School Driving 3D Simulator by developer Ovidiu Pop is exactly what it sounds like – a driving simulator. Don’t get all bored already. I’ve played my fair share of driving games on both Android and console, and let me tell you… this one is really tough.
Let us start off with the general idea. The game is simple in its function, teaching you how to drive, but this isn’t just apply turn signal and brake here, gas pedal there. In this game, you actually get points deducted if you don’t put on your seat belt. Cross the center line? Point deduction. Failure to stop at crosswalk for pedestrians? Points taken off again. You can see where this is going. Points rewarded for proper driving and points off for even the slightest infraction.
Now, there are two modes: Career Mode and Free Mode. Career Mode takes you though the actual basics of driving and teaches you how to watch your speed, use turn signals, when to yield and so forth. Free Mode is just that, start driving as you wish.
During career mode, as you progress through the levels and accrue points, and levels become longer and more challenging. The actual driving is controlled by a gas and brake pedal on the right side of the screen while the steering can be done by either tilting the device your using, or changing it to show a steering wheel on screen. Believe me when I tell you, using the wheel is much harder than tilting your phone or tablet.
As I said before, you even have to make sure to put your belt on before even starting. Crash into something- there’s no auto restart, you have to put the car in reverse and back it up. Screw up enough and you’ll fail the level completely and start over.
In order to pass a level, you must gain enough XP to unlock the test level in each stage before you can take the test to move on. Not enough points? Start replaying levels to get better.
Levels I’ve come across so far are a city landscape in daylight and night-time and the same goes for country roads- both day and night. Yes you have headlights, and no they don’t turn on for you, again- you have to do that for yourself.
You start off in driving a Mercedes what looks to be a CLK series- not bad choice of first car, or if unlocked- a BMW M3. There are options farther along for a Mustang, but my favorite part of this game is that you can choose to drive a big rig truck or large, coach-style bus.
Oh yes, try tearing around a city in something the size of a small town and see how hot you think you are at driving now.
Lines do appear on the road to tell you where to go, but they don’t show up until right before a turn, making the concentration levels go up even higher that’s needed instead a mindless screen-tapping game.
All in all, if my kids were starting to learn how to drive- aside from me taking them out and showing them how in practical terms, this game isn’t a bad primer to start off with. Learn the basics of what to do, then apply to real life. I have fully enjoyed playing this game and do really enjoy the challenge of how hard this actually is, even from the very start.
This app is supported by ads, which stay mostly to the top and bottom, aside from a random pop-up ad after each mission, and it does contain in-app-purchases, but they are really unobtrusive.