“This is the story of perseverance. This is the story of determination. This is the story of OmniBus.” And so begins the story trailer for Omnibus: the bus that couldn’t slow down (see video at the end of this preview).
Humorously billed as “a release title for the (fictional) Atari Jaguar back in ’92”, OmniBus is actually a game for the PC and Mac, due to release in Spring 2016. Now, thanks to the handy work of “two of the biggest minds in gaming development” (AKA Jeremy Crockett and Amir Badri; a two man indie company called Buddy Cops), OmniBus is back on its feet from production limbo and ready to dazzle players across the globe. Calling back to the prominent-polygon days of yesteryear in gaming, Omnibus invites its players to strap in, hold tight and crack open a Pepsi Crystal, because this is one bus ride they won’t easily forget.
OmniBus’ simplistic initial set-up is one that is essential to understanding its overall loony feel. You play as a bus with only one setting: go. Whereas most developers in driving games provide players with the option for a brake, the Omnibus simply increases in speed the longer that player runs across the map, increasing in difficulty. With a physics engine that would make any next-gen developer openly weep and a design style that belongs back on the PSone, the overall insanity of OmniBus provides hilarious context for an enjoyable game title.
In the game you are given several modes of play: Story Mode, Multiplayer Derby Mode and Freeplay, giving players ample amounts of replay and (ridiculous) value. Of particular note is the Story Mode, in which you enter the “deep emotional narrative” of the story of our hero: Omnibus. As the “noble bus hero we’ve always wanted but didn’t know we needed,” you traverse through levels in worlds such as the sky, the moon, or even the exotic vacation spot of “City Land, USA.” Within each world are several levels, posing a “simple” driving challenge. These challenges are pretty standard for those of us familiar with your basic bus use: busting open ancient tombs to collect remains, transporting astronauts to a wedding, or island-hoping via trampolines and speed up ramps. Like I said, pretty standard…
Of particular note is the driving design of the OmniBus. As previously mentioned above, the guys at Buddy Cops weren’t concerned with providing players with a hyper-realistic driving game. In fact, I’m fairly certain they’ve neglected that thought altogether. It is within this choice that the fun truly begins. Once you start moving at the start of each level, there’s no stopping until you encounter a building or a physical obstacle. Either you bounce off in all directions, or you smash through entire structures, without so much as a scratch. The basic objectives for each level then boils down to “smash into this thing” or “don’t smash into this thing”, with a stupid sense of humor about itself that keeps players coming back for more.
Overall, If you’re looking for a game that’s incredibly aware of its design choices as a means of nostalgia and able to make you laugh and cringe all in the same go, OmniBus is the next indie game for you. The wacky controls, strange set-up and 90’s arcade style design are part of what make this game a hit, and have this writer eagerly anticipating its release date announce.
While there isn’t an official release date on the title, the steam page boasts a Spring 2016 release, so check back for further updates! In the meantime, check out the hilarious Story Trailer below that originally caught our eye. As always, check back with Analog Addiction for all of your gaming news, previews and reviews!
Rebeccah Bassell is an editor for Analog Addiction and a lover of all things games! You can like them on Facebook, follow her personal blog, The Rhetorical Gamer, or pretend to be her friend on Twitter. She might even pretend to be your friend back ❤