Parking Cop Simulator wastes no time throwing the player into the fire. After a short spiel from his employer, new Parking Enforcement Officer Randy begins the game’s weeklong journey into the world of examining cars for traffic violations.
The opening speech is full of information that may easily fly over the player’s head. It includes the various infractions and their associated fines, but fret not, a guidebook is available at all times that lists these parameters in case forgetfulness takes over. The player approaches vehicles and interacts with them to view information and ultimately determine whether or not its state warrants an offense. Violations can range from being parked on the sidewalk to having the wrong parking pass for a residential area.
Players ought to be careful to check signs in areas to see what the regulations are, and across the 20 levels, the areas of town change, as does the time of day. Though it may sound simple, the various violations and their varying fines will keep you coming back to check your guide – if one fails to ticket a car properly or say it does not need a ticket when it does, the “Job Security” meter decreases. The meter’s level stays between areas, and can only be raised based on the player’s performance at the end of each day. Once it drops to zero, Randy is fired and a saved game must be reloaded, or the player has to start from the beginning.
The game appears to have been made with RPG Maker, so character interactions take the form of text boxes. NPCs may try to talk the player out of a ticket or intimidate them, but giving in can take away Job Security. Other menu items appear like armor – they may be carry-overs from the engine. Movement is quick and aided by a sprint option, but there are occasional areas where the player cannot move for no reason. Given the time limits of each level, these bugs can get especially frustrating, but the times are usually generous and correspond to the number of cars on the map.
The visuals are nice and crisp, and the cartoon style lends some charm to the game and the quirky characters around each map. The background music is pleasant and non-intrusive, leaving a warm feeling of the town and most of its inhabitants. It’s a simple game and concept, but expect to make plenty of mistakes upon inspecting the first sets of cars.
The rules become more natural with repetition, especially in areas where the primary goal is to check to make sure the vehicles have the corresponding tag for the neighborhood. After becoming more adept at remembering the rules, the game becomes infinitely more enjoyable, even with countless careless mistakes the player is bound to make here or there. You can replay for better times and scores, as well as the standard achievements. Many are unlocked by progressing at a standard pace, but for those who seek to get all there is to get, go wild.
Parking Cop Simulator’s developers update the game periodically, having just released one earlier this month. One can presume to expect more in the future, and for the price of $1.99, Parking Cop Simulator is a fun, easy way to spend an afternoon. It may not break any new ground in the world of simulator games, but the format works well for the content.