It has been over a month since our big breakdown, and our bus is still lacking an engine.
I’m starting to suffer serious bus-driving withdrawal.
Fortunately, I’ve found the next best thing to actually driving our bus – the amazing iOS app Desert Bus!
(And before you droid folks start to complain… here is an Android link too…)
Yes, believe it or not – there is an ultra-realistic bus driving simulation which recreates the 360 mile trip between Tucson, AZ and Las Vegas, NV – in a vintage bus with a top speed of 45mph.
Though our bus has a slightly faster top speed, I can assure you that Desert Bus is the closest you can come on your phone or tablet to the real bus driving experience.
It is like driving the real thing, particularly considering that the game is played in real time with no breaks, no pausing, and the bus continually pulls to the right.
From the game’s description:
One man. One Bus. Three hundred and sixty miles of simulated post-apocalyptic desert, and the endless struggle between man and nature personified.
Desert Bus. The most realistic verisimilitude reality game ever created by man or beast or man-beast is here at last. So real in action, you’ll think you were really the driver of a bus crossing a Desert.
No way out, no way home but the long way – by tow truck. Desert Bus puts you, the player, to the ultimate test of endurance in this mind-numbing blowout experience. There is no other game quite like Desert Bus.
The game was initially conceived of by Penn & Teller, way back in 1995, as a special mini-game within the larger “Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors” for the short-lived Sega CD platform. The first player to score 100 points was going to be awarded with a real life desert bus trip between Tucson and Vegas – in a bus packed full of showgirls and a live band.
The Sega CD died before the game was ever released, and the game was lost to legend until it was rediscovered in 2005, and it has become a cult gaming classic ever since. The recent iOS and Android ports capture the 8-bit Sega CD look perfectly.
Some consider Desert Bus the hardest video game ever made, and others the worst.
And as far as I know – no one has managed to score 100 points yet.
But the annual Desert Bus for Hope marathon gaming event has raised over a million dollars for charity – with last year’s marathon lasting over six days of non-stop desert driving, and raising $436,015.71.
But at least I have a way to scratch my bus driving itch while we await our engine rebuild!