Moving Out is a fun, interesting and ridiculous physics based game, coming from the same publisher as other local party greats such as Overcooked! and Worms. Moving Out is their latest effort brought to the table, but will this couch co-op take on moving be a success?
You begin by watching a vibrant, early 90’s style training video to induct you into Smooth Moves removal firm as their fresh faced worker. This is followed by a short tutorial level enabling you to learn the basic skills and controls, at which point you become a qualified F.A.R.T. (Furniture Arrangement and Relocation Technician, obviously) and are ready to start you’re first job!
Each level is accessed by the driving the removal van to a different property on the town map. The premise for the game is simple – load the resident’s possessions into the removal van within the designated time. Tou can do this by carefully carrying each and every item slowly through the property and neatly stacking them in the van, or you can smash through the windows and throw items into the van from afar; after all, this game is a bit of fun, not a removals simulator!
You earn medals based on the time you take to complete each removal job. Gold medals unlock videos int the VHS Superstore, which are like fantasy bonus levels. Scenarios include removing items from a moving plane, and being chased down a canyon by a giant boulder. Perhaps these are the dreams of real removal workers?
After completing a level for the first time you unlock three bonus objectives. These are unique to each level, but include things such as not breaking any valuables, not using the stairs, or putting lawn flamingos in the bath. Attempting them is enjoyable and can provide quite a challenge, adding some replayability to the levels. Completing these objectives unlocks levels in the Arcade which are mini skill-based games. These aren’t a walk in the park, but are optional thankfully, so you can come back and try these at your leisure.
You can play on your own or with up to four players. Whilst it’s great to have a single player option, it is clearly designed with multiplayer at its core. Who doesn’t want to play couch co-op with their significant other and argue who’s not co-operating in moving the couch?
In multiplayer, some items require two players to move them (big and heavy items, such as beds and fridges) and you can work together to swing and throw these items too. Players can also throw smaller items to each other, meaning you can speed up the removal of fragile items if you’re a good catch.
At first the levels seem a bit repetitive, but as you progress your removal techniques are tested bu more complex obstacles and moving tasks. You have to figure out how to herd livestock, for example, or stop possessed furniture from escaping the van.
You can choose your character and customise them with basic different colour and accessory options. You’re able to choose a wheelchair for your handicap-able remover if you want too, which is a great touch. The more levels you complete, the more characters you unlock, and you can switch at any time. My personal favourites were Roman, with his ramen-head, and Sunny, the fired egg. The puns from The Boss that appear during the load screens were a particular highlight for me, along with the random jokes they have at the beginning and end of levels.
It takes about 30 seconds to pick this game up and get going, making it ideal for families and novice players. If you’re a fan of Overcooked and are looking for something similar, Moving Out offers a similar experience, though it is far tamer so you may not quite find as many belly laughs (or shouts) as in that game. There are some great accessibility options (such as dyslexia mode, where typefaces are changed) and an assisted mode where you can alter the difficulty in various ways, even making it possible to progress through levels despite failing them. Whilst these options mean you can take away any of the challenge should you want to, it does open it up to a wider audience. It’s a shame there’s no online play though it’s obviously best played with a few mates sitting next to you, but being able to do so over Xbox Live would have allowed just that extra reason to come back to it.
Moving Out is simple, light-hearted and fun – and a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you take it as face value, it’s well made and entertaining. Single player can get a bit boring, but this is clearly a multiplayer focused experience and it’s much more fun there. And yes, it may cause arguments, but isn’t that part of the fun?
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.