In another zany game published by Team 17, developed by DevM Games and SMG Studio, comes Moving Out, available since 28 April 2020! As described by the team:
Moving Out is a fun physics-based moving simulator that brings new meaning to “couch co-op”!
Are you ready for an exciting career in furniture? As a newly certified Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician, you’ll take on moving jobs all across the busy town of Packmore. Smooth Moves may not be the biggest moving company, but there’s no task too dangerous or strange for this busy team of go-getters. Grow your business to brave new heights, recruit colourful customizable characters, and save your town from furniture peril!
The game is available for the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, PC via Steam and Xbox One, so basically most major home platforms for this quirky party game. For this review, I played it on the PS4, with Assist Mode on. More on that in a bit.
Perusing the options menu
Accessibility options are always a welcome sight in games. The main options menu only offers scaling of the user interface as well as dyslexic friendly text for easier reading, but even that can be more than what typical games, especially party games, may offer, depending on your company.
As you start a new game, you will be able to pick Assist Mode, which has the following:
- Longer time limits
- Objects disappear on delivery
- In regular mode, you’ll have to shuffle your items in the moving truck
- Reduced difficulty
- No dangers or slowing down elements
- The tutorial will show you to slap things that try to attack you to stop them
- No dangers or slowing down elements
- Skip level on fail
- If you don’t pass the level, it will automatically skip you to the next one
- Lighter 2P items
- The bigger items are easier to carry for 1 person
If I had one nitpick, it’s the fact there’s no colour-blind mode when there are moving items marked in red (for Fragile items) and blue (indicating the required items to move, though this is also accompanied by other symbols). As a solo player I would recommend having on at least Lighter 2P items, because the bigger pieces already prove to be a challenge with it on. Of course, these are merely optional, so play with or without the help.
Becoming the best Furniture Arrangement Relocation Technician (yes, that is F.A.R.T.)
Right off the bad, the humour in the game is on the funny, if on the childish, side, which can be up to personal taste. Personally, I did find the various quips and one-liners amusing, which may say a lot about me. It is a party game after all, with the jokes to appeal to the kids and child at heart.
The basic gameplay loop is simple: move the required number of things to your truck. In both regular and Assist Mode, you can obtain trophies for clearing the level within a certain time. Clearing the level will also open up bonus objectives which can be quite vague. Completing these bonus objectives – be it in regular mode or Assist mode – will give you additional “tokens” to spend on customizing your character, but it doesn’t open up early in the game. Speaking of customization, you can have plenty of funny attachments and unlock more characters as you play.
Assist Mode and regular mode trophies are different, so if you were thinking of the former as a “cheat” mode, don’t worry about that. There’s enough challenge in navigating narrow doors with larger furniture pieces, and you can’t throw them unless you have a friend. Levels typically have breakable windows, which you should use to toss the smaller, non-fragile items out to the truck. Doors are also be knocked off their hinges. If you forget what needs to be moved, just hit the Triangle – or your console equivalent – and it’ll be marked.
While there are varieties in the map design, as mentioned, the gameplay loop is pretty much the same. You’ll be able to unlock extra levels that depict the past jobs your moving company has done. The game is fun to a degree, but trying this out solo felt somewhat unsatisfying. Alas the poor guy who currently has to social distance and can’t have friends or have willing family to play :sadface:
Grading the move
I would say the single player experience being dissatisfying is down to personal preference, but the slightly janky controls when it comes to grips, and the physics working in strange ways just isn’t as fun to make fun of alone. The game is cute and brightly coloured, and with up to four player co-op, definitely benefits having company around to fling furniture with absolute abandon.
Once social distancing requirements are done, pop in this game during some drunken party nights as you fumble with your grip both in-game and in real life, for some laughs.
|Depending on sense of humour, it’s really funny||Solo play doesn’t feel satisfying|
|Assist mode very welcome||Map variety doesn’t equate to gameplay variety|
|Character customization is zany and amusing|