1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Valet Hero Pro, by Game Gatos LLC
    $0.99, ****


    • Fun game play
    • Multiple boards, multiple difficulty levels

    • “Drawing precision” is a little imprecise

    Since the introduction on Flight Control, we have seen a few games enter into the “draw a line” genre – most notable Harbor Master where we have to unload freight from transport ships. Valet Hero enters the arena with a different kind of theme – you are a parking valet and need to park your cars without causing accidents.

    In Valet Hero, you choose multiple levels (garages) and difficulty levels, with the overall goal of trying to neatly and smoothly park the cars in the various spots in the parking garages. Different cars will be entering, moving at different speeds, and you have to keep the vehicles from crashing into each other, as you find parking spots for them.

    What makes this game a little different are a few different features. First off, the vehicles stay in the parking spots! Unlike Harbor Master or Flight Control (where the boat either must be removed from the harbor, or the plane vanishes after landing) in Valet Hero, the longer you play, the fewer parking spots you have. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) the game doesn’t ask you to also drive cars out, so you simply have to deal with dwindling parking space.

    When parking cars, you need to match the color of the car with the color of the parking spot. As with most of these games, as it gets harder, with more and more vehicles, it is all about vehicle management. Making cars drive around the parking lot and you move them in to the available spots not only keeps you in control, it also increases your score! Occasionally you also have to be on the lookout for other, non-controllable vehicles that may appear in the game.

    Some other tricks, like backing into spots or “pulling through” from one empty spot to another will also add some bonus points. In addition, how neatly (or straight) you park the car also influences the points you will get. As you complete the various levels, it unlocks other game levels as well.

    The game has some nice extra – OpenFeint for people who want to compare scores, left mode (swapping the screen), color blind mode (with different shapes instead of colors to identify cars), and music where you can choose music from your itunes library (and pretend you are listening to the car radios). There is also a marathon mode of play, where you simply try to park as many cars as you can (without having a pre-determined number to “win” the level).

    The game is fun, as I have found most of the “drawing a line” style games, and is different enough to add some new interest. One of my biggest complaints about the game is the actual parking. Maybe I have big fingers, or maybe I simply haven’t practiced enough, but I found I had a very difficult time making the cars park straight. I thought I would draw a straight line, only to find that the cars were going in at an angle (which can be dangerous if there is a car parked next to them!), and the parking job was deemed “sloppy”.

    I would also like to see more levels. Five levels are okay, but I would like to see additional level packs available for purchase within the game. There is a version of the game for the iPad (Valet Hero LE, $2.99) which looks similar, with some different level designs.

    All in all, this is a fun entry into the “draw a line” genre, with a nice twist on the Flight Control concept. Adding a few new features (like method of parking a car) changes the game enough to make it interesting. However, I would like to see more levels being developed to expand the replay-ability of the game. For $0.99, however, this game is a great one to play to waste time, especially if you enjoy this kind of game. Four out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. 
    07-19-2010 04:18 PM