Moving houses, lifting and shifting furniture, and dealing with the back aches and sore legs involved is never fun. Believe me, I’d know – I moved house myself quite recently, whilst I’ve been dragged into helping plenty of my friends and family over the years too. It’s torture.
Naturally then, the idea of doing it in a video game would typically be my idea of hell. I want to have fun in video games and not to be stuck doing the sort of things that I absolutely hate in real life. Moving Out somehow takes this terrible and monotonous task and turns it into a zany, addictive, and utterly charming experience though, with the process of moving furniture proving to be a hell of a lot of fun – especially when doing it with a group of friends.
Moving Out sees players working for a removal company, with their job consisting of heading to a variety of different locations and emptying them of their furniture by loading it onto their removal van. You can do this with up to three friends in local multiplayer too, which adds an extra degree of co-ordination to the experience where assigning roles and sticking to them can be vital to your success. Basically, it’s just like Overcooked, except you’re not cooking and serving food in a kitchen but instead taking on the role of a a F.A.R.T. (Furniture Rearrangement and Relocation Technician). Simple.
Actually moving furniture around is easy enough in Moving Out, with the player able to grab at objects in order to pick them up or drag them across each environment. If they’re light enough, you’ll even be able to pick them up and throw them around, which is always a good way to save time when rushing. Of course, the shape of objects can make things more difficult – it’s not necessarily going to be easy to drag a sofa through a door without a care in the world, after all. This is where some careful planning is required, with the player having to determine where and how they’ll move an object in the most effective manner. Ok, I know that doesn’t exactly sound too fun, but it’s so charming in-game. It’s like lining up the perfect position for a falling block in a game of Tetris… when you nail the shape and position of a piece of furniture, it’s so satisfying to see it slip into place.
Whilst this would typically be a straightforward process, Moving Out encourages players to do it in as quick a time as possible in order to earn medals. This means that sometimes you can’t be too careful in your approach, but instead have to launch furniture around and leave a path of destruction behind you in order to complete your goal. Of course, you won’t be punished for any damage you cause, so if you can launch a toaster through a window and straight into your removal van, you can go ahead and do it.
Additional objectives are thrown into the mix along the way that encourage you to play in a very specific manner, whether that is being less destructive or only using particular routes through levels, so there will be occasions where time isn’t the only thing that isn’t on your side. These extra objectives spice up the gameplay and add a little more variety to Moving Out, so you’ll certainly appreciate them as you progress through the game.
Whilst it is a lot of fun to play, Moving Out might have got a little mundane if you were simply stuck moving a lot of the same kinds of houses over and over again. Thankfully, plenty of wild and interesting locations are added into the mix, with the player expected to move the likes of a farm full of animals, a moving plane, and even a haunted house during their home removal escapades. These bring unique mechanics that players will either have to bypass or take advantage of in order to complete their job, which not only freshens the whole experience up but also alleviates the lack of diversity that you’d typically associate with… well… moving house. Moving Out really DOES make the art of moving feel incredibly fun.
Whilst Moving Out’s main gameplay cycle offers plenty of fun, it has some additional touches that make the whole experience all the more charming. For one, you’ll drive your van across a world map in between levels where you’re able to cause plenty of destruction in the environment and crash your way through other vehicles in your path. It’s a silly little mechanic, but it feels fitting of the game’s zany vibe and adds a novel approach to level progression. There are a few quirky bonus levels to unlock throughout the game too, which aren’t only creative and silly but also give you new tasks to complete.
Moving Out is fun to play solo, but its in the multiplayer where it truly excels. In fact, I’d go as far as saying to skip on the single player experience if you have friends you can enjoy the game with – experiencing the zany antics of the game first-hand with others is just all the more delightful, with the anarchic situations you find yourself in guaranteed to keep smiles glued on players’ faces. There are multiple difficulty modifiers in place too, which helps make Moving Out accessible for players who don’t have any experience with this sort of game (or video games in general). There’s no excuse for your young kids or elderly parents not to get involved in the action, which is ideal seeing as we’re all stuck in a lockdown right now.
There is one thing that’s worth noting though: Moving Out only features local multiplayer, with no online options included. It’s a bit of a shame, especially since some players won’t have others around them who can join in on the fun.
I’ve got a lot of love for Moving Out, but it does have a few flaws that caught my eye during my time with the game. For one, there were a few occasions where I’d move furniture and accidentally block my path completely, which would essentially completely halt my progress. Admittedly, the issue wasn’t so apparent when playing in multiplayer, but when it happened in single player the only real way to fix it would be to restart the level. Here’s a piece of advice for new players: don’t get a sofa stuck in a door frame…
There were a few other small glitches I encountered during my time playing too, though there was nothing too obvious or game-breaking. For the most part, Moving Out just played really well – even on the Nintendo Switch’s handheld mode, where multiplayer runs smoothly without any hitches to the frame rate. That being said, I would recommend playing on the TV if you are playing in multiplayer, with the bigger screen making it easier for players to keep track of their character.
Moving Out offers a zany and fun approach to one of real-life’s most unenjoyable tasks, with its multiplayer orientated gameplay keeping me hooked in for hours on end.
Honestly, if you’re looking for a game to play with your friends and family during this crazy lockdown, Moving Out will be perfect for you – its multiplayer-focus encourages you to work together, cause plenty of destruction, and laugh a ton along the way. It does have a few glitches here and there and its lack of online multiplayer is disappointing, but overall Moving Out is another multiplayer hit from Team 17 that gamers will DEFINITELY want to check out.
Developer: SMG Studio
Publisher: Team 17
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC