Try Hard Parking Review

by | Jan 4, 2017

Cars Against Humanity

I’ve never been very good at parking. Well, I’ve never been all that great at driving in general, but parking really is my Achilles heel. I genuinely struggle to anticipate the angular trajectory of the car based on the steering wheel’s position or if I’m reversing or accelerating; a talent which annoyingly seems instinctive to most other people. Naturally then, making it through the ten levels that currently make up Try Hard Parking was quite the task for someone like me.

That said, Try Hard Parking is unlikely to be a cakewalk for anyone, even the most experienced drivers. One-man developer, Sayem Chaklader is looking to seriously test your patience, humility and hand-eye coordination with his first official Steam title and the experience may even justify a rage quit every now and again, albeit one which doesn’t end up with anything getting damaged (safety first, people).

Try Hard Parking
Steam Page
Developer:
Gearspecs
Publisher:
Gearspecs
Release:
January 4, 2017
Price:
$1.99
Rig:
Intel Core i3-3110M @ 2.40GHz
4GB RAM

Tasked with navigating a car through a series of escalated obstacle courses, it’s more than likely that the number of retries you’ll need to complete each level will extend well into the double digits, and likely even go beyond into the hundreds. Luckily, the game features a hotkey which instantly resets the car to its starting position, encouraging a quick-fire rinse and repeat playstyle which suits the trial and error approach to mastering each course.

At first, it may feel as though the small assortment of selectable cars in Try Hard Parking feel awkward to navigate. While this does ring true for a few of the micro-interactions (I wish there wasn’t a slight delay between pressing the accelerate button and seeing it occur in-game, for instance), it becomes clear that this seemingly apparent awkwardness is instead a control scheme that begs to be learned, practiced and mastered.

“Every single touch of a button must be strategically considered before acted upon”

The highly precise turning mechanics provide a fine balance to make up for what the acceleration lacks in sensitivity, establishing a system of traversal which requires patient caution and thoughtful oversight. Every single touch of a button must be strategically considered before acted upon, as the decision to press one even in the slightest can represent the difference between gratifying success and total wipe-out.

Sometimes, after failing to overcome the first hurdle of a particular level following an hour of endless attempts, it can feel as though you’ve hit a brick wall, but it is only through this dogged, repeated practice where Try Hard Parking really gets to shine. That motivation to conquer each environmental hurdle creates an addictive gameplay loop, and the familiar instinct of “one more go” can quickly take hold of your entire attention span before you even realize it.  

As a self-confessed lover of all things cyberpunk and anything remotely related to that genre, I really dig the 80’s retro aesthetic that every iota of Try Hard Parking’s visuals are steeped in, particularly the fact that game looks as though it is being played on a cassette tape of an old television. It’s a good thing this stylistic effect is on display too, since it acts as a handy filter to gloss over the otherwise low-grade models and textures, which are perhaps the game’s weakest assets. Naturally, the equally funky soundtrack provides the perfect auditory backdrop to try and keep you calm and composed as you navigate the potentially aggravating challenges that are set before you.

It’s worth stressing that those who suffer from road rage may want to avoid Try Hard Parking, but for those who can muster the resolve, there’s a surprising amount of depth to be found in this unashamedly tricky isometric driving game.

Score: 68/100

[A copy of the game was purchased by the reviewer for the purpose of this review.]

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