'4Ever Transit Authority' Now Has Service to a Beautiful Tomorrow
Imaginary travel through surreal sci-fi cities never looked so good.
You may have seen the people who ride the bus for pleasure. They're a rare breed but easily spotted with a trained eye. They tend to be seniors, traveling alone, leant right back into the worn patterns of the chair, a permanent smile pointed at the nearby window. They are the stillness at the center of the city.
With our young lives so threatened by the tick of time these days it's difficult for us to take up this senior sport. Public transport is not a carousel for our meditation; we always have a destination to reach. And heck who wants to spend all their coffee money on a round-the-city bus trip? Nah, we're much better off letting the seniors at it. But we can play 4Ever Transit Authority instead.
Each time you start it up a new city is generated. You will appear sat inside a bus traveling around that city. You are alone, able to look around without the fear of a stranger's judgement, scanning from left to right at the tutti-frutti architecture sidling past the windows.
Sometimes you will see typical urban clusters: a couple of office buildings, a row of planted palms, a regular exchange of household and driveway. When there are no surprises such as this it feels appropriate to hit the key to slump into your chair. Ideally, you will vibe with your virtual body on the screen, and let your physical self slide downwards too in these moments.
But there are occasions when the algorithm can take a turn that'll make you want to sit up straight. It abstracts the city's features so that there might exist a whole block of lamp posts arranged in a grid pattern, all of them lighting nothing but barren concrete. Surrealism gets a grip.
While the mix of slowness and surprise can be engrossing enough (close your eyes and dream to the procedural music), there is more. If you fancy a change of palette then you need only to request the bus to stop, alight that route, and select another from the map to embark. You'll travel in a different direction, down new roads, spotting new arrangements of city material.
4Ever Transit Authority is the latest entry in what I call "lullaby games." These are games you can fall asleep to. They're gentle, have minimal interaction, and play music that massages your mind. Take a break from experiencing the city as a blur. Take a seat as its passenger and ride through it as if you were in a dream.