Review – Moving Out

We have all got that call, the one to help a friend pack or unpack a moving van. We have all sat on an overturned couch as we try to figure out how to get it out a door or around a corner. If we are being completely honest, we have all even banged our friend’s house up a bit in doing so. Moving Out manages to capture that essence but in an enjoyable, fun, and frantic addition to couch co-op mayhem hysterics.

Moving Out Launch Screens (3)

Fences and windows are covered in the insurance, right?

In the same vein as Overcooked!, SMG Studio’s focus for Moving Out is its couch co-op. You and up to three other players work for the Smooth Moves moving company. It is up to you to work your way through your town’s 30-some levels as you work for bronze, silver, and gold ratings. You’ll smash, break, and wreck your way through homes, working together to first figure out how to move larger clumsy items out, then on how best to fit everything in your truck. Level designs, challenges and obstacles get increasingly more difficult along the way, with some very clever ones truly shining.

Moving Out’s controls are fairly straightforward. You move and jump around as you pick up, throw, and drop objects. Bull rushing a level is more than doable, but if your goal is to obtain a gold tier for that level, then a fair amount of cooperation and planning is required. Bulkier objects can be a lot trickier to work around corners and carry through doorways. You will constantly have to balance and decide between speed and risk of breaking an item. If you need those precious seconds, toss an item out a second floor window to your partner instead of going up and down stairs.

Moving Out Launch Screens (4)

Those Frogger Feels.

This deconstruction step is a nice change of pace to the usual BurgerTime scenario where you are given an order and then you race around like crazy, trying to construct that order. However, Moving Out still keeps that construction element. Loading up your van properly is very important. You can move smaller objects much faster and easier than larger objects, but if you load your van up with all smaller items, the large ones will be tougher to fit. You won’t be given the usual road-map of “bun, lettuce, hamburger, onion, mustard, bun, next” but instead, you will have to plan it out on the fly as you see what needs to be moved.

You can run through the entirety of the Game Mode in under 10 hours, but these games are make-and-break based on their replayability. Thankfully SMG Studio nails that. The standard three star system is mandatory, but Moving Out adds a couple of additional interesting ideas. After you complete a level, you see bonus objectives that you may or may not have accomplished. It won’t straight out tell you what is needed for that objective either, so returning to a level to do any number of awkwardly hysterical activities adds a lot of enjoyment. Obtaining a gold tier opens up more time trial challenge levels for you to further test your moving prowess.

The art direction has a top-down Animal Crossing feel. Honestly, this works in its favor. The cartoony feel, the up-beat soundtrack, it is just impossible to take it seriously enough to get too angry with your friends. Instead, you enjoy it for what it is.

Moving Out Launch Screens (6)

Ain’t no party like a Moving Out party…

Unfortunately, just like with all moving ventures, there is one lackluster bum in the group. There is always that “friend” that moves the least, if anything, but still expects his pizza. This is no less true for Moving Out. Although you can play single player, the game is a fraction of itself. These games always are, but the differences that make Moving Out stand out with multiple friends playing, work against the game in single player. It was then that I was thankful to be playing on Switch, where logging in to do a single level, then back off for a couple hours, seemed more common than not.

Moving Out is a whimsical and absurdly hysterical game at times. Although it fails to deliver when you’re playing by yourself, it otherwise shines by focusing on the fun while finding smart detours around the frustration. Fans of same-screen co-op should definitely be moving on to Moving Out.

 

Graphics: 7.0

A cute Animal Crossing feel that is lacking in visuals but supports the mad-cap, frantic, cooperative gameplay.

Gameplay: 8.0

Simple mechanics to grasp, but it akes patience and planning to master.

Sound: 8.5

Always upbeat, keeping the action onscreen upbeat as well.

Fun Factor: 8.5

Single player is obviously lacking, but co-op action delivers. Lots of re-playability as you work to master each level and unlock new ones.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Moving Out is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Moving Out was provided by the publisher.

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