If you’ve never heard of Desert Bus before, oh boy have you been missing out on the most pulse-pounding, action-packed experience of a lifetime. It’s the epitome of game design, the very essence of fun and the peak that lesser games have failed to summit. Get this, the objective of the game is to drive a bus from Tuscon to Las Vegas, a trip that takes eight hours, in real time. If you are an inferior gamer and crashed the bus, it will be towed back to the starting city in real time. You cannot take your hands off the steering wheel like some irresponsible heathen since the bus doesn’t steer straight and you have to correct it. Once you reach your destination, you get one point and have to drive back again, in real time. There is no scenery, only the pure majesty of the Bus. Rolling, rumbling, sweet sounds of the bus. You also cannot pause, because why would you?
All kidding aside, Desert Bus was a little joke that was contained in the unreleased Pen & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors that was supposed to be a satire on the violent nature of videogames during the 90s by making the most mundane and boring game ever created. The ROM started floating around and naturally, people flocked to this height of human intelligence. Now this absolute masterpiece is on VR, where you can experience the full bus immersion without having to worry about the boring “outside world”. The game appeared on Steam for the low price of free and the description is as superfluous as mine, but details the deep gameplay mechanics better.
The game features full 3D graphics, an interactive air freshener and you can even open the bus door when you’re making a stop. As you can tell, the features have expanded exponentially and the game even has touch controller support for that full bus driving experience as well as support for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Desert Bus is a fun little goof, but it also helped raise over $4 million for charity. Desert Bus for Hope has been going for over eleven years now and each time they have managed to ramp up the donations. in 2017, just recently, they raised $651,766.51 in donations for Child’s Play, the charity that gives games and toys to children in need or in hospitals. The charity was created by Loading, Ready Run and the donations they receive determine how long they are going to be experiencing the wonder of the bus ride. This year they drove for 158 hours, which is a lot longer than what James Franco had to stay under that rock.
If you have a VR headset, maybe it’s a good idea to dabble in some bus riding. We all know how chaotic the world is becoming and perhaps it would be a nice escape to just drive a bus down a single highway for eight hours.