Small indie titles offering a unique take on everyday life have been a popular part of the videogame release schedule since Bossa Studios’ I Am Bread. You Suck at Parking, created by Happy Volcano, fits perfectly into this category. It’s a game that, unsurprisingly, is about parking you car. And as you will learn in this You Suck at Parking review, you probably suck at it.
The game immediately throws you into a tutorial. One which is not particularly lenient. You’ll quickly learn about the handling of your vehicle and the camera set-up. More importantly however, the fact that momentum is equally as important positioning. You’ll do all of this very quickly as You Suck at Parking will simply ignore any progress made if it doesn’t end in you stopping on the small parking spaces every time.
This is generally how the Campaign will progress. You’re given an amount of spaces to park in, and a winding track to best as you attempt to reach them. It never gets any easier than the tutorial, so don’t expect the game to go easy on you. There is no reverse, and every time you slow your speed you risk the chance of stopping completely. Thus ending your run. The only tool you have to help you is an instant respawn, but given you’re working against the clock you’ll be reluctant to use it.
The depth in You Suck at Parking‘s gameplay comes from progression through the many levels on offer. At regular intervals the game will add in new challenges; ramp, walls which cause instant deaths, fans that’ll blow you off the course. There’s a lot going on in You Suck at Parking despite the diminutive size of the vehicles. The trouble is, you’ll have to very committed to see it all. As this You Suck at Parking review highlighted earlier, getting past the tutorial and opening stages may well be enough of a hurdle to put many players off before they truly get to the meat of the game.
Given that You Suck at Parking is launching on Xbox Game Pass from day one, it’s highly likely that a lot of the audience will experience it here. As such, Happy Volcano have kitted the game out with a progression system and the trimmings of a typical GaaS title. However, given the barrier for entry you have to question how many gamers will drop out before having made any significant investment.
It’s the multiplayer where You Suck at Parking truly shines. Here, despite the difficulty, there is still plenty of fun to be had. You battle against up to seven other players to reach one of the many parking spots in each level. The player with the most successfully parked at the end of the timer wins. It’s a simple setup, but one which has far more appeal than the single-player game.
It’s truly a shame that there’s no local multiplayer included. While multiplayer does well to address the issues of the in single-player campaign, it could’ve rivalled the greats like Micro Machines had more thought gone into local play. You Suck at Parking somehow manages to present an entirely different experience when additional players are involved, just as with the 16-bit wonder.
You Suck at Parking is designed for an audience that likes a rough ride and steep challenge. The campaign is a brutal slog that many will quickly become tired of. The multiplayer however, brings the game to life in ways that you almost certainly wouldn’t believe. This still isn’t Fall Guys, however. If you’re looking for a fun pick-up-and-play title you’re going to be disappointed. Unless Happy Volcano were to add a split-screen option down the line, we can see the audience for You Suck at Parking being quite limited.