Unless 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker on the SEGA Dreamcast counts, I haven’t really been that into the multitude of different “simulator” games over the years. Actually, come to think of it, I have played a fair amount of Desert Bus too, and that’s probably the most literal version of a driving simulator out there. Anyway, while certain simulator games have been around for decades it feels like it’s been in more recent years where this type of genre really exploded, offering virtual representations of all sorts of activities from gardening to firefighting to cleaning pools and more. I get the appeal, but like I said it’s never really been my thing.
That changed however when I got my hands on Bus Simulator City Ride from Astragon Entertainment which launched this past October. I’m not sure what it was about this particular game that grabbed me but boy did I have a hard time putting it down. The actual driving mechanics are really fun and filled with lots of charming details like having to wake up a rider who has fallen asleep or listening in on the amusing conversations of your passengers. Accompanying this is an expert progression system that sees you achieving various goals, gaining experience, leveling up to unlock new rides and locations, and more. I think it’s this progression system more than anything that hooked me on Bus Simulator City Ride. It’s very good at dangling carrots for you that have you telling yourself “Oh, just ONE more route!” when it’s 1 in the morning.
Now you can see firsthand what I’m talking with no monetary obligation thanks to a new lite version released this week. Bus Simulator Lite gives you access to 2 different buses and the first 4 missions of the campaign to decide if this is your sort of thing or not. If you like it you can even upgrade to the full version of the game from within the lite version, so no need to delete and start over with a different app. There’s some other currency-type IAP in both versions of the game, but so far for me it’s been entirely unnecessary.
Astragon makes a lot of simulation games, so for all I know this is how they’ve all been this whole time and I’ve just not realized what I’ve been missing. Whatever the case I’m glad that one of these finally sunk its hooks into me as I get a major kick driving around all these interesting Nordic-inspired virtual cities and aiming for a high driver rating by following the rules of the road. Whether you’re already a big fan of these simulators or you’re looking for a good starting point to get into one, I think you should take some time to explore the lite version of Bus Simulator City Ride.