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American Bus Review

 

American Bus is a game that uses generally the same concept as some of the car parking games available today. The game emphasises control of the bus through a busy roadway with people and other vehicles as objects to evade. The premise sounds fun when you think of it. Ok, driving a bus in a game may not be thought as fun as but least it may prove interesting to play. This game does not possess neither quality. American Bus feels like a hobby of the creator and not something seriously thought out.

On beginning the game, you are given a title screen with the picture of a guy that looks more like a fire-fighter, rescue worker, or even mechanic than a bus driver. On that title screen there are the options "play" and "instructions". You can get the instructions anyway if you proceed to play, so that makes it completely moot. There is also the music that greets you, rather unpleasantly that sounds like a stuck track. Unlike many others, it is the only music found in the game and it lasts from title screen to gameplay. It is really annoying and extremely redundant, so if you would like to proceed with the game any longer than you should, you may feel very strongly compelled to turn it off.

The gameplay element is rather basic, you drive the bus as fast as you can while evading all obstacles. Sounds easy. It's not. The controls make it more difficult too. You are given the cursor keys as directional buttons and the space bar to brake. The problem arises when you can't control the bus accurately with these controls. By hitting a curb, a pedestrian, or another vehicle, you lose a turn and you have either the option to retry or to continue. It really won't matter which one you choose , there are no clear directions on where to go or how soon you must make it there. Next thing you know; "You took too long! You have to go faster than that!"

The game is littered with bad English too. Simple words are surprisingly flubbed. When your three turns are extinguished, you have to submit your score. There is no sense of fulfilment or motivation in this bus game and the submit feature seemed tacked on. The graphics , like the game is very basic. There is no detail to the environments and the vehicle models look a little more than coloured boxes. The bus explodes easily though and when people get squashed, there are loads of blood. The physics , along with the controls fail this game. There were even times when you felt like the people got squashed on their own!

Among many bus games online, American Bus can best be described as a very odd bad game. The name itself is puzzling, along with the controls, the music and the gameplay. It all feels half-heartedly done. It had the potential to be a decent game and the concept could have become more exciting with real bus elements thrown in. As it stands, American Bus is far from an engaging Flash game.

 
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