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// article by Jeff

UH OH... SOMEHOW, I'VE MANAGED TO BE TRANSPORTED BACK INTO THIS LOUSY COLUMN. UGH... JUST LOOK AT THE COLOUR SCHEME! ATROCIOUS! BAH!

Ah, feeling grumpy again?

TO BE BRUTALLY HONEST, I'M JUST FEELING A BIT SORRY FOR ALL THE PEOPLE OUT THERE...

You must be talking about the terrible earthquake and tsunami that happened over in Japan earlier this month. What a shame, all those lives being swept away. My heart goes out to them.

WELL, YEAH, THAT WAS HORRIBLE. BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. I'M TALKING ABOUT ALL THE READERS -- ALL THEY'RE INTERESTED IN IS VIDEO GAMES. GAMING THIS AND GAMING THAT. ALL THIS SHOOTING DOWN OF TERRORISTS AND DEFEATING OF BOWSERS IS CUTTING INTO VALUABLE TIME FOR OUR YOUTH, TIME THAT COULD BE SPENT LEARNING!

So you follow the old saying, "Stay in school!"

YES, BECAUSE IT'S COOL. STOP PLAYING VIDEO GAMES AND GO TO SCHOOL! BAH!

Hmmm. It's funny you should mention that...

OH DEAR. HAVE I CREATED A SEGUE INTO THIS MONTH'S GAME?

Indeed you have. You see, I, too, share your vision of an ideal world where children put down their Nintendo DSes and their silly iPods and just love going to school instead. And if their love of school truly has the potential to blossom, would it not follow that we, as adults, should do our best to encourage them and get them to school?

I REFUSE TO RESPOND!

No problem: I'll do it for you. Yes! We must get these bright minds to school so that they can learn and enhance their critical thinking skills! I believe it was the philosopher Harvey Siegel who promoted the development of "critical thinkers"... Er, anyway, we have to get them there. With the assistance of this month's obscure game, "School Bus Driver", we can achieve this goal.

"SCHOOL BUS DRIVER"? THAT'S YOUR BIG SURPRISE FOR THE MONTH? I COULD'VE PULLED A BETTER OBSCURE GAME OUT OF THIN AIR. FAT AIR, EVEN.

Okay, do it.

FINE! *reaches in and pulls out...* AHA!

That's a copy of "3 Ninjas Kick Back" for SNES. That's not obscure; that's just an unpleasant game. Put it back and let's continue. School Bus Driver was a game for the PC, released by GameTek, way back in 1988. That's before many of these GameCola readers were even born! The game's in CGA (pink, turquoise, black, and white, that's all we get), so it couldn't be recent! It was modeled after the popular Little People toys from Fisher-Price. In this game, you play the role of a school bus driver who has to go around town and pick up kids at various bus stops and then drop them all off at school. There are three different "levels", where finding the kids at the six or seven various bus stops is a bit more randomized.

AND IN THE MORE DIFFICULT MODES, DO MACHETE-WIELDING MURDERERS COME OUT FROM THE CGA SHRUBBERY?

No...

HALF-MAN, HALF-OTTER CREATURES THAT RIP OFF THE BUS DRIVER'S FLESH IF HE DRIVES OVER THE SPEED LIMIT?

I don't think so...

GIANT MUSHROOM-SHAPED CAULDRONS THAT ALLOW YOUR CHARACTER TO DON A CAULIFLOWER SWORD?

What kind of children's game do you think this is?

OBVIOUS NOT A FUN ONE.

When I was a kid, it was plenty of fun, rushing around and bringing eager children to school. Nowadays, maybe not so much. Then again, there's no challenge. There was no way to LOSE the game because there's no timer, no pressure -- nothing to motivate you to stay on schedule! ...Actually, there isn't even a schedule! But I've nary heard a more accurate idling bus sound from a PC speaker, and that's worth mentioning! In any case, for a modern gamer, I don't recommend it because it is boring as plain pudding. But for my childhood, it was satisfactorily amusing.

I'M SURE YOU WERE EASILY AMUSED.

Indeed, I was, but I still found joy in it. All that puzzle-solving really helped my brain to develop into the rootmarm it is today. Well, that's all for us. See you next time!


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