Mini Review: Bus Simulator 3D
Driving simulators have been around for a while, mostly on PC, but lately they started appearing on mobile devices as well. One of those games comes straight from Ovidiu Pop, developer that specializes in releasing driving and parking simulators. Bus Simulator 3D is their latest free game, offering the fans a chance to try their skills in driving a bus across different scenarios.
Bus Simulation 3D offers 5 level packs for free plus one level pack that costs 1 eur. (that will also remove all the ads), making a total of 16 free routes to drive on. So here is how it works. At the very beginning, you will be able to play only the tutorial route and in order to unlock the next level, you will have to pass with flying colors. Ok, maybe not so flying, but you will have to complete the route in the given time period, or the mission fails and you will have to start it again. Aside from all the missions/routes, you can start the free driving mode where you can explore the city and push your bus to the limits. Just make sure not to approach the end of the map because you will fall into nothingness.
In order to unlock more buses you will have to accumulate experience points, mainly acquired by completing the route, but also by stopping right on the bus station where you pickup or unload passengers. Crashing in any solid object will deduct experience points (-30), as well as breaking too hard (-10). Unfortunately, that’s about it. The game lacks tiny details that make driving simulations what they are. For instance, you can safely drive on the sidewalk the entire time unless some building pops out. The same goes for the oncoming lane, the traffic lights and pretty much everything else related to traffic regulations. The game will only penalize you if you hit something, or brake too hard.
Bus Simulator 3D offers both accelerometer steering and on-screen controls. Tilt controls are excellent. They just feel spot-on, making the bulky bus steering very natural and easy to get a hold on. I don’t have a bus driving license so I can’t really tell you if physics are realistic or not, but comparing them to other driving simulators I played, they feel quite good. Apart from the accelerometer support, the game also offers buttons and virtual steering wheel that will also do the job nicely if you don’t feel like moving your hands too much.
Graphics, well they are 3D. The Bus models are nicely textured with some pretty decent details, but overall the graphics are nothing to write home about. Considering that this game is a simulator, that shouldn’t be a huge problem, but further work needs to be done to correct some elementary flaws as passing through threes or crashing into post signs that will dead stop your bus no matter how fast you are going. Regarding the camera view, the game offers external rotatable camera, as well as the internal camera showing the steering wheel and the cockpit of the bus.
Is it really free?
Bus Simulator 3D is a free, ad supported game featuring some pretty obnoxious ads that get in the way during the gameplay, plus the full screen interruptions after completing the mission and before starting a new one. Fortunately, removing the ads will costs you only 1 euro (including the bonus level pack), which to be fair is pretty cheap considering all the game has to offer. Fans of Eurotruck Simulator and 18 Wheels of Steel crave to see the day when they can play something similar on their mobile devices as well. That day is not today, but we are definitely getting closer.
by Martin J.
UPDATE: Bus Simulator 3D was removed from Play Store. You can download the APK here.