Very Very Valet (Switch)

Boy they’ll make a game out of anything nowadays!  There are games where you’re a cook, a lawyer, and now you can play one where you park cars!  Valet parking, more specifically.  Very Very Valet is a madcap multiplayer game where you must drive and park cars, and then deliver them back as quickly as possible.

You’ll start by picking your character.  Each one looks like it came straight from Fraggle Rock or a Dr. Seuss book.  As a fan of both those things, I thought that was pretty great.  Up to four can play at the same time.  Then you’ll be in a parking arena where you can walk around, get in cars and drive them around, and jump out of them.  The object of the game is to pick up cars when the drivers reach an area.  Then you must park them somewhere.  They usually provide a parking lot for you, but you are free to put the cars wherever you want, really.  Then later, the car drivers will arrive at another spot for you to drive their car to them.  If you take too long picking up a car or dropping them off, an offscreen UFO will abduct that car and you’ll lose the chance to score from it.  You can tell if you take too long because each car has a meter by it that tells you how long they can wait.  Finish parking and delivering all the cars to complete a level.

Even though each area has a provided parking lot, you don’t HAVE to park the cars there.  You can put them anywhere, but you may run the risk of having too many to deal with in small spaces if you’re not careful.  The owners of the cars don’t seem to mind how you drive them either.  Smash them into other cars, park them haphazardly, go up wrong way roads, and jump them off of buildings.  Whatever it takes to get them to the drivers on time.  You can earn up to three stars per level.  If you take too long picking up a car or getting it back to the driver, you’ll miss a chance at getting a star.  You can still complete the level even if you miss three times, you just won’t get any stars.  There are also bonus stages where you do things like drive cars to knock down bowling pins and such.

The game does have a few problems, however.  Each car you drive controls a little differently, and while I’m not a big fan of games that mess with the controls to dictate the difficulty, here it just feels like part of the game.  They do the best they can to let you know which cars to pick up, by color coding them with the drivers, putting a numbered flag over each one, and making them glow.  But when things get hectic, it can still be hard to know which car to use, especially if you are playing on the Switch’s small screen in handheld mode.  And finally, this game is nigh impossible to get all the stars in the levels as a single player.  And considering you can’t play for long without using stars to unlock new levels, you won’t see much until you have a bunch of friends or family over to play it.  I’d say only get this game if you enjoy crazy multiplayer titles like Overcooked and have a bunch of people around to play it with you.

Kid Factor:

You can crash cars, jump out of them at full speed, and smack your head against a wall.  But everyone acts like a plush toy flopping around, so violence is pretty minimal.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, and younger gamers may need help with the more difficult levels.  Very Very Valet is rated E for Everyone.

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