Moving Out is a four-player cooperative party game that has you and your removalist co-workers retrieve clients’ furniture out of their house and into your truck as quickly as possible. Pick up a microwave, throw it down a flight of stairs, slap a ghost or two and fit it into the truck before time runs out. Now let’s move out of this introduction and into the body of the review.
As you can probably tell from the trailer and screenshots, Moving Out isn’t a game that takes itself too seriously. It’s simply a whole lot of chaotic fun that is great to play with family and friends on a cold, rainy night. With the object of the game to pick up stuff and move them over to the truck, you wouldn’t really think that there is much more to it; and while you might be partially correct, the game provides great variety to how you do it. You can grab things; throw things; jump through glass to make shortcuts; throw things through glass; it’s moving to the EXTREME!
With its ragdoll-like physics, it makes moving objects more to how you would imagine. I had PTSD flashbacks when I realised that I needed to manoeuvre an L-shaped couch through a doorway, and those flashbacks intensified when I realised that a chair was on the other side, blocking my path; but it’s PTSD in a good way… if that can be a good thing. The hilarity of the situations and the satisfaction of throwing things around willy-nilly, not having to worry about the consequences of the client screaming at you, is oddly therapeutic.
Moving Out contains 30 levels in total (not including the tutorial), with each one looking to take you approximately five minutes each on your first run through. By simple maths, I’d say that this game can be finished in two and a half hours, but that’s just with a single playthrough. Completing a level within certain time limits earns you Gold, Silver or Bronze medals. Not only that, but each level also has three optional objectives that rewards you with a coin that can be used in the Packmore Arcade, but you won’t know what these are until you finish your first run-through. I was relieved upon finding out that if I complete an objective in my first run-through of a level before I even knew what it was, I’m still rewarded with the coin; this may not seem important, but I’ve played other games that make you have to do that objective again and it sucks. All of these additional challenges provides fantastic replayability to the point where I will happily load it up when friends are around.
Co-op is always going to be the best way to play Moving Out, with the ability to play with up to four players. The game balances difficulty well depending on the amount of players are at it at once; the more players participating at once, the more things you need to move into the moving truck (as well as how much time you have to do it).
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HD Rumble works well in Moving Out by providing tactile feedback to your frantic actions. However, it doesn’t seem to provide a lot of specific detail other than basic rumblings, which is a little disappointing.
World / Level Design
Moving Out‘s level design drives the game’s variety and makes the game as great as it is. The controls and gameplay remain the same, but it’s how the levels are laid out and the challenges that they each present is what keeps the gameplay fresh. Whether it’s throwing fragile packages from one mover to the other over a swimming pool or trying to go unnoticed by ghosts in a haunted manor, each level feels unique.
After 75% of Moving Out, I gave up on the game having any sort of plot and without spoiling anything, I was wrong. It’s not much, but the game could have easily become repetitive without it and provides context to the crazy later levels.
The game’s personality tells a story itself, with witty puns, side-splitting sarcasm and numerous dialogue explaining the client of each house’s furniture you are moving. It’s small detail, but it helps to add so much life and personality to a game that could have been serviceable but lacking without it.
Graphics / Art Direction
The colour and personality makes this game, from its small detail of the odd NES console and SNES controller to slices of toast that shoots out of the top of the toaster character’s head. The wackiness fits SMG Studio and Team17’s colourful personalities that they are renowned for, which would especially make sense to you if you follow the developers on Twitter.
Music / Sound Design
Whilst the soundtrack isn’t anything spectacular, the 80s instructional video theme works well for context. It’s jolly and upbeat, but quite repetitive and unmemorable. It’s the most disappointing part of this game and it’s still incredibly enjoyable, which goes to show its overall quality.
Final Score: 90%
A removalist’s job may not be fun, but SMG Studio and Team17’s Moving Out sure is. The game’s humour and charm, as well as its bright colour aesthetic, makes it a joy to play, either with close ones or single-player. The Nintendo Switch is the perfect console for it and with team objective co-op games becoming increasingly popular, Moving Out will easily go down as one of the greats.
Thank you for checking out our Moving Out Switch review, thank you to Five Star Games PR for the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:
- Andrew Caluzzi (Inca Studios / Camped Out!)
- Belinda Cubitt