Penn and Teller’s infamous Desert Bus– a painful driving simulator that appeared as part of an unreleased 1995 Sega CD mini-game collection Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors- is getting a fancy modern remake, according to Penn Jillette.
For those whom have never experienced the ‘experience’ that is Desert Bus, let me break it down for you. You take on the role of a bus driver cruising down “an endless, interminable desert highway” between Tuscon, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada in real-time at a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour…which is fuck all. You can’t pause and you can’t let your attention lapse, as the bus pulls slightly to the right, and crashing or getting bogged results in you having to wait for a tow to take you back the way you came…in real time. A single way trip will take you about 8 real life hours. And your reward upon completion? One single point and the offer to do the return trip…
The reveal came directly from the famed illusionists mouth on the most recent episode of his podcast, adding that he’s working with fellow illusionist / CEO Randy Pitchford from Gearbox Software to make it a reality.
“I’m working on a game,” Jillette said during this week’s episode of Penn’s Sunday School. “I’m working with Randy Pitchford. This is not announced publicly. We are going to do a — this is a big, big deal — a new Desert Bus. And it’s just going to be for charities, so charities can use it to raise money.”
Desert Bus is lynch-pin of well-known charity event and aptly named Desert Bus For Hope, which has raised more than $3.1 million for charity during its annual, week-long marathon gameplay streams.
“He’s [Pitchford] calling it Desert Bus 2.0,” Jillette said. “I’m calling it Desert Bus 1.0003. It’ll be a period piece, it’ll be set in 1992, like the originalDesert Bus, just high-fidelity. We’re doing a couple other games. It’ll be a bundle of things. We’re talking to a bunch of people. It’ll probably be agnostic in terms of platform. It’ll probably be for the [Oculus] Rift and for the PlayStation VR.”
Realistically this could all just be Jillette playfully fucking with people- which would be par for the course-, but we’ve reached out to Gearbox Software for conformation on a revamp of one of the greatest video game trolls of all time anyway.