I didn't know there were 'iconic' school bus designs until Bus Simulator licensed one

An iconic school bus in Bus Simulator.
(Image credit: Stillalive Studios)

Even as the world burns, the wheels on Bus Simulator 21 Next Stop just keep going round and round. People have got places to be! And a virtual bus service is one thing but, in-line with others of its Simulator ilk, the game's sleeper hit nature means developer Stillalive Studios is adding officially licensed buses to the game.

OK this is mainly about the press release amusing me, but this does not come from a place of mockery so much as love. Bus Simulator 21 Next Stop now has a licensing deal with manufacturer Thomas Built Buses and, should players buy this DLC, it brings the "iconic school bus" that is the Saf-T-Liner C2 into the game.

This follows hot on the wheels of the "Official School Bus Extension" DLC which, unsurprisingly, added the ability to create and manage your own school bus routes in the game. So just what is this latest addition to the fleet?

"The Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 is a US-American petrol-powered school bus, equipped with 2 axles and a single door, offering 47 seats," says the press release. "Just like the other school buses, it can be used not only for school trips, but also on regular bus routes if needed."

This particular model has been in production for just under twenty years, there are now well over 100,000 of them ferrying kiddywinks to school and back across the US, and it is the kind of thing that looks like you could drive it through a blockade. As buses go, it is a very good bus.

It can be bought as part of the Thomas Built Buses DLC pack or comes as part of the season pass (which also includes the Official School Bus Extension DLC). The next big promise for bus lovers? There's no easy way to say this, but we're leaving buses behind. What?!? The end of this year will see the release of the Official Tram Extension pack, as those rail-bound maniacs try to muscle-in on our freewheeling turf.

There have been some interesting real-world parallels in simulator games and the real world recently, best exemplified by SCS Software's Truck Simulator series: which amidst a general shortage of truck drivers IRL has become the tool of choice for trucking companies to recruit new blood. There's no news of anything similar happening in Bus Simulator 21 Next Stop but, if you harbor any ambitions of being the next Otto for your town's kids, the Saf-T-Liner C2 is now ready for you to put the hours in.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."