When it comes to gaming, there is always room for a fun party game where people can come together and have a good time for short bursts of entertainment. Overcooked is still one of the best in the genre, while others like Moving Out brought their own unique mix to the proceedings, to varying success. It makes perfect sense then, to cater to this crowd if you have the right ingredients for cooperative and competitive play but alas, Nighthawk Interactive and Toyful LLC do not manage to stick the perfect landing with valet mayhem in Very Very Valet.
Throwing together bright and colourful characters with personality, limited yet imaginative levels, and gameplay that borders on chaos – it is easily imaginable that Very Very Valet is replicating the Overcooked formula but in the world of valet parking and this very aspect of the game is quite well realised, to a certain degree.
You and your co-op partners are all valets, and your job is simple, to receive different vehicles from customers, get them to a relatively safe spot, and return these metal steeds to their owners when the time comes. Naturally, there is definitely less realism here as Very Very Valet has very little regard for actual valet etiquette.
You just need to get the cars out of the owners’ hands and back as soon as possible, and their patience is the only measurable degree of competency in the game. For an instant experience for a round or two, Very Very Valet measures up quite well and there is fun in simply trying your best to drive around without causing gridlock or knocking your friends into the air.
Made For A Party
However, if you are looking for a deeper experience, this is not it. In fact, most of the levels in Very Very Valet seem perfect for a full team of four, rather than a pair or trio of players. In comparison to going solo, the difficulty spike when you have more players is significant, and everything can seem stacked against the player, with negligible balancing built into the levels.
It can be hard just finding one co-op partner, but to have enough for a party of four can be near to impossible, especially during such times. The game seems to emphasise this even further at the end of every level. Very Very Valet captures moments from your session to make a highlight reel of sorts, ranging from incredible jumps to moments of chaos.
A party of four will each have their moment to shine, but if you have less, you will see some boring moment caught just to fill up the screen. Who knew not having enough people to play with can feel so judgemental?
The whole experience would have been helped if Very Very Valet actually played smoothly and was a test of your skills all the time but instead, you will be wrestling with some less-than-precise controls that can easily bring on more frustration.
Wrestling Against The Controls
As your valets, it is still straightforward enough. You are running, jumping, and getting in and out of vehicles in a flash but once you are behind the wheels of a vehicle, there is some getting used to.
Using the analog sticks, you will control where you want the car to go in a forward motion. To reverse, you will need to let the stick go, and then determine the direction again and there is a drift mechanic to help you make tighter turns as well.
This usually works pretty well for most levels, but in levels where space is at a premium and danger lurks around every corner, the looseness of the controls works against the enjoyment of Very Very Valet. Clumsy controls rarely go well with chaotic gameplay, which is what separates the pretenders to the crown of a game like Overcooked.
There is a definite advantage to using a Pro controller versus the Joy-Cons, especially when it comes to controlling the vehicles. Yet, that should never be the case, especially not for a party game that should be simple enough to pick up and play.
Thinking Outside The Box
Should you develop mastery over the controls of Very Very Valet, at least there is still some fun to be had amidst the bedlam. The game features 24 levels with varying mechanics that will force you to think outside the box. Portals, catapults, no parking zone and more help spice up the otherwise straightforward task of valet parking.
With a well-organised team, Very Very Valet will feel close enough to a coordinated dance of constant parking and retrieving, all done with clockwork precision. The opposite, however, can be fun as well, as you laugh at others who cannot even drive straight and working together or imploding as a team can make for a great afternoon of pandemonium.
There are also some minigames thrown in for good measure, which are great avenues for mastering the driving without the threat of angry customers. The ultimate goal is still chasing down those stars for flawless execution, and there is enough in Very Very Valet to keep most of us going.
As an idea, Very Very Valet is definitely on the right track. Taking another service job and turning it into fun madness catches the eye, but sadly, its janky controls leave much to be desired, and the lack of depth can be disappointing for those looking to enjoy more hours of fun. While it may not necessarily be the star of the show, Very Very Valet still has enough left in its tank to be a solid backup attraction at the party.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Very Very Valet tries to bring the fun of chaos, but falls short of being a bonafide five-star offering.
Gameplay - 7/10
Story - 6/10
Presentation - 7/10
Value - 6/10