Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors

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Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors MCD title.png
Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors
System(s): Sega Mega-CD
Publisher: Absolute Entertainment
Developer: Imagineering
Planned release date: 1995-04
State before cancellation: Late in development
Status of prototype(s): Prototype dumped

Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors is an unreleased video game endorsed by magicians Penn Jillette and Teller. It was planned to be released for the Sega Mega-CD in April 1995, with PC and 3DO versions coming out later in the year, but was cancelled as the publisher, Absolute Entertainment went bankrupt.

Frank Cifaldi, editor of Lost Levels brought the game to the public after being handed a copy by a magazine reviewer. It is a compilation of minigames and a platform game starring the two magicians, made to fool your friends.

The game has become famous due to the inclusion of the "Desert Bus" minigame. In Desert Bus, the player drives a bus across the United States, from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada at a real-time maximum speed of 45 miles per hour. This means the journey is eight hours long, and as the game cannot be paused, play is continuous. There is no scenery to speak of and no traffic, and the bus always veers slightly to the right, meaning the player cannot let go of the controller within that time. The journey is also a perfectly straight line, and once you've arrived at Las Vegas, you will score one point and be offered the chance to take the trip back.

The score counter goes up to a maximum of 99, meaning gameplay is 41 days long. This minigame is used annually for the "Desert Bus For Hope" charity event, who have raised $233,678.47 in the last three years by getting people to play Desert Bus for as long as possible. Supposedly the realistic journey time was built in direct response to the video game controversy surrounding many violent games of the time.


Physical scans

Magazine articles

Main article: Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors/Magazine articles.
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