Released on the 23rd February 2012, Astragon Entertainment brought out this bus simulator. This simulator is a fairly basic one – it’s also fairly old so don’t get your expectations too high. That said, is this simulator still enjoyable and does it do what it says on the tin?
Overall, we’ve come to the consensus that Bus Simulator 2012 is good fun to play. Despite the simulator’s age, we’ve found that there is a good amount of realism to it, particularly to the process of preparing the buses. There is a pragmatic set of steps to get through which imitate the process of getting a real bus ready – the simulator really punches above it’s weight here!
There are a few aspects of this simulator which could cause confusion and annoyance, so we’ll address them here. First of all, before starting with your bus, you are given a driver number and password. You must remember these or you won’t be able to drive; we suppose that this is actually quite a realistic feature but it’s just such a burden to remember! If you do forget either of these, a new profile will be required.
Secondly, and we’re not sure if this is just us, but we felt as though it was unclear what to do when you first begin driving around – you’re simply put in the middle of a bus station with no indication as to where to go. After tearing our hair out for a few days, we eventually figured that you have to go around to the other side of the garage and press the E button in order to open the door to the back of the garage to observe the bus timetables and program the route. We found it rather disappointing that this was so unclear and there was no indication that this is what we were supposed to do.
However, once you’re in the bus it’s quite straightforward to get yourself onto the roads and to the beginning of the route. Remember though to open the door at the front of the garage so you can actually drive your bus out!
What does it feel like when playing Bus Simulator 2012?
Although this simulator is quite old now – 7 years old as of 2019 – we thought that the graphics and details aren’t bad at all. The 2 buses which you can drive, the ordinary one and the bendy one, are real Mercedes models and you will see recognisable cars on the street. We found that the satnav was easy to follow from the bus station to the start of the route. Along the route, picking up passengers is easy. Simply open the doors and let them walk on. To make this simulator more realistic, they could add more buses in the depot and give them actual brand names (like Mercedes).
Driving the bus can be frustrating; the brakes are very weak and the steering is very poor as well. The driving experience is disappointing even for a simulator of this age. On the other hand, we found the map to be of a good size. It wasn’t too small and there were several suburban areas to drive through. As we mentioned earlier, this simulator is German and therefore the names of the towns and bus stops are in German as well.
Therefore, we can say that this is a good simulator for what it is and we’re glad to see many newer versions, such as the 2019 game which we hope to play soon. In the 2019 version, we hope to find that the developers improve the bus handling, introduce a more realistic ticketing system and make it easier to get into the bus at the start.
Click Here if you would like to see Bus Simulator 2012 on Steam.