Do you though? Really? Well, if you don’t think that you do, You Suck At Parking is here to change your perception of that!
An isometric, physics-based, puzzle parking racer, You Suck At Parking has but one simple objective: Parking your car. But getting it done, well that’s not so simple.
There’s no complicated story here. You’re dropped into the world in a series of levels with multiple parking points that you have to reach within a time limit. You have, until that time limit is finished, multiple cars to use, with a quick D-Pad press instantly spawning a new car at the starting point if you mess up. You also have a fuel gauge to keep an eye on which starts chugging away as soon as you press the accelerator. Be warned, it dwindles away regardless of how fast or slow you’re moving. The golden rule here is to keep moving at all costs as even stopping for a brief nanosecond is considered a failure. And, to make things harder, you can’t reverse – at all! It’s only when you can’t use such a technically simple manoeuvre that you realise just how valuable it actually is.
“Ha!” you exclaim, thinking of the time you drove at 65mph while drinking a Coke, “I’ve got this!”
Well, no, the developers actually have you. If you only had to contend with the above design elements, You Suck At Parking wouldn’t have much going for it. Where the developers really put a spanner in the works is in the trap-laden, obstacle-littered, physics-based ACME-style obstacle courses.
Things start off simple enough with just getting from A to B but before you know it, you’re dealing with giant fans, boxing gloves, magnets, and curved looping tracks that would make Evel Knievel soil himself. It quickly becomes a tense affair of finding the best path through a course, while timing your movements between obstacles without ever stopping. And that’s before the game’s loose physics systems kick in. It’s neither tight enough to be frustratingly realistic nor loose enough to let you fly through the course.
While most levels can be completed in seconds, getting to the point where you can slide into your spot easily is going to take some time. You’re going to have invested a fair amount of effort in getting used to the way your car controls as it’s the biggest obstacles – well, in addition to the locked camera angle which can make it incredibly difficult to judge turns and racing lines. Just when you think you’ve been on the perfect line to make a bounce from a giant boxing glove, to a fan, and into a safe landing, you’ll find yourself instead sailing off into the clear waters surrounding each course because you were just that little bit off.
To Drift. . . Or Not?
While the level design is inspired and fun, it’s also incredibly frustrating. The game starts slowly enough to get you used to the basic premise but ratchets up the difficulty very quickly. It wasn’t long before I found myself alternating between cathartic moments of success and frustration-induced quitting that forced me to walk away and have a good breather before trying again.
Successfully completing levels opens up new ones but also rewards you with XP. As has become the gaming norm, You Suck at Parking rocks a “Parking Pass” in both free and premium varieties. It’s all cosmetics so you don’t have to worry about a pay-to-win scenario and beyond earning XP to unlock free cosmetics, there’s no other in-game currency or paid-for items. If you want that premium car trail, you’re going to have to pick up the premium Parking Pass with real cash.
The game also has a multiplayer component pitting you against seven other players but during the review period, I wasn’t been able to get a match going through the matchmaking system. It simply idled while looking for other players before kicking me back to the main menu.
Turns out I do suck at parking
Like the Souls-like genre, I found myself in a bit of a love/hate relationship with You Suck At Parking. While it’s nowhere near as masochistically punishing as a ‘Souls game, it illustrates perfectly the “one more try” versus the “Goshdarnit!” relationship that you get from difficult but rewarding games. And like the Souls genre, you get out what you put into it. If you expect to just flow through this with panache without attempting to master the mechanics and physics, you’ve got a big surprise heading your way. But if you’re prepared to persevere, you will be rewarded.
A review code for You Suck at Parking was provided to gameblur by the publisher
You Suck At Parking (Xbox Series) ReviewYou Suck At Parking (Xbox Series) Review
Visuals8/10 Very Good
- Cute visual style
- Interesting level design
- Very difficult
- Very difficult
- Can’t reverse
- The locked camera angle is more frustrating than it should be