Experience the exciting challenge of driving a bus
Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP
Bus Simulator 2012 is a game where players get to drive a wide variety of buses and try to deliver great service to riders. One of a surprisingly large sub-genre of games where players are allowed to take part in real-life activities that some might consider mundane, this one makes for a fairly compelling experience. If it delivers white-knuckle action, that's probably the fault of the player. Driving in a responsible, safe manner can actually be pretty enjoyable.
All Aboard to Deutschland
Created by a German developer who specializes in games of this sort, Bus Simulator 2012 understandably focuses on European cities and roads. It offers quite a bit of territory to traverse, with an extensive transit system consisting of nearly 500 stops being put in front of would-be drivers.
The idea, of course, is to stick to an assigned route while making good time, and this can be fairly challenging as one starts off. A variety of driving and navigational aids make it easier to get a handle on the bulky, hulking buses, and these sorts of assistance can be switched off as players improve and want more challenge.
Buses Are More Complex Than Many Think
Despite being the sort of production that some might be inclined to scoff at, Bus Simulator 2012 is clearly a labor of love. The developers have gone to great trouble to reproduce all of the detail of the buses in the game, even to the point of drawing in unneeded and useless auxiliary controls on panels where they occur in real life. Drivers will have plenty to keep them occupied and can fiddle with air-conditioning levels, interior lights and other such amenities if the roads and traffic aren't enough to deal with.
A Good Driver is a Safe Driver
That isn't to say that the game is really complicated. The idea here is to safely navigate the traffic to be found on the roads while keeping to a fairly rigid timetable. Breaking traffic laws incurs the kinds of penalties that one might expect, and accidents will result in predictably harsh retribution. Players who just want to mess around can switch off these structures, though, and free-wheeling of that sort might be enough in the way of entertainment for some. Others will enjoy the relatively slow-paced feel of shuttling passengers around a well-depicted city and find that to be the perfect way to spend an evening.
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The name says it all