Valet driving is by no means an easy job. You need to take the owner's car, park it in a "safe" spot and then get it back to them in time "safe" and sound; add a mysterious alien force that abducts these cars (sometimes with people still in it) if your job is not done efficiently enough and you know what you have? Very Very Valet! This Overcooked style game places 1-4 players in the aforementioned highly stressful situations but fret not as it does so with quirky charm and gameplay that can only be described as "absolutely bonkers".
Being a game about valet parking, driving is an essential mechanic. With a top-down perspective, you control the cars the same way you'd control your character when they're on foot. This will be jarring at first as when controlling cars in video games, we're used to having an acceleration and brake button, but you'll grow accustomed to this very quickly to the point of making sharp drift turns and careening vehicles off of ledges becoming a breeze.
Just like in most games of this genre, the better you do, the more stars you'll obtain. These stars unlock levels needed to progress which creates incentive to not just cruise through the levels willy-nilly. What Very Very Valet does differently though is that the stars aren't based on your points, rather you'll lose one of three possible stars whenever a car gets abducted for being too slow. This system is arguably much easier to discern how the stars are rewarded to the player, although it does make the point system somewhat arbitrary.
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For newcomers who find these type of games too challenging, you'll be pleased to hear that you won't automatically fail when you lose all three possible stars. You'll still finish the level and unlock the next one, which avoids players from getting stuck without the ability to progress.
Each level has a simple premise: pickup a customer's car from the designated spot, drive the car to the valet parking (or either an optimal position/wherever it'll fit) and when the customer is done, deliver the car back to the customer. Now think of this x10 with customers waiting to get in whilst others simultaneously wanting to leave. To add more strategy, when picking up a customer, they'll hint at how long they'll be with a phrase and by the colour of their speech bubble; if a customer says they're just picking up an online order, you'll want to position that car closer to the drop-off zone than the customers who say that shopping is life.
Some levels will mix things up by requiring cars to go through a car wash or having an aeroplane runway at an airport. As you'd expect, they become increasingly complex as you progress, to which at times can either be to the game's betterment or detriment.
Throughout the game's entirety, there are four sets of six levels and within each set, there is a level highlighted in green that's a little different than the others. These levels take place on some kind of alternate dimension levels (ala Super Mario Sunshine) and will task the player with offshoot tasks like cleaning up deliberately placed dirt in the company's new sweeper trucks or knocking over bowling pins just for fun. They're a great way to keep the gameplay feeling fresh and if I'm being completely honest here, I actually preferred these levels over the standard valet parking levels, which is saying a lot.
Story / Personality
Very Very Valet's wacky, nonsensical plot of the mysterious car abductions strangely provides just enough context for the gameplay. The quips by your bird boss in the main menu openly acknowledges these bizarre happenings and uses them as a means to carry forth some resemblance to a cohesive plot. There are many entries in this genre which choose to bypass this effort altogether and I find that to be a shame as it results in the game lacking context; but not here, Very Very Valet doesn't take itself too seriously but it still provides some form of narrative progression. Although with the game's short runtime of approximately two hours, the ending feels quite anti-climactic and almost shoehorned in.
Graphics / Art Direction
Very Very Valet is wonderfully colourful and delightfully vibrant. Despite being a little rough around the edges at times (which somehow adds to the game's charm), the visual aesthetic perfectly compliments its wacky themes that featured muppet-like valet characters. My character is Prim... his bow-tie makes him look so dapper!
Music / Sound Design
Much like its visual appeal, the music and sound design is jovial in every sense of the word. Whether it be the upbeat intro music, the elevator-style theme upon completing a level or the murmuring of the characters, it all compliments Very Very Valet's unique slapstick comedy wonderfully.
Final Score: 80%
It's wacky; it's fun; it's a lot of laughs and quite frankly, I just couldn't put it down. Very Very Valet epitomises what makes the local co-op frantic party genre so much fun. The skeleton of the game certainly takes on that of Overcooked's but it runs a marathon with it in its own direction. I only wish Very Very Valet had more levels to it as I felt that it ended way too soon and on top of that, way too abruptly, to the point where it seems as though the developers simply ran out of time and had to release it with what it had. But hey, better a short game than a broken one.
Thank you for checking out our Very Very Valet Switch review, thank you to Toyful (via Renaissance PR) for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: