An odd game called Desert Bus has just been released on the App Store. The game was originally part of an unreleased minigame collection for Sega CD called Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors. As it stands in the history of video games, Desert Bus could be accurately be described as one of the most bizarre– and also boring– games of all time. You can buy it here for $0.99.
In Desert Bus, you simply drive an empty bus along a straight highway from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s it. It’s a drive that takes eight real-time hours to complete, and because your bus will veer off the road if you don’t correct its path, you have to pay attention the whole time. It’s no thrill ride, either; the scenery is as dull as possible, and you can’t go faster than 45 miles per hour. You can, however, make the return voyage as well, and then repeat the round trip to your heart’s content.
And repeating the trip is exactly what the organization Desert Bus for Hope does every year. They play this game for as long as people donate money to the charity Child’s Play, whose mission is to improve the lives of children in hospitals around the world. Reportedly, all proceeds from the iOS game will go to Child’s Play as well.
The problem is, Apple doesn’t allow you to put apps on their marketplace and simply promise to give your profits to charity. Add that to a copyright situation that’s fuzzier than a pair of dice on a rear-view mirror, and this important piece of gaming culture may not be available on the App Store for long. In other words, if you want to take this strange trip, we suggest you buy the game soon.