Desert Bus is easily one of the most maddeningly dull video games ever conceived. It was supposed to be.
The mocking creation of illusionists Penn and Teller, the minigame saw players drive a bus across a desert on an arrow-straight road on an eight hour. Besides drifting to the left and right, all you could do was watch your odometer clock up numbers. Should you break down, a tow truck would arrive to carry you back to your destination - in real time. That was it.
Set among their 1995 compilation Smoke and Mirrors, it never saw formal release due to the demise of the Sega CD format it was made for - but now it's coming back. In VR.
Penn Jillette announced the remake on the latest episode of his podcast, Penn's Sunday School, stating that due to the game's second life as an endurance piece for charity events it was worthy of revisit. The charity group Desert Bus for Hope has raised some $3.1 million for a children's charity, as people are sponsored to play the game for as long as possible.
"I'm working on a game. I'm working with Randy Pitchford [boss of Gearbox Software], and we're going to do – and this is a big, big deal – we’re going to do a new Desert Bus and it’s going to be just for charities, so charities can use it to raise money," said Penn.
"[It will] be a period piece; it’ll be set in 1992, like the original Desert Bus. Just high fidelity... We're doing a couple other games. It’ll be a bundle; we’re talking to a bunch of people. It'll probably be agnostic in terms of platform, and it’ll probably be for the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR."
All aboard the Desert VR Bus. Next stop, raising money with ridiculous headsets.