Bus driving games is a genre of driving games that is far away from the more popular format of driving games, which are racing games, be it professional formats Formula-1, Grand Prix or underground illegal street racing environments. Bus driving, as the name itself states, requires you to take control of an enormous vehicle. The reason for saying this is that unlike the smaller cars in your typical race games, the perspective from which you will view the entire bus is pretty different. Where the camera is usually just behind a car in race games, in bus driving games the camera is somewhat peering over from the top, so as to perceive the depth of the bus behind your computer screen.
Speaking of which, driving a bus also requires some test of patience as well. Where cars can drift around sharp corners and get away with heavy wreckages (except for the Grand Theft Auto series), the game design typically does not permit high speeds, and even if it does, then bus wreckages are either penalized or causes the entire level (whatever be the objective of that level) to restart right from the beginning. If you have successfully maneuvered your bus around the corner at the very first go without affecting the bus, then you will surely understand the level of control that is required into such games.
Bus driving genres typically fall under simulation. Each game may differ from one another, according to whether it is level-based gameplay based on increasing difficulty or gameplay within a neighborhood. It can also differ in the wide array of buses that could possibly be unlocked after a certain amount of gameplay. Objectives that can bring up some challenging aspects of these games are as follows:
Pick up and drop N passengers within a certain time limit
Similar objective instead until fuel meter goes low
Certain games provide fuel power-ups on the road which adds up fuel to the meter
A course through which the bus has to traverse through tricky bends, narrow openings, etc.
Parking the bus without causing wreckage.
The list, although small, is not exhaustive. A game can provide any one of these challenges, sometimes merging two or more of the above to alter the difficulty of the game.
Most games from which the general review of this genre has been made are online Flash games. These are casual games, so it does not fall under the mainstream gaming production. Nonetheless, it certainly does not hinder the bus driving experience. Many games try to bring out as much of an experience being a bus driver.
An indie game studio SCS Software, however, has developed a 3D game called Bus Driver which not only brings all of the above, but also adds realism to the varying environments in which you can drive a bus. There are signs of traffic to add to the realistic surroundings as well as providing a source of obstruction. This game is available on the online platform, Steam.