I don’t know about you, but one of my least favourite things about driving is having to park. Let’s face it, it’s a pain finding a space, often having to reverse into it or god forbid parallel park. Only to then get back to your car and find some muppet has parked way too close to you. Oh the joys… If you were to ask me for a cool idea to base a game on parking wouldn’t even be on the list, but for Belgian studio Happy Volcano, it’s at the top of theirs, as their new game – You Suck at Parking – showcases. I think is the first ever driving game where your main goal is to stop instead of actually going. You must race against the clock to perform the perfect park in over 100 levels with evermore increasing difficulty.
To say this is more a puzzle title than a racing sim is a very fair statement, as each level has two or three spaces you have to get to before you run out of petrol. But it’s not that easy as you have to overcome a number of challenges to get there: from huge jumps, to other traffic and even the cops. One thing the game nails is difficultly as you get a handful of easy levels before it starts turning the dial up. You find yourself on a hub style level before heading to a number of different themed sections you have to master, which is a nice feature as it means you have options of where to go next, even if a track has you a little stumped. Clearing levels banks you custom parts for your micro-ride, as well as opening up even more challenging levels if you really want to test your skills.
Controls are very tight and extremely simple, as you can only really go forward and steer/drift if you’re brave enough. Don’t even think about reversing as like You Suck at Parking says, going backwards is for the weak. It’s a fun challenging game alone, but things really kick off when you head online with a few mates and truly battle it out across the 50 multiplayer focused maps; for that last parking space… friendships will and have already been tested so beware. The only issue with the online side of things is there’s no lobby system yet, so we all had to try and search for a game at the same time. This is a challenge in itself when there are 6 of you trying to play.
The game has a lovely top down art style that has a real toy town vibe to it, as you get your tiny car going sideways on the ever changing bio-domes you find yourself in. Sound is good too and well used and with a nice level of charm. You Suck at Parking is one of those “just one more go” games that instantly gets under your skin and will drive you up the wall, as you chase the top of the leaderboard scores. That’s before you lose the rag with your best mates online. It’s simple, accessible and a tonne of fun.
An Xbox review copy of You Suck at Parking was provided by Happy Volcano’s PR team, and the game is available now on PC, Xbox and PlayStation for around £15.