Desert Bus classic gets an iOS port, for charity's sake; AaAaAA!!! coming too

Mike Schramm
M. Schramm|11.22.11

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Penn and Teller's Smoke and Mirrors is one of the weirdest cult titles in all of video gaming -- it's an old game for Sega CD that was more of a prank than anything else. While it did teach you to do a few tricks, the most famous minigame in the entire package is called Desert Bus, a weird little game that's designed to more or less accurately replicate a bus trip between Tucson and Las Vegas. In other words, you need to drive a bus along a highway at 45 mph for about eight hours, at which time you get a point, and can opt to drive back for another one. It's silly and kind of mean and very strange -- all the things you expect from Penn and Teller.

Every year around this time, a group of folks actually plays this game, streaming it live on the Internet for charity, and this year they're going one step further: the title's actually been released as a port for iOS, and all profits from the game itself will go straight back to Child's Play, a group that helps put video games in hospitals for sick and recovering children to play. I don't actually recommend buying the title for anything but charity: the bus lists to one side as you play, so you literally have to "drive" for eight hours if you want to beat the game. But it's only a buck for a universal version, and since all of the proceeds go to a good cause, I recommend it anyway.

In other, more traditional port news, the really excellent but strangely titled AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity is also getting an iOS port -- and yes, that is its name. The game has you falling through space, trying to hit various objects and miss others, and it was a whole lot of fun when it came out on the PC a couple of years ago. There will be new features and content, but the developer hasn't announced a release date yet, so stay tuned. AaAaAA!!!, as it's called in shorthand, has a weird title but is a lot of fun, so we'll keep an eye out for it on iOS.

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