Bus Simulator 18 – Review
Follow Genre: Driving Simulator
Developer: stillalive studios
Publisher: astragon Entertainment GmbH
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Bus Simulator 18 – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: very realistic, greatly optimized
Bad: not so much busses to play with
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

The bus can be an active part of one’s commute every day, especially if you are a city slicker and public transportation is the preferred way to travel. Nowadays a community without a decent timetable for services seems strange (safe for some parts of the world that are still in the process of setting up their network). So if you ever dreamed of driving a bus and bringing people to their work and faculties, look no further for a great simulator.

Story

The story takes place in a utopia that has been led by a governor that did not like public transportation. This all changes with fresh blood in the senate as an ex Sunny Springs politician started collaborating with the local bus company to secure the commuters a good service. This line is the honors roll of the player, be a good driver and be nice to the customers so their satisfaction increases. In the beginning everyone is a bit anxious for the return of the bus company, but as story progresses you are allowed to have larger routes, get more parts of the city and this will expand the business as it grows. For a simulator game there is no real story present next to letting your company grow, but this is absent in most pure simulators.

Graphics

As this is a simulator, there is much work done to the fine details of everything, from little buttons on the dashboard to whole parts of the world. Everything feels so fine, the city looks lively and organic, even the drowsy gloomy rain make the atmosphere feel just right. Simply said, everything is enjoyable to the eye, travelers have different models, there are a few different buses to play with and these can be customized towards your own preference.

The game runs at a very stable frame rate even with the many active screens in play. The dashboard is fully working with two GPS devices guiding you trough the city streets. Playing this game will let you feel like you are actually driving the bus for its realism, maybe a VR port would be even better?

Sound

As much detail as there is to the graphics the same has been done to the sounds. Just like in real life you have many of “ploings” and “dings” that pop up while driving. Not only does the bus utilize many sound effects, gathering score points and interaction with people is just how it should be in a simulator. The commuters in Bus Simulator 18 are nicely voice acted and will chit-chat on the bus to each other about various subjects.

In terms of music there is a calming generic tune playing on the menu screens, but the rides themselves are mostly very mute. This might be done since most buses do not really have a radio or that the player can easily play something in the background.

Gameplay

Bus Simulator 18 is a driving game that simulates the running of a bus company. As you drive the bus yourself there will be an option in the game to hire drivers for your team and let them ride routes to generate revenue for your business. Like everything this starts out very small with a gifted bus and as the state funds your cause, more and more possibilities become available and the expansions are endless. Soon you will go from bus driver to entrepreneur. As you are getting deliberated about how you drive, you actually get points and demerits for every little thing you do. Don’t worry as it’s not as extensive as a real driver’s exam. For good behavior you receive points, like using indicators and stopping at the perfect spot at the bus stop. However if you do an action that decreases the comfort of the passengers like hitting a speed bump or a curb, there are points deducted. Funny fact is that if you crash into cars or drive 120 km/h nobody seems to bats an eye (guess they are used to some real-life bus drivers).

The game throw passengers at you too and this means you will have to interact with them. While most will just get on your bus because they bought a ticket in advance, only a handful will walk to your little register to purchase a pass. This whole process is done by hand and even giving back the right amount of change will let you use your noggin from time to time. Not everyone is as honest as they seem though, as some passengers will use transport without paying. When discovering these rebels, a hefty fine is issued to them and this is going straight in your paycheck. That’s not the only issue with nasty customers, some will even leave trash on the seats, block the doors and listen to loud music. Get this all solved to keep the kind travelers happy and ensure they have a safe trip.

Overall handling of the game works just fine, you can control everything with mouse and keyboard or if remembering this all is too much, you can always interact with the buttons on the dashboard. The bus drives very realistic so beware of the handling of a freight ship, although it will accelerate better than a semi truck, but brakes are still like a brick on ice (which is very realistic).

Conclusion

Bus Simulator 18 is a very realistic game that fits right into the simulator branch with the company managing and strict quality control. The game has been optimized to run smoothly while bringing you the finest graphics and best sound effects possible. While not a marvel of creation that shows us the newest of the newest, this game just works great and how it should be. You will have more insight of the job of a bus driver after playing this game, and a golden tip, don’t run over people.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Bus Simulator 18 – Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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