Let’s be honest: driving a bus is not all roses and sunshine. Sure, there’s the thrill of the open road and the satisfaction of mastering a massive, lumbering vehicle, but you also have to work for long periods without a toilet break and deal with – shudder – passengers.
Bus Simulator 17 is the solution to these perennial problems, letting you enjoy the good bits of driving a bus without ever having to cope with the bad bits.
As you can imagine, the core gameplay involves picking up and dropping off passengers. You can choose to drive a bus in the middle of a city or in the great outdoors, whether that be through a baking hot desert or a chilly mountainscape.
There are several different kinds of bus to play with. If you’re looking for a relatively easy drive you can take a little yellow school bus on a jaunt through the suburbs, or if you’re looking for a more challenging experience you can try manoeuvring an articulated bus through central London (bonus points if you can compose a modernist poem in your head at the same time).
Developer Ovidiu Pop has given you control of every conceivable element of driving a bus, from opening and closing the doors to tapping the indicators before cornering. You can even choose to operate the transmission manually.
Meanwhile, the other vehicles on the road behave realistically, stopping at red lights, indicating at corners, and so on.
Being a video game, Bus Simulator 17 allows you to cut loose and design your own routes. No longer will you be tied down by petty constraints like the needs of your passengers. You can set the route that gives you most pleasure, or even set off without any route at all in Free Ride mode.
Bus Simulator 17 is absolutely packed with features, including vehicle interiors that are bursting with detail, realistically modelled damage, and authentic weather effects. And for competitive virtual bus drivers there are also online rankings.