A computer game for the Commodore 64 from 1984, that despite its really low grade graphics (even for the time), it redeemed itself with relatively good game play and what was for the time rare and innovative sampled speech.
Space Taxi was released by MUSE Software, and was a twist on the popular lunar-lander style game of the period, which there seemed to be quite a few of as I recall. I remember typing in the whole code for Rox 64, for example, that appeared in a 1984 copy of C+VG. Only to discover afterwards that I could have saved the hours and hours of work, by just buying it for a couple of quid, as it had been originally written by early gaming genius Jeff Minter and released by his Llamasoft label in 1983.
Anyway, I digress, back to Space Taxi. Despite the dodgy graphics, the game featured some quirky scenes, such as a beach scene, candyland and a snow strewn winter scene. All utterly random, but adding to the fun of what was underneath a pretty standard game.
In 1981, MUSE had released the now absolute classic Castle Wolfenstein, in which was included some of the very earliest synthesised speech in home computer gaming. The games creator Silas Warner, had developed a piece of sound engine software called "The Voice" while working for MUSE. It would appear that the same technology was used for the speech elements of Space Taxi, with calls of "Hey taxi!" and "Pad one please!"
Space Taxi was originally written by John Kutcher, with Silas Warner as the games composer. The game was ported to the Amiga by Andreas Spreen. The ported version, however, had a different set of levels and minor modifications to the game rules. In 2004, Space Taxi 2, an authorised sequel was released by Twilight Games. As well as Space Taxi: Remake that same year, by Michael LeSauvage. Who knew, that it had such a cult following?