City Bus Manager Review – Become a Bus Tycoon in Your City

The New Economic Sim City Bus Manager in Review/Test – Become a Bus Tycoon in Any City You Like

City Bus Manager Review - Become a Bus Tycoon in Your City
City Bus Manager Review
Become a Bus Tycoon in Your City

In the new Bus Tycoon game City Bus Manager you build up your own bus company and, as a special highlight, you can do this in any city in the world thanks to the OpenStreetMap connection. Build a depot, look for employees, buy buses, and off you go with our own public transport provider. City Bus Manager has a release date of November 10th, 2022, and will be available for PC on Steam.

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City Bus Manager Review – Intro

Hi there, this is Zap. In this City Bus Manager review you’ll get a little insight into this new business simulation where you build your own bus company, and if you like, even in your own city. I’ll tell you how it is played, what’s inside and at the end you’ll get a rating from me. But most of all, I want to give you all the info so you can decide for yourself if the game might be fun for you.

The game is developed by PeDePe and published by AeroSoft. This is not the first project of the small studio from Bavaria, run by two brothers, they have already developed several economy add-ons for OMSI 2 and the Tourist Bus Simulator. I received a free trial key, my thanks for that. However, this should have no influence on my rating, as I always test all games with the thought in the back of my mind, how would I feel if I had paid full price?

Game Type – Bus Tycoon Business Simulation

City Bus Manager is the business simulation of a bus company. We build a bus depot from scratch, with walls, doors, and furniture as well as roads, parking lots, gas stations, and workshops. Then we hire bus drivers, mechanics, cleaners, and service staff, plan our first route and let our buses drive on it.

Little by little, we get more passengers and thus increase revenues. How well our public transport service is received by people depends on many factors. It starts with the friendliness of the employees and goes on to the cleanliness of the buses, punctuality, and reliability. For the last two, we need capable drivers, but also always sufficient repairs. And if a route is overloaded, we also need to send out relief buses on the road from time to time.

Little by little, our company grows, at least when we make a profit. More routes, more buses, and more employees ensure growth, hopefully also financially. Our buses need to be refueled, cleaned, and maintained. Sometimes an engine breaks down and we have to get replacement parts. We can send our employees on training courses, build up and optimize the depot according to our own wishes.

With researchers, we can unlock new developments in bus technology; at the moment, for example, 20 different bus models are available. But we can also expand our catchment area or our depot. And efficiency improvements through lower fuel consumption, faster repairs, better bus stops and more are also on the research agenda.

Our passengers can rate the company, sometimes giving us clues as to where we can improve things. But the overall rating also has a direct impact on the public’s acceptance of our company and thus on passenger numbers. Nobody wants to be driven slowly and late by unfriendly bus drivers in dirty and broken buses.

The special feature of City Bus Manager is that every city in the world (except China) is available in the game. So you can also use your hometown as a game world, your vacation resort, or well-known world cities. Due to the technically clever integrated connection to OpenStreetMap, almost every place in the world is available as a playable map and the map material is extremely detailed. And I have to say, driving buses through your own province is at least twice as much fun as playing the game in some nameless city.

Technics, Graphics, Sound

City Bus Manager is built with the Unity engine. It runs smoothly and didn’t crash once during my testing time. The foundation is technically already of good quality.

The depot view can be freely rotated, panned, and zoomed. The graphic elements consist of rather simple 3D models and monochrome surfaces or less elaborate textures. This is not a big problem, but it seems a bit simplistic in parts. For the buses, we have the possibility to create our own design with RGB colors and a few stickers, which is commendable but could be expanded.

The city map is displayed with monochrome areas and streets as well as simple icons. Overall, the look of the game is more functional than pretty. For a tycoon game, however, this is acceptable, I think.

The soundscape of the game consists of simple music and apart from that, there is almost no audio at all. So far, I guess the developers haven’t put much emphasis on the ambient sounds and background sounds.

The options menus offer all sorts of quality-of-life settings, so you can adjust the currency and time format for your region and there are extensively configurable key bindings. In terms of graphics, however, the game is a bit stingy with options; apart from resolution, window mode, and four rough-quality defaults, there isn’t much to adjust here.

The on-screen texts are available in 9 languages, whereby the German and English ones, the two I understand, are okay so far. Speech output is not included in the game.

City Bus Manager Gameplay Screenshots – Ingame Pictures

Click or tap on the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

City Bus Manager Test – Opinion and Conclusion

First of all, it must be clear that City Bus Manager is in Early Access, so development is not yet complete. How well the game will be supported after the EA release remains to be seen. Some games come out totally bugged, are in Early Access for 10 years, and almost never get updates. Others, on the other hand, are already great games at release, get bug fixes and new features almost weekly and develop into a much better game within a few months.

City Bus Manager is already in a usable state right now. So it is absolutely playable right now. How far the currently available features can bind you in the long run probably also depends on you. But I currently have more than 10 hours on the clock and haven’t gotten bored.

I think it’s a very positive sign for an Early Access game when the developers build a feedback function directly into their game, where you can send bug reports and feedback directly to the programmers’ email inbox, so to speak. Nobody does that if they don’t plan to support their product for a long time after release. PEDEPE even goes so far as to display feature suggestions in the main menu for voting, so that the community can have a bit of a voice in deciding what should be added to the game.

Missions – From Tutorial to the Big Goals in the Bus Industry

So much for the rough framework, let’s get to the details. I really like the fact that you constantly get smaller quests or tasks. This is used at the beginning as a tutorial and then also continued. Through this we get “cups”, these are necessary as a basic requirement for the individual research. In addition, through the cups, you rise to three levels.

Even though these tasks are often a bit generic, with stuff like “transport 10,000 passengers” or “complete 500 rides” and in the end they almost all complete automatically, they still loosen up the game a bit. More creative missions that require actual interaction from the player should be included here. At least tasks like “improve your delay rate” go in a good direction, but this could be expanded a lot.

Open Source Map Data as Game Board

The graphics of the game is kept rather simple. The map view is just a typical map. You can show and hide the local points of interest, the bus stops or the routes, and the buses are moved through the world like game tokens on a board game without any animations. I’m sure that could be done much prettier.

It might be exciting if you could import the satellite views from the open-source map database into the game, and see the actual houses, parks, streets, etc. instead of simple areas.

The route planning is still a bit problematic. Sometimes the map doesn’t know which streets are one-way streets, or whether a street is an expressway or a narrow alley, and whether streets that are visually next to each other on the map are connected or not. In other places, however, this works fine.

Sometimes existing connections can’t be used, and the bus route suddenly makes a huge detour, although in real life buses could easily go there. It is probably not easy to evaluate the underlying map material correctly. But there is still room for improvement in this area.

Build Your Own Bus Depot

3D graphics are present in the bus depot, but both the models and the textures are at the lower end of the quality scale. But with these simple means, there is still sufficient game depth. The characters react to commands like refueling, cleaning, or repairing buses. We need certain minimum amounts of office size, desks, and lockers to hire new employees.

And congestion occurs in the service area if we don’t provide enough employees, service counters, and seats to wait. But all in all, the depot part could use some more detail and depth of play. The bare essentials are there, but for long-term motivation, this main game element could use a lot more elaboration.

City Bus Manager offers extensive statistics. With the ability to adjust the prices of the various tickets and with the option to add extra buses to routes and the constant need for cleaning, refueling, etc., we usually have plenty to do as well. I like the Bus Tycoon approach quite a bit so far. Some features could be deepened, and additional ones could be added, but the basic framework is already entertaining. And as a comparable game, I can only think of Cities in Motion at the moment, and a few really bad games that we’d rather leave unmentioned.

All in all, City Bus Manager already offers some fun in this early version for economic sim fans and also for fans of bus companies. The economic simulation depth isn’t particularly sophisticated or original now, but overall it’s a decent game, better than many other small tycoon games.

Bug-free, but not cheap

And unlike many other Aerosoft titles, the relative bug-free nature of this one deserves praise. The possibility of using real city maps expands the target audience even more. Because I have to say honestly, I really enjoyed realizing a “better” bus company in our small city compared to the lackluster real one, which always got on my nerves since I was a kid. Without this feature, I probably would have gotten bored with City Bus Manager very quickly.

Now, however, we come to a real sticking point. Because Aerosoft charges a price of $27.99 for the game, which is quite nice and entertaining, but rather sparsely produced and on an indie game level. And this seems a bit high to me personally. There is a release discount in the first week, and in the long run, it will probably be on sale quite often. But basically, this price is not appropriate in my opinion.

City Bus Manager Review – Rating

In summary, this is an entertaining tycoon game, with moderate economic demands, simple graphics, and an extreme plus point, the inclusion of real city maps from all over the world. For this, I would like to give City Bus Manager an 80% basic rating for the Early Access launch.

For the unique and special real maps feature, I would even like to distribute a bonus of 5%. However, I have to subtract 10% for what I consider to be an extremely high price. For this, the game simply doesn’t offer enough depth, not enough visual and audio stimuli, and too little feature variety. This brings me to a final rating of 75% for City Bus Manager at its Early Access launch.

Should the game get more features, better graphics and sounds, and possibly other game modes or a campaign during the Early Access phase, I see the potential for another 5% increase here. But that would still require some work from the developers. And a downward price adjustment would also make the game far more attractive.

City Bus Manager

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City Bus Manager Review - Werde Buy Tycoon in Deiner eigenen Stadt - Test
The New Economic Sim City Bus Manager in Review/Test – Become a Bus Tycoon in Any City You Like

In the new Bus Tycoon game City Bus Manager you build up your own bus company and as a special highlight, you can do this in any city in the world thanks to the OpenStreetMap connection. Build a depot, look for employees, buy buses, and off you go with our own public transport provider. City Bus Manager has a release date of November 10th, 2022, and will be available for PC on Steam.
Simulation
Grafik
Sound
Umfang des Spiels
Zustand des Spiels (Early Access Start)
Feature: Open Source Map
Spaß pro Preis

City Bus Manager Rating

In summary, this is an entertaining tycoon game, with moderate economic demands, simple graphics, and an extreme plus point, the inclusion of real city maps from all over the world. For this, I would like to give City Bus Manager an 80% basic rating for the Early Access launch.
For the unique and special real maps feature, I would even like to distribute a bonus of 5%.

However, I have to subtract 10% for what I consider to be an extremely high price. For this price, the game simply doesn’t offer enough depth, not enough visual and audio stimuli, and too little feature variety. This brings me to a final rating of 75% for City Bus Manager at its Early Access launch.

Should the game get more features, better graphics and sounds, and possibly other game modes or a campaign during the Early Access phase, I see the potential for another 5% increase here. But that would still require some work from the developers. And a downward price adjustment would also make the game far more attractive.

3.7

Outro

Do you like to send buses through your city and enjoy detailed management? Or are the simple graphics and the high price nothing for you? Feel free to write me your opinion in the ZZ Community Discord.

More gaming news, game reviews, and guides can be found on the ZZ YouTube channel or here at https://zapzockt.de – thumbs up, subscribe, and share with friends won’t hurt, and then I wish you a great day, ciao ciao, your Zap

City Bus Manager Steampage

Aerosoft – Publisher Website

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