Ah, the Simulator series, proving to be developing quite a cult following and a phenomena in the gaming industry over the last few years, now sees us blessed with Bus Simulator 18 arriving on Steam. Have you ever wanted to become a bus driver, well now is your chance to fulfil that life long ambition, as you step into the virtual shoes of a bus driver.
When I was offered the chance to review Bus Simulator 18, I naturally jumped at the chance to provide some coverage. After all, it’s not every day that you get chance to play what is arguably going to be a an educational experience and a fun one to boot. The tutorial provides an extensive and informative set of tasks that will allow you to familiarise yourself with the vast array of controls for your very own Bus. That’s right, there’s quite a few controls to learn, and even indicating is one function you will have to learn and hopefully remember as you ferry your hopefully paying customers from their pick up point to their destination.
It may seem like a silly idea in terms of a video game, but Bus Simulator is a relaxing game to invest a few hours into, learning your routes, taking payments and branching out further and expanding your business empire as you drive around day and night perfecting the art of bus driving. It’s not a perfect game by any means, and I did experience issues with getting stuck in scenery, clipping through vehicles and and of, game freezing.
As far as visuals go for the Simulator series, Bus Sim 18 is actually pretty damn good here, and while it won’t wow you with AAA graphics, what’s on offer won’t offend your eyes either. A satisfactory amount of detail has gone into the detail of each vehicle, and while the people don’t look up to scratch, it functions well enough on the visual side. Most of the audio is from your advisor on how progress is proceeding and the noise of your mammoth engine in the background. No real need for a glorious soundtrack, although I’m sure blasting out Ride of the Valkyries would be quite amusing as you approach and depart each bus top location.
If I’m being totally honest, I became strangely addicted to playing this, and was soon midnight before I realised that I’d have to stop. Something I’d never have imagined if you’d told me before hand, and one game that I’d love to invest even more time into now this review is completed. Compelling? Yes. Addictive? Yes. But it’s Bus Simulator I hear you cry, what’s so good about that? Fare dodgers, loud music to deal with in real life now as a video game? What’s fun about that? Why on earth does this exist you ask? Well I’ll tell you. Even the most mundane sounding jobs can be fun and addicting to play in the Simulator series, just look at Farming Simulator as a good example, that’s become quite a cult game among a niche section of gamers, and I should know, plenty of my friends have spent countless hours building up their farm empire for virtual currency glory. Now it’s the turn of the bus driver to lure you in and surprise you.
A rather unique idea that almost works perfectly if it wasn’t for a select few bugs that hinder the overall score of the game. Saying that, Bus Simulator 18 is certainly a worthy title in the series, and one that I’d recommend as something totally different to sink your teeth into. Even better with a friend, and I’m sure you’d find it amusing if nothing else.
Overall Score 7/10
Publisher: Astragon Entertainment
Release Date: 13th June 2018
Steam copy provided for review purpose.