European Bus Simulator Articles RSS Feed | European Bus Simulator RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Why are those simulator games so popular? You know the ones Mon, 22 Feb 2016 11:59:25 -0500 Alec Pearce

Strap yourselves in for the most incredible AAA title of 2016...Bus Simulator! Okay just kidding, but seriously, why on Earth are these niche simulator games so popular? It just doesn't make sense.

Allow me to try and answer this question, as well as explain to you why I think most, if not all, simulator games suck. Bear in mind I am talking purely about sim games like Truck Simulator, Flight Simulator, Train Simulator, etc - not games like The Sims. 

If you're a fan of the simulator genre then fair enough, I am certainly not going to begrudge anyone for liking a specific gaming genre. However, I am definitely not one of you, myself. For me, a game is a release from reality, an experience that can help you escape from a mundane day to day lifestyle with an engrossing story or a fun multiplayer experience. The last thing I want to do is play a game that drags you back into the 'real' world and frankly, simulators do exactly that.

Simply put, they are so bloody boring.

With the release of Bus Simulator's launch trailer (see above), I was wondering just what makes simulator games popular. You always see them being churned out year after year, to such an extent that games were created with the entire purpose of making a mockery out of the genre. Goat Simulator was a hilarious fad, made famous by numerous, prominent YouTuber's, causing it to go viral. The same could be said of Surgeon Simulator and I can understand their popularity as these two examples are so bad that they are good. 

PewDiePie's GS series has gained a combined total view count of around 68 million! 

This has led me to believe that the main reason simulators are in any way popular is because these internet personalities make ironic videos of these games - this in turn causes thousands of people to go and buy them, simply for a laugh, i.e. to see how bad the games really are. 

I would argue that no-one can truly think these games are any good at all. The graphics are certainly not ground breaking, the controls are usually clunky and frustrating and as I said before the gameplay is incredibly dull! There are, however, some people who genuinely enjoy playing these games.

A quick Google search led me to Reddit, which in turn led me to a Gamasutra article from 2013. They asked the question 'Who was buying these games?' and found out that the genre was popular with the 8-12 and 35+ age groups, but there was very little enthusiasm from anyone else. There is no way that the age groups mentioned above are prominent enough to create a stable economy for game developers who create the Farming Simulators of this world. 

Apparently, many people like a relaxed gaming experience and I can understand this to a certain extent, but not enough to sway my opinion that these games are terrible. There are plenty of games that can provide a similar but far more interesting and immersive experience - Elite: Dangerous is a space sim game that does this exceptionally well.

I am not the only one that thinks this either. An article posted on Kotaku in 2014 addressed the same thing. It is now 2016 and new sim games are still being produced. If you can think about a normal everyday job, that involves a vehicle, then there is probably a simulator game for it. As the article states, it's getting out of hand.

To sum this little rant up, I firmly believe that it is YouTube's influence that makes these games popular. YouTubers will continue to make videos because making a mockery out of the genre makes views and thus money. These games are not good, they are simply the product of a system that is based on people buying the games as a joke. This naturally makes the developers money and gives them an incentive to keep producing new sims.

What are your thoughts on these niche sim games? Do you love them or do you agree with me and never touch them? Let me know in the comments!

What To Watch This Weekend: Necroscope86 Fri, 21 Feb 2014 05:05:05 -0500 Andrew Wynans

Another Friday arrives, and once again the weekend presents a fresh opportunity to find all sorts of gaming entertainment.  In honor of the closing of the winter Olympics in Russia, we thought this would be a great weekend to showcase an international Let's Player.  There are plenty of really exceptional gaming video creators from all over the world, a high concentration of whom can be found in Europe.  This weekend we are heading to the UK, to check out a gamer whose "About" tab describes him simply as "A British Let's Play'er." 

This week, GameWisp recommends that you spend some time getting to know Necroscope86.  As always, here are three video reasons why: 

The Collections

If John Oliver (The Daily Show, Community) made Let's Plays, his commentary would probably be a whole lot like Necroscope86.  It is Necro's pacing and inflections that first reminded me of Oliver, as well as Necro's blend of exceptional dry British wit with excellent comedic timing that often turns the simplest observation into hilarity. Necro has been bringing this signature style to Let's Plays for the last five years, and has racked up quite a library.

His latest channel intro video (from February of 2013) contains links to approximately 72 separate gaming video series.  Fortunately, Necro understands that he has a large library, and has arranged the vast majority of his series into playlists.  In addition to playlists, however, Necro has also taken the time to further group his playlists into what he terms Collections making navigating his channel that much easier.  Currently his channel features a Point and Click collection containing nine separate point and click Let's Plays and a Resident Evil collection, containing Let's Plays of seven separate Resident Evil titles.

Today's header video was taken from his Point and Click collection and is the first episode in his playthrough of The Secret of Monkey Island.  This game is story-driven making it an excellent option for a video series, and Necro employs his usual witty commentary to add depth to the experience. Though he is somewhat more subdued in this video, giving the story and gameplay a chance to set the pace.  This is the special edition of Monkey Island with updated graphics and voice acting which enhance the experience.  Necro is quite pleased with these aspects and points them out several times. Overall, this is a solid opening to a Let's Play and showcases Necro's signature style well.  That being said, Necro is a great Let's Player, and any of his long form Let's Play series are worth your time. 

Strange Game Saturdays


Strange Game Saturdays is an apt title for this series of one-off gaming videos.  The series is fairly similar to a first impressions series in that Necro takes some time to walk through the opening portions of each game, giving his opinion as to its merits, and showing off some of its more interesting quirks.  But rather than showing off the latest GTA5 or Battlefield 4, or even the more well known and anticipated indie titles, Necro has chosen to showcase little known and extremely odd games.  From promotional games meant to sell cereal and candy to misguided games about collecting soda, this series never fails to present the strange side of gaming with all of Necro's wit and humor.  

This video is an excellent example.  In it, Necro plays European Bus Simulator from Excalibur Publishing.  Though the premise of the game tends to immediately lend itself to ridiculousness, Necro takes it to the next level, showing off the protagonist's apparent super powers as he walks through cars and pushes them around with nothing but brute strength.  

Eventually, Necro does actually drive his designated bus, but spends most of his time breaking traffic laws, running over other cars and pedestrians (who never seem to notice that they are being hit by a large European bus), and getting stuck on the sidewalk.  All of these shenanigans are humorously commentated by Necro, with several moments eliciting quite audible laughter, thoroughly distracting my wife, who was trying very hard to focus on figure skating.  With its many strange and interesting games and run times between ten and thirty minutes, this series is definitely worth checking out. 


If you are an expert in all things Minecraft and Minecraft video, then this video may not be for you.  However, for those of us with little Minecraft experience or skill, Necro's recent foray into the world of blocks is one of the more relatable Minecraft videos floating around YouTube.  

Necro enters the world alongside two Minecraft veterans and attempts to learn the ways of punching trees and crafting wooden tools to assist in even more efficient block breaking.  While the tree punching itself seems to come easily, the other necessary tasks come slowly with much hilarious frustration on Necro's part and plenty of his creative substitutes for swear words (or maybe they are just British and lost in translation).  

Night inevitably falls with no shelter to speak of, and the three are left to battle hoards of mobs as they try to survive until dawn.  Ultimately, Necro does catch on, builds tools, and begins a structure.  As someone who often is in awe of the creativity and skill of veteran crafters, it is refreshing to see someone who is unafraid to display his own inexperience in what is probably the most popular game on YouTube.

Over all, Necroscope86 is an excellent channel.  

The extensive library means that there is plenty to amuse any gaming video enthusiast.  Necro's dry wit and comedic timing are rare in the world of gaming video commentary, allowing him to stand out in the crowd.  His videos are not quite as polished as some, but this bit of roughness around the edges is never distracting or frustrating.  I,  for one, am very excited to continue digging into Necro's channel to see what other hidden gems I can find.