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Desert Bus

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Desert Bus
Desert Bus.jpeg
"They thought of everything, goddamn you Penn and Teller..."
— The Angry Video Game Nerd
Genre(s): Simulation
Platform(s): Sega CD
Microsoft Windows
Release: Cancelled (original)
November 28, 2017 (remake)
Developer(s): Imagineering
Dinosaur Games (remake)
Publisher(s): Absolute Entertainment
Gearbox Software (remake)
Country: United States
Series: Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors

Desert Bus is one of the six parts of the unreleased Sega CD game Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors created by Imagineering, starring the famous celebrity magicians and entertainers Penn and Teller.

The game was used for a contest, where the winner got a prize if they played the game for too long.


You play as a bus driver who must drive a bus from Tucson to Las Vegas in real-time.

Why It Intentionally Sucks

Note: This game was only made as a joke.

  1. Non-existent gameplay.
  2. There is even only a cockpit view, and you can't look out of the bus.
  3. Only one bus, you can't choose a different bus.
  4. The bus is extremely slow. It cannot go any faster than only 45 mph (72 km/h). However, this may be unintentionally noted that this could be a lie. The bus may only have one gear, nor could be due to the very high final drive ratio.
  5. No music except for the intro theme.
  6. Literally nothing stands in your way. There are no objectives, traffic, and hazards.
  7. The road never turns. It is just one constantly straight line.
  8. Aside from driving, there is nothing to do other than:
    • Looking at a rock or a sign outside,
    • Pressing B to open and close the door,
    • Pressing START to honk the horn.
  9. The bus is empty, there's nothing, nor no one interacts with it.
  10. The distance to Las Vegas is 360 miles (579 kilometers). That means you have to drive for eight hours in real-time to get there!
  11. While playing this game, there may be times that your Sega CD will overheat for playing this game for eight hours straight.
  12. No break times, let alone the option to pause the game. As mentioned before, the START button honks the horn.
    • To quit the game, you must reset the Sega CD.
  13. If you managed to get to Las Vegas, you just start all over again with sadly no goal, payoff, or reward.
  14. At some point a pop up of a bug splatters the window which can be disorienting.
    • On that topic, despite it looking like a splatter, there is no sound effect to it.
  15. If you try to use a holder to keep the A button pressed down, the bus will still steer right, and it will careen off the road. You have no choice but to sit for the whole eight hours!
  16. The bus doesn't even stay straight without steering. Even when the bus does careen off the road, you are towed all the way to the beginning of the game, which also takes place in real-time. This means that if you accidentally hit the ground within six hours, you are towed back to the beginning for another six to eight hours. It would be best just to reset the game instead!
  17. After going for all eight hours, you're given one point. It's extremely degrading and really an insult to injury.
  18. The highest-known probably-not-even-legit score is 99. This alone would require 792 hours/33 days of continuous gameplay.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The game is used for an annual charity event called Desert Bus for Hope which raises money for Child's Play, an organization that raises money to donate toys and games for children's hospitals. Even Penn and Teller played that game just for the fun of it.
  2. The intro theme is surprisingly cool.[1]
  3. The PC remake of this game adds VR (with the ability to look around the bus), online multiplayer, graphic details, and radio (courtesy of Penn & Teller) to add some content to the game. It is also free.
  4. Like the rest of the game, Desert Bus was meant to be a prank to pull on your friends.
  5. Furthermore, it was a commentary on games that try too hard to be realistic, as all the "realism" in this game causes it to be extremely boring. It was ahead of its time making this criticism since realism in gaming was hardly even a trend at the time the game was made.
  6. It has also led to a Mario Kart Wii custom track, a Super Mario64 rom hack, a SpongeBob SquarePants Movie mod, and a Simpsons: Hit and Run mod of it.


AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
This game/console belongs to the "MAJOR CODE RED" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.

Desert Bus is known to be one of the most boring games of all time.



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