking little fellow named Gabby.
Each day, Gabby has to pick up customers and drop them off at various points along his route. The destination the customer wishes to be driven to - such as the pizza place, barber shop or baseball stadium - will appear in a thought bubble along the bottom of the screen. As Gabby collects more than one customer, planning ahead becomes more important as you must choose the most efficient route possible. Why? Because customers leave better tips the faster you're able to get them where they want to go.
You'll also have to keep an eye on Gabby's gas gauge - run out and you'll waste precious seconds by having to "manually" refill the car by holding the gasoline nozzle down for a few seconds. Of course, it's much easier if you just remember to swing past the gas station every so often during Gabby's route. The final piece of the comfortably hectic click management gameplay is collecting tips that slowly float away - you'll have to run the mouse pointer over them to collect them before it's too late.
In between levels you'll get to spend the cash you've earned on a variety of neat-looking upgrades. You can upgrade Gabby's tires, seats, engine and fuel efficiency; buy power-ups like the Tips Magnet (literally, a magnet on a string that "magnetizes" your mouse pointer to make it easier to collect floating tips), and temporary bonuses like ice cream cones that make waiting customers less impatient.
According to Reflexive, GabCab boasts 98 levels across eight unique cities, more than 25 awards to earn, and an unlockable Perfect Scores challenge. And although we didn't get to see them in our preview copy of the game, you'll apparently also be able to hire helpers as well.
We don't have a firm release date on GabCab yet, except to tell you that it's launching later this year. Be sure to set up an alert to follow the game and receive a notification the moment it launches.