Xbox Game Pass First Impressions: You Suck at Parking

Sean Carey - September 14th 2022

You Suck at Parking joins Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming soon, and Sean has been parking cars in the driving puzzle game for hours now. Here are his thoughts on Happy Volcano's debut Xbox game.

I like to think that I don't suck at parking, but the deep, clawing scratches and dents on the back of my car will tell you a different story. As it turns out, I suck just as much at parking in a virtual world as I do in reality, but that's only because I've been asked to park in a spot that requires me to speed my little car over a giant chasm, avoid a boundary wall that's on fire, dodge oncoming traffic, and shake five police cars that are screaming after me — You Suck at Parking is frantic fun.

You Suck at Parking coming to Xbox Game Pass on September 15th


After spending several hours with You Suck at Parking, I can confidently say that this is a gem of an Xbox Game Pass title as far as the single-player campaign goes. Unfortunately, the game's online multiplayer was not live at the time of writing, so we have opted to write a First Impressions article over a full review.

Breaking it down, You Suck at Parking is a quirky driving puzzle game that asks you to park your car in designated spots dotted around a level against a time limit. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. To get to these parking spots, you're going to have to navigate your dinky little car around a track filled with dangerous obstacles that range from simple barrier walls to fiery swinging hammers and giant boxing gloves that will cause your Micro Machine-esque vehicle to explode or knock it off course and into the briny deep.


Starting the campaign, You Suck at Parking drops you into its hub world, where you'll find various landmarks. Driving up and parking next to these landmarks presents you with different tracks to perfect. Things start off easy; you will generally only have two or three parking spots to fill and some simple obstacles in your path to negotiate. For each track, You Suck at Parking gives you a number of spots to park in, an overall time limit, and a certain amount of fuel for each car. It doesn't matter how well you park, just that you get all the cars in their spaces (even burnt-out wrecks count). You can take as many attempts as you like, so long as you stay within the time limit, though if you want to get a perfect score, you'll have to park up without wrecking a car.

While that sounds easy, there are some other restrictions: you can't let your car come to a stop (unless it's in a space) or reverse. These limitations are easy to deal with on the early tracks, but when they start to slowly get more complex with larger jumps and more radical obstacles and mechanics, the fact that you can't let your car stop really helps build the pressure and excitement to the point you'll bellow at your TV as your car slowly slides off the edge of a cliff and into the water.


What I love the most about You Suck at Parking is the new mechanics that are constantly being introduced and the overall sense of satisfaction when you perfect a track. For a game with such a simple concept, developer Happy Volcano has crafted a great variety of excellent levels that always build upon what you've previously played, which makes You Suck at Parking not only feel fresh and exciting, it's constantly challenging you. The first time police cars showed up on a level, they completely flipped the game on its head. I was previously used to figuring out a track's puzzle with little-to-no pressure, but with the police cars, they'll chase after you until you can give them the slip, making you drive faster and more recklessly. I love these little police cars as they add a completely new dimension to the game and amp up the pressure to almost critical levels — the amount of satisfaction and relief when you do lose them and perfect a level is immense.

Completing tracks puts your time up on a global leaderboard so you can see how fast you've finished a track compared to your friends, which is a nice touch. You're also awarded XP for each track you finish. This is used to unlock levels in You Suck at Parking's season pass and cosmetics for your car. Progression on the free tier seemed slow, but this could be because I am yet to play the game's multiplayer.


As for the You Suck at Parking achievements, this certainly won't be an easy completion. There are numerous multiplayer achievements which could prove tricky, and another for perfecting all levels in the base game — this one will require a lot of patience.

Summary

I have really enjoyed my several hours with You Suck at Parking — its single-player campaign is tremendous fun that is forever throwing new and challenging things your way. While I'm not that far into the campaign, I can't wait to see what crazy obstacles and imaginative tracks developer Happy Volcano comes up with next. It's a shame that the online multiplayer wasn't available to test, but if it's anything like the campaign, it will be just as frantic and exciting as the single-player. If you're an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, and you're looking for a decent puzzle game that you can lose five hours in or even just five minutes, You Suck at Parking has got you covered.