Very Very Valet follows the family-friendly party game formula well, delivering a charming, yet short, slice of mayhem suitable for all ages. It might be a little on the easy side, but this doesn’t take away from the great time I had while delivering people their cars in questionable locations.
Developed by the two-person team Toyful (with a little extra help), the game can be played by up to four players during the campaign, and up to eight in both of the minigames. You can also play the indie outing solo, but it’s much more fun teaming up with somebody.
Story – The world’s most dedicated valet service
You and your co-op partners get to pick your puppet-like characters and colours at the start of your valet career. That’s just about it for how you shape the story in Very Very Valet. All these characters are cute in their own way, but I was drawn to Flop, the spectacled…frog-like creature. There are six available from the start, and I unlocked another after getting three stars on all 24 levels.
You’ll have to pass a quick tutorial level, ‘Driver’s Ed’, at the beginning. Once you do, your character skydives into their first valet venue—naturally. You have a ‘commander’ of your valet service. They explain a bit of the level features coming up, and they’re pretty funny. It didn’t ever come across as forced humour, and their dialogue is a big part of why I find the game so charming. It won’t knock your socks off, but I can see both adults and kids enjoying the silly puns and scenarios described by your commander.
As Very Very Valet is a party game, it really doesn’t need to have a good story to succeed. However, it was nice to have a little mystery about the mysterious disappearance of some drivers relayed in between missions sometimes. It tied into the mechanics of the game well. Again, this isn’t groundbreaking stuff, but it’s nice to have.
Another little charming extra is the mini-replays at the end of every level. A brief clip of each character who participated (usually doing something silly) will play, then everybody gets to vote for their favourite. The voting doesn’t seem to have any effect on the gameplay at all, but does add to the party game feel of it all. There’s also the totally unnecessary titles given to each player at the end of a level like ‘tallest’, or ‘two wheeler’. These fun details remind me of playing the Jackbox games.
Gameplay – Très très valet
The basic gameplay of Very Very Valet tasks you with taking a customer’s car at a venue’s entrance. You then park it, and return it to them at the venue’s exit when they’re ready. It doesn’t sound like particularly exciting stuff, but the constant flow of customers dropping off and picking up their cars is what makes the indie title such a chaotic experience. Add just one other player in co-op to the mix and you’re running each other over and causing traffic pile-ups on the regular. It’s simple, but the loop is a lot of fun. You even get three options for how you want the driving controls to work. This creates a small, but welcome, accessibility option.
Similar to fellow party games Overcooked and Moving Out, the gameplay is split into individual levels. They last about three minutes each, and you’ll get three stars for completing the level without making any customers angry. Their unhappiness is displayed as a bar above them, so you have to either pick up their car or return it to them before the bar fills. If you don’t, they’re beamed up by a mysterious source. You’ll then lose a star for every person that gets taken.
Once you get a few levels in, the formula evolves a little, with new mechanics and expanded map layouts introduced. Some of these features include no parking zones, springboards, and really freakin’ inconvenient aeroplanes landing between two car parks. I really liked the pacing of these progressively more inconvenient levels, but they never really reach a satisfying difficulty level. The game ends just as things have started to get slightly challenging. For reference, I got three stars on every level with one other person in a two-and-a-half-hour sitting. A bit disappointing. However, I still very much enjoyed my time jumping over trains and smacking off aeroplanes, for the limited time it lasted.
Thankfully, there’s a way to up the difficulty slightly by switching rulesets. I jumped back into a few levels solo while playing with the Expert Ruleset and things were more chaotic than ever. That said, the difficulty of the indie title is mitigated a lot when you play with others. I suggest jumping into the action on your own if you want more of a challenge. If you’re still looking to up the ante, you can create your own custom Ruleset to really test your valet skills.
You also get a score for every level as well as a star rating. I can definitely see myself parachuting back into Very Very Valet when I want something short and simple to pass the time. There are also two minigames to enjoy with up to eight players, Rally Race and Knockout. In Rally Race you race other players around short tracks. Knockout sees everyone battle it out in arenas to be the last valet standing. These are fun additions that add a little extra to enjoy after the main campaign.
Graphics & Audio – Elmo could never
Very Very Valet was primarily made in Unity. If you’ve played a small indie made in the engine before, you’ll be familiar with the look and feel of Toybox’s game. This isn’t a knock on the design. I think the simple cartoony graphics work well for the type of gameplay on offer. However, I wouldn’t really call it memorable. The customers do look pretty generic, but I like the unique designs of the characters. They all look like something you’d see on Sesame Street or the like.
Just like the graphics, the audio is fairly standard stuff that works. A jaunty main theme plays over every level with little variation. However, as it’s such a short game, I never got bored of it. It’s just the right amount of peppy notes to add to the enjoyment of causing parking carnage with your family and friends. A fun look and sound for a fun party game.
Very Very Valet was reviewed on PS5 with a review code provided by Wonacott PR.