Infamously awful videogame Desert Bus has developed its own following, largely thanks to a yearly charity event. The terrible nature of the title is now able to be experienced in glorious virtual reality (VR), with Desert Bus VR being released on Steam.
Desert Bus was originally part of an unreleased Sega CD title Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors, and was a mini-game that involved players being challenged to drive a poorly-maintained bus on the long journey between Tucson, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. The journey is rendered in real-time, thus requiring players to play through the entire eight-hour journey through featureless desert scenery as the bus trundles, slowly, down the endless, straight highway with the only semblance of challenge being the fact that the steering of the bus constantly veers to one side. Each completed eight-hour journey gives the player one point. There is no pause function.
The title has been nigh-universally regarded as one of the world ever made, and was pulled out of relative obscurity by sketch comedy group LoadingReadyRun, who, since 2007 have run a livestreamed charity event called Desert Bus for Hope where the group, along with guests, play Desert Bus for as long as donations keep rolling in, with the aim of donating to the Child’s Play charity. The latest livestream raised over $650,000 (USD) for the charity.
Desert Bus VR is not only bringing the mind-numbing tedium of Desert Bus into VR, the developers behind the VR version, Dinosaur Games, is also bringing in some new features. Since misery loves company, a multiplayer option is available, up to three friends can board the bus and sit, wave or even torment the driver by throwing wads of paper, if the torment of playing Desert Bus VR wasn’t enough. Drivers will be able to open to door when stopped at a bus station, tap the air freshener to release a cloud of scent and honk the bus horn. There is also a selection of radio programs, including one featuring Penn Jillette, the actor and illusionist who helped create the original incarnation.
For those who wish to suffer, or send a excellent gag gift for Christmas, Desert Bus VR is available on Steam for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, where it is free to download.
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