PAX Online 2020 Highlight – You Suck at Parking

Posted on September 17, 2020

You Suck at Parking is an upcoming physics-based driving game developed and published by Happy Volcano. It’s also one of the many awesome indie games currently available to play during PAX Online. Happy Volcano received favourable reviews for their previous title The Almost Gone late last year. Compared to The Almost Gone, their next game strikes a much lighter, goofier, and more casual note.

The premise of You Suck at Parking is simple: park your car as quickly as possible. The home menu takes the form of an island where you park your car in various parking spaces. Once you park successfully, each parking space corresponds with a new level. Each level contains a series of increasingly difficult timed car parking challenges, somewhat akin to a mini golf course. The more courses you successfully complete, the more tokens you’ll earn. In turn, you can use these tokens to unlock more advanced levels.

While the premise might sound easy and straightforward – just park your car – it’s anything but. In any given level, cars can only move forward. Like in any physics game, they’re incredibly wobbly and they swerve off the road easily, which often makes for some hilarious gameplay. If you move too quickly, you’ll end up catapulting yourself off the racetrack. If you move too slowly, your car will run out of fuel and will stop running completely. Once you run out of fuel or hit a wall, you’ll have to abandon your car and start over with a brand-new vehicle.

The levels in the You Suck at Parking demo start off simple, but they get more elaborate and silly as you progress. In the first level you’ll drive straight ahead to park a car in a single parking spot, although it doesn’t take long until you come across levels with multiple parking spots, ramps, ridiculously sharp turns, loops, and race course edges that’ll instantly make you car burst into flames. It didn’t take much for my levels to start looking like graveyards of busted cars as I wrote off one after the other to complete levels in time.

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Some levels do get frustrating after a while, but luckily the game allows you to skip them after a few tries and complete them at a later stage. This was a relief, and in my eyes ensured the gameplay was entertaining rather than tedious. When I first heard of You Suck at Parking, I was worried that the game would be a little frustrating to play, similar to titles like Human Fall Flat or Totally Reliable Delivery Service. However, I was quickly proven wrong.

The game’s demo strikes a good balance between keeping things challenging while also keeping it casual and fun. The game’s graphics are bright and colourful, and seeing cars spin off the road in all sorts of dramatic ways is highly entertaining. It’s clear that You Suck at Parking doesn’t take itself too seriously (if at all), and it’s definitely on the right track to become a great party game. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel once it hits full release.

A demo for You Suck At Parking is now available on Steam.