Do you thrive in fast-paced work environments? Do you love the comradery of the service industry? Are you an Overcooked veteran? Then this may be the next best title of the couch co-op party game genre. Very Very Valet takes all of the elements that work in this particular style of game, and simply changes the job. Toyful LLC and Nighthawk Interactive bring an easy to learn, yet rage-inducing personal parking experience to life. This title, much like the others of the same realm, is best played with others, so be sure to have your friends over when you boot this one up.
Those Cars Ain’t Gonna Park Themselves
Upon opening the game, the player will be greeted with very familiar sounding flute and string music. It’s heard in places such as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. This is a clear indication that the melodic and optimistic city tunes are used in juxtaposition with the frenetic gameplay. Hearing the elegant sounds just adds insult to injury when you fail. Select your character model, and color, and get to work! The first couple of levels serve as a nice introduction, and a sick awakening if you’re masochistic enough to play these games alone like I did for a lot of the time.
Play as the valet parking team for restaurants, clubs, bowling alleys, and more creative environments later on. Customers line up and hop out of the car for you to park, and return after some time for you to bring the car back. If a customer is waiting too long at either of the two points, then a frustration meter will fill up. If it reaches max capacity, you will get an X, thus docking one of the three stars from your level rating (yes it’s one of those three star games). Three X’s and you guessed it, failure!
Things will quickly escalate as you progress in the game. More street traffic is introduced, along with teleports, and other hazards on the road in urban settings. Seeing how the world gets more creative, and challenging is half of the fun when playing games of this genre. There’s enough to motivate the player to see what is next, which is a good incentive to keep trying. Now does this reinvent the party co-op genre? Not, not at all. However, since the formula is basically there at this point, there’s not much need to deviate from the norm.
Engine and Paint Job
Controls usually make or break a title such as Very Very Valet. While Overcooked is also a challenging playthrough, the controls never feel too stiff or loose. For the most part, all mistakes justly fall on the player as a result. In this case, there are a few different driving options to use, but they all feel kind of awkward. This is less of a knock to the button layout options, and more to the car physics. There are times where driving feels a bit too loose to break and turn. This makes some of the special levels, where you drive and knock down a series of bowling pins, a bit frustrating. With more players, the issue becomes less about perfect precision and execution, and more about not getting in each other’s way.
The presentation is nice. The graphics are clean and cartoony, and the humor is not juvenile at all. Positively, this game can be appropriate for family night, or a gathering of inebriated friends in the college dorm. There’s not much to complain about the interface either. It’s easy to navigate around and figure things out as it should be.
Choose Your Highlights
What may be Very Very Valet’s best incorporated idea is the choice of specific highlights from each level to choose to save and watch later. Some random clips will appear, for the player(s) to vote on, to save for each level. This adds a little extra fun and competition to a co-op game by creating a small popularity contest. And for single player, it’s fun to choose the silliest real and raise eyebrows to your friends about how you actually made it as far as you did solo.
While not much has been reinvented, the best elements of the couch co-op party genre are represented here. Very Very Valet is a slick and easy to learn title that’s good for all ages. The minor inconveniences are nothing to write home about at all. I still view the Overcooked series as the best of the genre, but I would much rather play this game than Tools Up! or Moving Out.