Driving a galactic taxi can be truly fun, sometimes. And what if we throw in some shooting too? Introducing Galaxi Taxi, the wild and fast-paced side-scrolling taxi shoot’em up developed by Fumi Games, the creators of Mouse, in collaboration with Gungrounds Games.
The world of video games is filled with undisputed masterpieces that have marked entire generations—unforgettable experiences that still deserve to be tried at least once in a lifetime. You might be wondering why we’ve started the article with such a critical tone. The truth is, many video games, despite their impeccable quality and craftsmanship, haven’t garnered the visibility and success they deserved. Such a situation is all too common and recurring in the independent gaming scene.
That’s why today we’d like to introduce you to Galaxi Taxi, one of two intriguing and ambitious new IPs in development at Fumi Games, developed in collaboration with the Croatian studio Gungrounds Games. This talented and brilliant independent Polish studio may already be familiar to many of you, especially through Mouse the impressive retro-cartoon FPS inspired by Mickey Mouse, film noir, and Bioshock, the timeless masterpiece developed by 2K Boston.
Regarding Mouse, we won’t delve further here. If you want to learn more, you’ll have to read our main article dedicated to the game.
But let’s get back on track. Galaxi Taxi is a side-scrolling shoot’em up video game that, much like Mouse, draws inspiration from a specific historical and artistic period of animation – in this case, the ’90s, traditional animation. It aims to capture the indelible sense of nostalgia from classic cartoons through exceptionally high-quality animation and a distinctive, unique concept.
We’re here to delve into it in depth, but more importantly, to give it the visibility it deserves and to help you understand why it’s a promising and ambitious video game that you should keep an eye on. So, if you’re intrigued, stay with us.
Fumi Games and Gungrounds, the imaginative and visionary creators behind Galaxi Taxi
As you might remember from our article on Mouse, we’ve already talked about Fumi Games, a promising and ambitious indie game development studio based in Warsaw, Poland, established in 2019. Despite its relatively recent foundation, the studio didn’t take long to make a name for itself in the scene and captured the interest of numerous enthusiasts, particularly with the development of Mouse and, indeed, Galaxi Taxi.
As you can see on their official website, this isn’t a team that enjoys describing itself extensively in words; rather, they prefer to let their productions speak for themselves. Among the most distinctive features of their projects are the art design, a tribute to the classic cartoons of the ’90s, which is the same style presented in Galaxi Taxi, and the iconic animation style inspired by Mouse, in the true Rubber-Hose fashion. This animation technique, highly popular in the early 1900s, is experiencing a revival, especially within the gaming world.
What is Rubber-Hose animation? Well, if you’ve read our article on Mouse, you should already know, but don’t worry, we’re here to refresh your memory. This is an unmistakably recognizable and unique style, deriving its name from its most distinctive trait: the curved, rubber-hose-like movement used to animate the vast majority of objects, characters, and all on-screen elements. Specifically, their limbs—both upper and lower—bend in a surreal manner, resembling the flexing of a rubber hose, intentionally giving them an exaggeratedly cartoonish appearance. Another hallmark of this style is its pronounced outline strokes and contrasting shades of gray, intensifying the shading for added depth.
As you’ll notice from their projects, animation stands as the flagship of the Polish studio. And this isn’t by chance. Did you know that Fumi Games also has its own animation studio? The team has an important background in the animation industry. Many of the concept arts for the characters in Galaxi Taxi actually come from this animation studio, Fumi Studio. But let’s take it step by step; we’ll delve deeper into this in the next section.
The development partner is Gungrounds Games, a small yet prolific and talented independent game development studio based in Zagreb, Croatia, established in 2016. Unlike Fumi Games, who have created only one published video game so far, “Kids Party Checkers,” a captivating children’s adaptation of the iconic board game of checkers, Gungrounds is not new to the gaming industry. The Croatian team boasts extensive experience in the gaming world, with several published video games and numerous awards and accolades earned over the years. Their primary goal as developers is to create small yet highly polished games that offer an enjoyable gaming experience.
The studio’s journey began with the development and porting of Flash games, supported by sponsors such as Armor Games, Newgrounds, Kongregate, Nickelodeon Addicting Games, and Miniclip. Their debut on the Steam platform was “Rocking Pilot,” developed in collaboration with Mad Head Games, followed by “Serious Sam: Tormental,” supported by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital.
Currently, the studio is working on Galaxi Taxi in collaboration with Fumi Games and another intriguing project called Immunauts: a story-driven sci-fi action-adventure game. And…plot twist, the art design and animation for Immunauts will be handled by Fumi Studio’s animation team.
The origins of Galaxi Taxi
Now that we’re approaching the real core of the article, are you so sure you know the true origins of Galaxi Taxi? What if we were to tell you that the project wasn’t initially intended to be a video game?
Exactly. The very first trailer leaked for Galaxi Taxi was released on February 13, 2018, on YouTube, and if you take the time to sift through the comments, you’ll discover that it was a short, retro-style animated series comprising 13 episodes. It’s truly unfortunate that this series seems to have vanished without a trace.
You can find the trailer for the project, which we leave for you below, on Fumi Studio’s YouTube channel. However, unfortunately, there’s no trace of the complete series, and as far as we know, it’s not available in any way.
But, as the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining”. Indeed, it can be said that it’s precisely due to this experiment and experience that we now have the opportunity to see and soon play Galaxi Taxi.
Furthermore, Galaxi Taxi’s past as an animated series reveals some interesting details that offer insights into what is likely to be the core plot of the game. According to information shared in the Galaxi Taxi trailer, the story will revolve around not one, not two, but three protagonists: a blue-skinned alien resembling a large mouse, a plush rabbit, and a squeaky and cute Laspeyresia pomonella (in simpler terms, an apple worm).
Together, our quirky trio will embark on amusing and hilarious adventures in the vastness of space aboard an ordinary mode of transportation: – a taxi. Desperately in search of new passengers to welcome on board, our three mini-heroes will undertake the challenging mission of safely delivering them to their destinations while accepting their peculiar requests.
Of course, it won’t be an easy task. Each ride will be filled with improbable events, oddities, demanding customers, and unfortunate occurrences. What could be worse for our unlucky heroes, you might ask? How about an evil and greedy talking mushroom, named Mushroom (well, what were you expecting?), owner of the Mushroom Taxi Corporation, enslaving the entire universe by monopolizing the transportation industry and subjecting it to his control through his evil corporation.
And here we step into the fray as brave and fearless rebels, driven by a strange sense of justice and determined to restore things to the way they were, and dismantle the ambitions of Mushroom and his villainous henchmen.
A battle taxi with a unique and captivating design, continuously customizable to suit your preferences, three absurd and eccentric anthropomorphic characters at the wheel, and a mountain of surreal space biomes to explore, each with its own peculiarities. Come on, what could possibly go wrong? Well, trust us, everything could go wrong.
As we’ve already mentioned, we don’t have one, not two, but three protagonists, which might lead you to ponder and fantasize about how we could alternate the selection of protagonists, how to use them, and when to use one character over the other. However, ironically, the true protagonist of Galaxi Taxi’s gameplay is our ordinary means of transportation.
Let us say, it’s a choice as original as it is bold on the part of Fumi Games and Gungrounds, particularly because basing the gameplay and combat system on a mode of transportation as the main character exposes them to evident risks. Don’t get us wrong; it’s a choice we appreciate and find intriguing, but the real question is, will it pay off? That’s what we hope for.
The gameplay of Galaxi Taxi unfolds across levels, or rather, across various planets, featuring a gaming structure that, in some respects, resembles that of Cuphead. Each level will showcase a unique design, notably distinguished from the others by some important distinctive traits. From the setting, which serves as the protagonist and main theme of the level—whether it be a cornfield overrun by aggressive crops, a medieval castle, an out-of-control pirate ship, or even a traveling circus—to the rich local flora and fauna of the planet, culminating in the decisive showdown with the final boss, everything strictly aligns with the surreal style of the level.
Each level will showcase an extensive side-scrolling section, encouraging players to skillfully maneuver their taxi through environmental obstacles and traps while engaging in fast-paced shooting sessions.Your trusty crosshair becomes a vital ally in these scenarios, assisting you in aiming and eliminating enemies to advance through the level. Progressing successfully through levels unlocks powerful new abilities like spring coils for jumping or a jet exhaust for flying. These enhancements will not only simplify your journey but also make your galactic taxi literally unstoppable.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, your taxi is battle-tested and ready to fight even in open space, amidst varying gravities, among meteorites, floating enemies, and other unidentified flying objects. For this reason, the game will test your endurance, patience, and ability to adapt to the unexpected with dedicated shooting sections set in the vastness of the cosmos.
Regarding the enemies, originality is certainly not lacking in the studios of Fumi Games and Gungrounds. The peculiar, humorous, and downright bizarre level bosses of Galaxi Taxi, with their distinctive character design, are undeniably among the aspects that intrigue us the most. These elements bring to mind those delightful moments when we faced, fought, and succumbed to Cagney Carnation and the devious Cala Maria (for those who may not know, they are two iconic boss fights from Cuphead).
Naturally, maintaining the level of originality and quality seen in the boss fights of Cuphead won’t be easy. However, glimpses of certain boss encounters in Galaxi Taxi, including a somewhat ironic representation of Baba Jaga chasing our taxi while throwing mischievous spirits at us, a colossal mechanical robot built by medieval squirrels, and the main villain Mushroom dressed as a clown, instill confidence that the developers are on the right track.
In short, as you might have gathered, style and eccentricity are certainly not lacking among Mushroom’s minions. And rightly so, Mushroom has no intention of making a poor impression or tarnishing his reputation.
Despite Mushroom’s strict control over transportation and commerce, Galaxi Taxi will not lack places to recharge, trade, and upgrade your taxi. The galaxy is teeming with traders ready to do business with you, including a shop where you can purchase new components to upgrade your vehicle’s arsenal, the DFV (an office that provides specific licenses for using more powerful abilities), and your personal garage where you can modify components and customize your taxi.
Keep in mind that the garage will be one of the few true safe zones where you can escape Mushroom’s control—a secure place to embellish and customize your vehicle with new aesthetic modifications and components, add spare parts like spiked tires and bulletproof armor, and even install a turret or cannon, transforming your vehicle into a true war machine that would earn admiration from a brilliant inventor like Leonardo Da Vinci.
A worthy heir of traditional animation
Rekindling the nostalgic allure of traditional animation and, more broadly, that era when we were happy and didn’t even know it, before yielding to the advent of modern animation, is one of the primary goals of Galaxi Taxi.
In this regard, Cuphead, the classic side-scrolling run ‘n’ gun action masterpiece from Studio MDHR, with its stunning hand-drawn animation in the style of the 1930s, played a central role in the development of Galaxi Taxi, serving as inspiration for Fumi Games and Gungrounds.
Take, for example, the aesthetics of the level selection menu or the similarities in level design between the two titles. The developers clearly aimed to draw from the excellence achieved by Studio MDHR, yet they were careful to cultivate a unique identity and coherence in line with their envisioned concept, steering clear of a mere “more of the same.”
Let’s be clear, Galaxi Taxi is not trying to be Cuphead, nor does it aim to emulate it. The core concept is entirely different, as is the animation style. Galaxi Taxi is, to put it simply, an original video game—captivating, unconventional, and even a bit quirky—crafted with passion, love, and dedication by two extremely promising teams. The progression, combat system, and even the design of boss fights have been tailor-made to seamlessly integrate into a game featuring a taxi as the protagonist. In short, it’s a completely different idea, another game, totally distinct from Cuphead.
While there are certainly some similarities, we also notice notable differences, especially in the animation style of the two video games. Cuphead draws inspiration from the 1930s animation style, as Mouse, the other highly anticipated video game from Fumi Games, undoubtedly does. In Galaxi Taxi, the difference in style is clear and distinct compared to Cuphead.
Also, bear in mind that we are that we’re talking about an animation style that emerged approximately 60 years after the “Rubber-Hose” boom. Galaxi Taxi, in fact, tips its hat to the ’90s, exclusively drawing from traditional animation. It introduces a captivating hybrid reminiscent of classic Saturday morning cartoons and the renowned animated series from Cartoon Network. And, in our opinion, this stylistic fusion integrates seamlessly with the underlying concept that defines the game.
Another notably distinctive element of Galaxi Taxi is its setting—the surreal context in which we immerse ourselves, the uniqueness of the biomes, and the absurd sensation of playing a video game with a plot that feels surreal and improbable, all within an equally peculiar and amusing galaxy. It’s almost as if the entire concept were born from the dreams or imagination of a child. Imagine as if High on Life met Futurama. That’s the idea!
And then, what we find most simultaneously bizarre and brilliant is playing a taxi-based video game where everything you need is inside your mode of transport. A video game in which everything, from the story, the level design, the combat system, has been centered around being entirely playable and functional with a taxi as the protagonist. Isn’t it both cool and strangely fascinating?
Certainly, regarding some gameplay mechanics, the level design, and even the style of certain boss-fights, the game inherits a weighty legacy. Cuphead has been and continues to be one of the finest side-scrolling video games in recent years, delivering addictive and challenging gameplay—both punishing and equally satisfying, with functional and enjoyable game mechanics, along with a truly unique level design So, coming close to or reaching those standards will undoubtedly be no small feat.
However, the developers have solid ideas, originality, and creativity on their side, and, as for Fumi Games, they also have an excellent team of animators. For these reasons, and many more, we are confident that Galaxi Taxi has all it takes to impress us and capture the hearts of traditional animation enthusiasts and nostalgics alike.
When will we see our cheerful gang of galactic friends in action?
Galaxi Taxi is gearing up to transport us to its wild galaxy, but but it’s likely that we’ll have to wait a bit longer before that happens…
Looking at Fumi Games’ X account, it’s evident that the Polish game studio is currently exclusively focused on developing Mouse, scheduled for release in 2025. This is positive, emphasizing the importance of the team fully committing to one project before diving into another. However, on the flip side, it may potentially delay the launch of Galaxi Taxi, especially since Gungrounds has also been silent about the game for a while.
But let’s not despair; instead, trust us. It’s better to wait one or two more years and experience Galaxi Taxi in its original form, just as the developers envisioned it from the beginning, rather than having it in our hands a year earlier and then lamenting a “missed opportunity.” So, let’s give Fumi Games and Gungrounds the necessary time to develop the game to its fullest potential, and anticipate their updates.
Regarding the platforms on which the game will be available, the developers have announced the game for Steam, with the release date yet to be announced. However, judging from what we’ve seen with Mouse, which will be available on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, we believe the developers will follow a similar path.
So, are you ready to give Mushroom a run for its money? Hop on the taxi with us!