Taxi Journey is an adventure game crossed with a platformer wrapped in a beautiful world by some of the best adventure game developers in the business.  What’s not to love?

Lexis Numérique may not be the best known developer in the business, but their track record speaks for itself: Missing; Since January, Evidence, The Experiment, Red Johnson’s Chronicles are all adventure games from their portfolio that have won numerous awards, including “Adventure Game of the Year” from several different publications.  This time, though, they hope to make something a little different.  With Taxi Journey, the creative minds at Lexis Numérique are combining adventure gaming with platforming, and the results are truly stunning.

On the surface, Taxi Journey looks like a platformer along the lines of Limbo, but dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that the game is more methodical.  There’s less of an emphasis on jumping and quick reflexes, and more of a focus on puzzle solving and interacting with the environment using the unique abilities of it’s two main characters.

Two Characters?

Taxi Journey follows the journey of two characters; Gino and Zoey.  Gino, our taxi driving protagonist, has the special ability to grab objects by their reflections.  See the moon reflecting in a pond?  Just reach in and grab it out.

Zoey can interact with the non physical aspects of the world.  She can scurry away these resources to use them for later, and anything from sounds to electricity can be picked up and used to solve puzzles later.

Gino and Zoey are characters you will become attached to.  The developers at Lexis Numerique have assured us that they’re trying to tell a story.  You won’t just solve puzzles and jump on boxes – You’ll experience an emotional journey, and it’s the developer’s goal to make you laugh and to make you cry.

Q & A

Slimgamer recently exchanged some emails with the team, and they answered a few questions for us.

First of all, thanks for answering our questions. For starters, can you tell us a few words about your project?

Taxi Journey is an original puzzle/adventure game in a universe that combines charm, humor and mystery. It takes inspiration from games such as Limbo or Machinarium but comes up with a very unique universe and original gameplay features.

Why did you decide to start a campaign on a crowdfunding platform? Why Kickstarter?

We work with different funding modes on different projects. Some are co-financed by publishers and some are fully funded by us.  With Taxi Journey, we wanted to experience a new possible source of financing for our upcoming game. In addition, we also see Kickstarter as much as a community platform as a fund raising platform. Being able to build a community that is really interested in your game and ready to pay for it is something truly unique.

What Advantage/uniqueness you are bringing to the table?

Taxi Journey sets apart for 3 mains reasons:

First, we worked a lot on the art direction and, so far, the feedback is really great. People LOVE the art.  Next, we’ve been working on the scenario and we believe the result is really full of emotion. We hope you will laugh and cry when playing Taxi Journey.  We know that there’s a controversy about having a story in a game (vs focusing on the gameplay only) but we believe you can have both.  At Lexis Numérique, we strongly believe in storytelling.  And of course, we try to bring something really fresh gameplay-wise.  Gino, the taxi driver, has the power to capture elements of his environment by their reflection (in the water, in a mirror etc…) Zoey, the little girl he meets, has the power to capture immaterial things and reuse them when she wants (energy, sounds…).  This leads to very ordinal puzzles – at least it’s what we’re trying to do.

Is this the your first game?  Is this the first Kickstarter project?

Lexis Numérique has been doing games for about 20 years. Our most popular adventure game is Missing: Since January but we also created many kid games with Disney and Ubisoft.

And regarding crowdfunding, it is the very first game we’re trying to finance this way.

What kind of rewards did you come up with? What would be your advice to others regarding the rewards?

We offer standard rewards at very affordable prices (the game itself for $15 and even a current promotion at $10 only if you hurry). But we also have a companion guide, an artbook, a card set, t-shirts and print frames. Most importantly, you can be featured in the game (we create a special character just for you) and/or you can work with us as a game designer. And if you want to come and meet the team in Paris, you can :)

What would be your advice regarding creating a project on Kickstarter in general?  How important is the video?

One thing that we have definitely learnt for video games is that you have to show gameplay footage of your game. In our case, this was an issue.  The running code we currently have is very close to a classic platformer. But we decided 2 months ago to do something different (deepen the adventure/puzzle side) and we didn’t have any footage to show that.  Therefore, we had to create a specific gameplay video and this took us quite some time.

And as for the question “how important is the video”, I believe is impossible to run a campaign without it.

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What did you do to promote your Kickstarter campaign?

We’re trying our best to work with the press in the US, UK, Germany and France.  In addition, we’ve been promoting our campaign on Kicktraq and on our own Facebook page and Twitter account.

We have also partnered with several other Kickstarter project owners to do cross promotion.

Please share some details about your company ,staff, and history.

Lexis has been in the game industry for about 16 years now. We began to create original kid games and progressively worked with partners such as Ubisoft, Disney or Namco. We also created games for a more mature audience (Missing: since January, Red Johnson’s Chronicles) and we still do original kid games on many platforms (such as The Pooyoos). Our DNA is made of innovative gameplay, storytelling and strong emphasis on graphics.

Please tell us something which isn’t written in your project page which is worth mentioning.

Kickstarter doesn’t allow you to organize competitions. Therefore, we are running a completion on Facebook to let you become a character in the game.  All you have to do is solve a puzzle :)

You can check it out here.

What is newsworthy about your project?

We’ve just released a new video that gives many details on the gameplay. You can check it out here.

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Platforms

At the moment, Taxi Journey is set to release for PC and Wii U, but there’s more in the works.  If they reach their stretch goals, Lexis Numérique have plans to release Taxi Journey on every platform you could ask for: iOS, Android, Vita, PSN and Xbox Live Arcade.  They’re not quite there yet, but with your help they can be and you can experience Taxi Journey on your platform of choice.