Bus Driver Simulator – Review
Follow Genre: Driving, Simulation
Developer: KishMish Games
Publisher: Ultimate Games S.A.
Platforms: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Bus Driver Simulator – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Good simulation experience
Bad: Graphics, Career mode could’ve been a bit more expansive
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

If you’ve always longed to get a job as a bus driver, but eventually chose a different career, then this game is the perfect alternative to follow through with this dream and make a digital career as a bus driver in Cologne and Serpukhov. With the limited capabilities of the Switch’s hardware, this game won’t get a prize for having the best graphics but it certainly isn’t all that bad.

Story

As for story content, this game has none. You’ll have no people to talk to, no quests to complete, or anything comparable to that. What this game does offer, is the ability to build your career as a private bus driver with the Career mode. As you start this mode, you’ll have one bus at your disposal and several other buses that have been added as part of different DLCs but are included in the Switch’s version for free. The goal here is to earn money by completing routes through the city of your choice and making your own business successful. With the money you earn, you maintain your vehicles and even upgrade them, such as adding new curtains or installing a better set of doors. Aside from collecting different types of buses and upgrading them, you won’t really have a way to spend your hard-earned money. So after collecting and upgrading all the buses, you could say you’ve completed this mode.

Graphics

With the limited hardware of the Switch compared to the PC and other consoles, this game definitely doesn’t look pretty. The two cities in this game are said to look very much like their real-life versions, but with these graphics, you can’t really agree with this statement. The buses still look fairly okay, with sufficient details being present. Your passengers and other objects, however, look awful. As a small bonus, the loading screens have some facts on them about the history of the bus, that you can read while you’re waiting for the game to load.

Sound

In the menus of this game, a calm and relaxing melody plays. When you start driving your bus, the game will become quite silent as you’ll only hear some environmental sounds, engine sounds and the sound of other traffic. You do have the option to turn on the radio to fill your routes with music, but currently, the game is struggling with a bug that won’t let you close the radio’s menu, making the game unplayable and only a reboot will fix this issue.

Gameplay

Bus Driver Simulator is a simulation game that lets you take on the job of a bus driver. As a simulation game, the goal of this game is to let the player really feel like they are a bus driver with all the regulations and mechanics you encounter while driving a city bus.

The controls of this game are worked out quite well, even for a game that’s ported from PC to the Switch. You can accelerate and brake like in most other games with the trigger buttons. All of the other functions are divided into menus that will show up by pressing one of three buttons. In the first menu, you can start the engine, turn the wipers on, turn on the radio or call for a tow truck when your bus is incapable of going any further. The second menu regulates the lighting of the exterior and interior of your bus, and the third menu will let you open and close all the doors and activate its hydraulics; if the bus you’re driving has this option. Your direction indicators are activated by pressing the ‘L’ or ’R’ buttons depending on the direction you want to go. Not only are the controls worked out well, but the actual driving of the buses is also quite realistic as well, in terms of steering, hitting the gas or while braking. The tutorial mode will perfectly explain all of the functions inside a bus and will guide you through a short route to fully introduce you to all the game’s mechanics and controls.

Bus Driver Simulator has two different game modes aside from the tutorial, namely a Career mode and the Scenarios mode. In the Career mode, you will be in control of your own bus company with the only employee being yourself. First, you can choose which city you want to drive your bus in at that time, but you can always switch to the other city by quitting and restarting the Career mode. You will start at your garage, where you have to choose the bus to drive with, upgrade it and set out on a new route. After choosing one of the given routes, or after creating your own route, the game will start and you need to drive to the first bus stop. From here on out, you have to follow the route, bring all your passengers to their destinations and drive carefully, as each mistake will cost you money. After you’ve reached the end of a route, you can return to your garage and start a new route of your choice and earn more money.

The Scenarios mode lets you complete various routes in both cities with pre-set conditions. These routes vary from simple routes with a small bus across the city, to larger tours with a big modern bus. Depending on the scenario, you will get to see different parts of both cities and several other options. Each scenario will have its own goal, that being the amount of money needed to be earned at the end of a route. In each town, you will only have one available scenario to play at first, as new scenarios will unlock after completing those already available.

The mechanics of the game are pretty realistic, as you need to pay attention to traffic lights, use your indicators and stay on schedule with each bus stop. If you arrive too late or leave from a bus stop too early, you’ll get a penalty, because, just like in real life, everyone would be quite upset if they’d miss a bus because it left too early while they were on time. You’ll also get penalized if you drive through a red light, skip stops, cause collisions or drive on the wrong side of the road. These rules will keep you from being a bad bus driver and help you become the best bus driver in Cologne and Serpukhov.

Conclusion

Bus Driver Simulator is definitely not the prettiest of games available on the Nintendo Switch, but the game isn’t as bad as you would expect after seeing it in action for the first time. As a simulation game, it tries to recreate being a bus driver, and it was worked it out pretty well. All the game’s mechanics (aside from the radio bug) work well and are quite realistic. If you’d always wanted to see how a business day looks like as a bus driver, you’ll get an idea with this game (without the annoying passengers of course).

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Bus Driver Simulator - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Nickskuh


Administration is my job but gaming is my passion!

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