Bus Derby is incredibly awkward, and that appears to be the point. Otherwise, Dimension Technics would have copied Real Racing 3 and Asphalt 7 with a wide assortment of sports cars. Instead, we're left to maneuver a vehicle that belongs on highways and not an oval-shaped track. The result is a bizarre title that doesn't play fair and lacks the thrills normally associated with arcade-style games. Taking that into account, we continue to play it anyway.
It's easy to see the appeal. We can't recall another video game that puts 16 buses on a racetrack, especially one that features upgrades and the ability to watch replays. Most of the fun, though, comes from the A.I.'s derpy behavior. The buses are so long and difficult to maneuver they often crash into each other, spin 180 degrees and tip over.
Getting t-boned is a regular occurrence and the slightest mistake will cost you a race, so it's in your best interest to wait a bit until there's an opening and then rocket through the sucker with the help of boost power, at roughly 60 miles-per-hour, of course. It's messy on-screen mayhem, yet the game runs consistently with so many vehicles on-screen; we commend the developers for achieving such impressive performance.
Frustration quickly sets in once you realize the top three computer-controlled buses don't screw up as much as the rest of the pack, leaving you to contend with the swerving bozos that only get in the way. You'll lose races as a result, but at least on the positive side, you can still earn virtual currency for crossing the finish line.
Despite its number two ranking on the App Store (right behind Despicable Me: Minion Rush), we don't expect Bus Derby to become the next iPhone and iPad phenomenon, but it's a mildly entertaining freemium effort that provides a change of pace from driving Ferraris. We just realized how ridiculous that sounds.
Download Bus Derby: iOS
What's Hot:Steering through 15 other buses, watching disaster unfold, making upgrades, winning tournaments, saving replays.
What's Not:No multiplayer, top three buses rarely make mistakes.