Funktronic Labs, the studio behind Cosmic Trip (2017), today launched their latest title, an arcade remote-controlled taxi game dubbed Starbear: Taxi (2018). Starbear: Taxi launched today on Rift, Vive, and Windows “Mixed Reality” VR headsets.
The year is 3064 CE. For whatever reason bears rule the earth – and they don’t have Uber. That’s where you come in, a remote controlled taxi dispatcher dubbed ‘Starbear’ who lives in the Jetsons-esque future where tiny adorable bears live high in the sky. Why? There is no why – there is only cute dancing bears, and that’s reason enough for me.
To ferry your furry passengers from start to end goal, you use a single motion controller to fly an RC taxi, that admittedly isn’t the easiest way to guide the softball-sized saucer ship around the increasingly large map. I didn’t always find the control mechanic simple to use, as you have to tilt your motion controller in the desired direction, so it definitely takes some getting used to.
Much like Crazy Taxi (1999), you’ll have to pick up all types of passengers, each with their own bonus bar hovering over their heads, and some with a special task too like picking up honeypots. But it isn’t so ‘A to B’ as you might like. You’ll have to avoid pesky raccoon bandits along the way who steal your gold.
With a clock counting down, you can imagine how hectic it can be to ram straight into a bomb, get hit by a guided missile, and then completely biff the goal with only seconds left on the game clock. Yes, it’s all about leaderboards, but the emphasis is on quick, increasingly difficult gameplay that you can pick up anytime. I would have liked some deeper gameplay, but it is what it is.
Funktronic Labs is also targeting GearVR, Oculus Go, and Google Daydream at some point in early May. A PSVR version will also launch “later this year.”