Finding a space to park in a city can be a real chore. Karma gets her own parking lot, and starts making some serious dough providing a service for shoppers, commuters and hillbillies on holiday. That sounds like a great plan, but sadly Karma is stuck in one of the worst games in the genre for iOS.
Parking Dash does not follow the usual time management formula found in other games from Playfirst such as: Hotel Dash, Soap Opera Dash and Diner Dash. Instead it combines aspects of time management with block sliding puzzles. You have a set number of spaces to park cars, and you can only retrieve them by backing out. With four spaces the game is all about placing the cars according to colour to rack up match bonuses. Soon you get six, then nine, and finally twelve spaces to park.
The gameplay goes something like this: a car owner shows up, and you tap him or her to get a key. The corresponding car rolls up, and you tap it to select it, and then tap a space you want to place it in. Some cars are dirty, and are cleaned by swiping across them. Once a customer is ready to pay and leave you tap them. If the area is clear behind the car they back out, and if not they wait until it is clear. This is the basic gameplay that is repeated across 48 levels.
The puzzle aspect is all about fitting all cars in to maximize profits. Customers get annoyed if they have to wait. You can bring them sodas to calm them down. I have had no trouble solving any puzzles at all, and that aspect is kind of neglected when playing. In my mind I still play an ordinary time management game, and as such it is really poor.
There is not working queue system. The controls are not precise or responsive, and the pace of the game is uneven. Still I managed to complete the first 25 levels with expert scores, and I did not even strain myself the least. I am quite versed at time management, but I usually face some levels that are harder than others. In Parking Dash it keeps getting easier, as you get to upgrade speed and service of Karma and the lot.
The presentation is sub par, and not close to Hotel Dash or Soap Opera Dash. Parking Dash feels like a quick fix, and it shows. The same boring background over and over. The same customers, minimal animations and predictable cartoon setting the story. I don’t even want to go into the music that feels like loops taken straight out of demos for a sequencing program.
I am a huge fan of time management games, and I am really disappointed in Parking Dash. My wife was supposed to help me out with the review, as she has more stamina to complete them in shorter time. She gave up on level 10, and left me on my own trudging on to write this review. What the game has going for it is a couple of hours of gamelife. At $2.99 there are still so many better options out there. Releasing a game this unpolished just after the highly polished Supermarket Mania 2 is mind-boggling to me.
Parking Dash fails as both a logical puzzle, and as a time management game. The gameplay is not fun, and too often Karma just stands around waiting for customers to pay up. A poor presentation, lack of online functionality, achievements and a general lack of polish makes it an easy game to dismiss. Park your cash elsewhere.
Parking Dash $2.99