Genre: Automobile Simulation
Developer: stillalive studios
Publisher: astragon Entertainment
Release Date: September 7th, 2021
Edited by AlexKnight2005
As someone who has never really played a Driving Simulator game, this is written from the ignorance of not knowing how other games work other than what I’ve been told by a friend who enjoys them.
Bus Simulator 21 is a driving simulation where you take control and operate your own bus company. You drive the bus through the city from stop to stop transporting passengers from point A to point B. You drive back to the bus depot at the end of the route and get your payday for driving the route.
When driving the bus in bus simulator 21, it is advisable to follow the basic rules of the road. Use your turn signals, yield to pedestrians, stop at red lights, etc. If you do not follow the rules of the road, you will get penalized, and at the end of the route, you get a fine for each penalty taken out of your paycheck.
I would recommend using a keyboard and mouse instead of a regular controller due to all the buttons and knobs you have to click on in the cab to do various things such as opening doors, turning lights on and off, parking brakes, etc. It does take a little getting used to the steering with the keyboard and mouse, but I believe it is worth it and would cause less headache in the long run for the player unless you own one of the super fancy steering wheel controllers.
The graphics on bus simulator 21 are really good. The buildings are detailed, and the people look like people and not pixilated hog podge of garbage though they aren’t the best I’ve seen. The cars may not be super detailed, but they look pretty good.
The sound system is bus simulator 21 is Ok. It has the engine sounds of the bus, the honking of horns, the whooshing of the doors as they open and close, and really good voice-acting characters. However, it is lacking significantly in certain areas. It does not have any backup beepers when going in reverse. There are no big sounds when hitting things such as traffic cones, pedestrians, walls, signs that didn’t get broken, or cars other than a thump and a little beep stating you got a fine. During this time, I also tested out if you could flip the bus, and I was unable to. I also ran into vehicles to see if they took damage and noticed none also noticed that they took none though you could flip other vehicles if you tried.
These things could eventually be patched in, but as of the writing of this review, these sounds were the way I stated.
The tutorial is nice and, I believe, pretty thorough. For someone who does not know anything about buses or driving them, I could learn and understand what was required pretty easily and could play and enjoy the game after the tutorial. It teaches you when to use turn signals, the handicap ramp, open and close the doors, and light controls. Some passengers will want or need to buy a ticket, and the tutorial explains the step-by-step process and makes it simple and easy. During the tutorial, you will be asked to make a custom route. This can be a little tricky to get the hang of it, and this is one part of the tutorial that does not do that good of a job explaining what you are supposed to do. However, with a little patience and some trial and error, you should be able to accomplish the task and do it on your own from then on.
During gameplay, you can purchase buses to expand your company if you have the funds to do so. You can customize your bus by applying paint, wraps, and decals, provided you have progressed far enough in the game to unlock them. You get a few basic paint colors and a couple of different wraps for going through the tutorial.
You can, should you wish to, leave your driver’s seat and get off the bus and walk around the world. You can also have an NPC drive the bus for you, sit back in one of the seats on the bus, and enjoy the ride as you watch the town go by out of the windows. If you happen to have more than one bus, there is a chance that you could see your other buses driving their routes by NPCs which I think is a cool detail.
I have noticed during gameplay that the pedestrians love to run out into the road at the last possible moment causing you to run into them if you are not alert and careful. If you hit them, you get a penalty and a payday deduction. Also, it may take a very long time for the other traffic on the road to make their turns, start going when the light turns green and other actions that they wish to do, which could cause you to be delayed and thus be late for your bus stops. Being late for a bus stop also will incur a penalty and a pay reduction.
It takes a lot of patience and tolerance to play this game as it can be stressful at times, but for the most part, it is enjoyable.
Nice voice acting
Realistic driving mechanics (including penalties for certain things)
You can get out of the bus and walk around
Pedestrians and other traffic behavior is dumb and needs improvement.
Sounds are lacking in certain areas
No damage shown
Manndragon gives Bus Simulator 21 a Drastik Measure of 7.2 out of 10.0