Parking Dash Overview
Parking Dash comes to us from Gamelab, the developers behind the insanely popular casual computer game Diner Dash. When you play Parking Dash, you’ll notice the similarities between the two games. But when compared to the developer’s other games - such as Wedding Dash and Cooking Dash - it easily stands out as the most unique.
Instead of scurrying around delivering food as Flo, you play as her friend Karma. Your objective is to park and wash cars in your brand new parking lot. There are probably only four or five core activities, but those simple tasks add up to create a pretty challenging experience. As usual the difficulty all revolves around multitasking, and your success will be based on how organized you are.
Gameplay (4 out of 5)
To play Parking Dash, you need to plan ahead. On the surface, parking and retrieving cars sounds simple. The execution is difficult however, due to the lack of space in your lot. Cars will have to be boxed in – it’s unavoidable – so it’s just a matter of keeping the vehicles that will be needed sooner readily available. Each customer will have a timer above his or her head, indicating how long they will need their car parked. Naturally customers who will return the soonest should have their automobiles ready and waiting. It’s an easy rule to follow until business picks up and things get hectic.
It’s such a simple concept, but it makes for a relatively deep and satisfying game experience. Add in other factors such as customer patience, and the fact that some of them will want their cars washed, and it’s easy to see where it gets challenging.
Then the strategy gets even deeper. As you progress through the game, you’ll be able to upgrade various aspects of your lot that will have different effects on your business - such as the ability to run faster, wash faster, and move cars faster. You can even buy a donuts to hand out to impatient customers, buying you some time.
Graphics (3 out of 5)
Parking Dash is a $20 budget game, so you have to take that into consideration when judging the production values. That being said, the game does have a charming visual style. The characters are well drawn - albeit not very detailed - and the colors are vibrant and bright. The animations are crude but they work. The overall design makes for a very cheery atmosphere.
System Requirements (5 out of 5)
The system for requirements to play Parking Dash are extremely lax, with the exception of requiring Windows XP or higher. You’ll need at least 256 MB of RAM, a Pentium IV 1.2 GHz processor, and less than twenty MB of hard drive space. My computer sports a dual core 2.66 GHz processor and four gigs of RAM, so obviously I had absolutely no problem playing this.
Overall (4 out of 5)
If you like time management games like Diner Dash, then Parking Dash will be right up your alley. Its relatively simple concept was executed brilliantly, and it’s a satisfying and addictive little budget game. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m not even very good at it. I can’t imagine how terrible I would be at managing a real parking lot.