Bus Driver Simulator Countryside – Review
Follow Genre: Driving, Simulation
Developer: KishMish Games
Publisher: Ultimate Games S.A.
Platforms: PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: Switch

Bus Driver Simulator Countryside – Review

Site Score
2.5
Good: It is an Eastern Bloc themed bus driving game, Scenarios are fun
Bad: Horrible driving experience, Agressive AI that likes to rack up fines
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Bus driving simulation games have always been a bit of a niche product. In the past, we had a go with Bus Simulator 18, and Bus Simulator 21, but these all took place in nice and modern settings. However, upon stumbling across Bus Driver Simulator for the Switch for the first time, it was a somewhat pleasant experience. When the standalone expansion Bus Driver Simulator Countryside came out, we decided to pack our bags and fly over to the countryside of Russia. Our mission was to lead a bus company in the rural city of Murom. The overall concept did sound great, but sadly, the game was found lacking in every single department.

Story

There isn’t much story behind Bus Driver Simulator Countryside. The only lore the game has is presented to you in text form when you select the career mode. You start your career as the owner of the local bus service in Murom, one of the oldest cities in Russia. With a population of 106984 people, it is located on the left bank of the Oka River. This place has to rely on public transport for not only the transport of people but also goods. As you’re the only company in the vicinity, it is your job to make it thrive and keep the people happy.

Graphics

Visually Bus Driver Simulator Countryside looks as good as the roads in Eastern Europe, which is far from great. The game looks like a mobile title being ported over to PC and console without any updates or visual improvements. Even though the game has a lot of different buses available and many routes to drive, everything just feels cheap and rushed. One important fact to a simulation game is all the small visual details that help you work efficiently, but even here the game fails to deliver. As you spend the most time in the driver’s seat and are deeply relying on your dashboard, it is disappointing that only the speedometer and indicator lights work.

Sound

Just like the graphics, the sounds are equally as simple as you’d expect from a mobile game. Those who have played bus simulation games in the past will know that a bus can be really busy with people talking about anything. It seems that the people are really calm or sleeping on your bus, as the overall experience is silent and bland at best. If this becomes a bit lonely then turning on the radio should be a good alternative, yet in Countryside it feels like a missed opportunity, as there is just a bunch of regular royalty-free music playing and nothing localized. It would have been so much more fun and realistic to listen to some Russian radio. While you’d probably not understand a single word, it would have felt authentic, as your company is supposedly based in Russia.

Gameplay

Bus Driver Simulator Countryside is a driving/management game that tries its best to emulate owning a bus company in Eastern Europe. Sadly for those who were really excited about this, the game does not meet any real quality standards and thus struggles to be interesting. The grounds are set for a good game, and the intentions are right, but it will take a serious overhaul to make this game successful.

It all begins with you picking out your first bus or buses, as there are a few different styles available for free. This is ideal as it will take some trial and error to see what bus is the most suitable for the task at hand. Some buses are larger but will use more fuel, while smaller vans are more easily drivable but cannot carry as many passengers per trip. You will spend the most time driving old Soviet workhorses, but if you earn enough money, then you can always settle for something more modern, more powerful, and fuel-efficient.

Once you get started, you will immediately notice two annoying things about the gameplay. First is that the bus is abnormally hard to commandeer, the driving is horrible, and while this could be realistic for the vehicles you’re driving, it just destroys the fun that you normally have in a bus driving game. If somehow you manage to overcome this first hurdle, then the horrible AI loves to make your life a living hell. They crash into you just like in those Russian dashcam videos, and you will receive the hefty penalty that comes along with it. Picking up fairs might bring in a nice amount of money, but your hard-earned cash will immediately disappear when someone drives into you, even if it’s not your fault.

This all makes the game very uninviting, boring, and stressful at best. Lucky for us, there is an extra mode that proves to be much more fun. In scenarios, you will have to complete unique scenarios where, for example, you have removed all the seats in your bus and you have to deliver the town supply of potatoes. The game also has a few other scenarios that prove to be a lot of fun. We’d go as far as to say that this game should have perhaps been all about the scenarios.

Conclusion

Bus Driver Simulator Countryside is a concept that sounds great on paper, but in reality, it needs a huge overhaul to be any fun. The sounds and graphics are of subpar quality when judging the game by our modern-day standards. Having your own bus company is fun, and you have the freedom of what to do in Murom, but it wouldn’t surprise us if you would just use that freedom to drive to the nearest airport and take a one-way ticket back to your home. The only redeeming thing here is the scenario mode that brings some entertainment to the table.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Bus Driver Simulator Countryside – Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.