You know you’ve done something right as a game developer when the game you’ve released goes on to inspire the creation of similar games. Overcooked and its sequel have been one of the biggest surprise indie game hits of this generation and getting more games like that can only be a good thing. Games like Overcooked and Tools Up have been a big hit with my family and so has Moving Out, the latest game that draws parallels to Overcooked. It was created by SMG Studio who previously brought us Death Squared and published by Team17 who just so happened to also publish Overcooked. If you enjoy these type of co-op games then let me tell you why Moving Out should be going on your to play list.
Upon starting up a new game on Moving Out I was already a fan due to the introduction. The tutorial stage begins by playing an old style commercial that you would expect to see in the 80’s which to someone like me brought back memories. Moving Out lets you and up to three other players take on the role of F.A.R.T.s which while funny stands for Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician. You work for a company called Smooth Moves and you must drive around the town of Packmore and move customer’s belongings out of their home and into the moving van. Moving in real life can be quite stressful but this game won’t quite put that much of a burden on you.
Every level begins by giving you a counter of how many things need to be put into the van and a time limit to get the job done. Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals are awarded based on how fast you finish the level. There really aren’t any rules for how you go about moving the items out of the home so you can smash windows, doors, etc to your hearts content. That is until you finish the level and find that there are three hidden objectives that reveal themselves at that point. These can be things like finish the level without breaking a window, by breaking all windows, by loading up an item that you weren’t told to and more. By completing these bonus objectives you’ll earn tokens that can be spent in the arcade to play bonus levels.
The controls in the game are really easy for anyone to pick up and play. You move with the analog stick and use the shoulder buttons to move your arms and grab hold of things. You can throw lighter objects while others will have to be dragged all the way to the van. Then there are objects like beds, sofas and more that require two people to move. Keep in mind that the van has limited space so you have to think on how you want to put stuff in there so that everything will fit. Because of this coming up with a plan with the other players at the start can be key to getting the job done in quicker times. I found that you usually want to get the bigger stuff in there first as if you throw all the little stuff in the van then you may struggle to fit a bed or something else in there at the end.
Every level you finish opens up the next one on the town map. You can drive your van around this map to each level or mess around just crashing into the other cars or objects. That alone can be fun especially for younger players. Levels start off easy and gradually add new things to account for. You’ll start finding that some objects are fragile so you can’t drop them or they’ll break. Then you’ll have different kinds of levels like levels with ice, levels with ghosts which you’ll have to slap to stun and more. I really enjoyed the variety in the levels and am hoping that the game gets some kind of DLC support.
Another thing I want to point out is that SMG Studio have made it so pretty much anyone can enjoy and finish this game. This is done through an optional Assist Mode which you can activate at anytime. With this on you can modify different gameplay features like giving yourself more time to achieve better medals, making it so one player can carry objects that normally require two players, making it so the furniture disappears once it’s loaded in the van and more. A game like Overcooked could see someone getting stuck and unable to progress but the developer took great care to make sure that isn’t the case in Moving Out. The character customization even includes a bit of this as every character can be played as if they were in a wheelchair which is great to see. The game has a good assortment of characters to pick from and more are unlocked as you play. You can also modify their color and add different hats.
The only things I really didn’t like about Moving Out was the fact that it has no online co-op and that it doesn’t require as much communication as a game like Overcooked. Yes you’ll need to get someone to help you to move certain things but outside of that everyone is usually just running around grabbing whatever. Also it’s always worth saying that while you can play this game solo it’s a much lesser experience when doing so and you’ll probably struggle to get through it unless you use the assist features.
The visuals in Moving Out are colorful and charming but I didn’t like the style quite as much as something like Overcooked. The sound on the other hand is fantastic whether it be the effects or the music itself. The soundtrack really has an 80’s or 90’s sound to it which gave me major nostalgia. The game has plenty of humor too whether it be from characters farting when they pull on heavy objects or the sound of slapping the other players for fun. The writing also has a ton of jokes which kept getting laughs out of my family. Finally the trophy list has 27 trophies including a Platinum. It can be a challenging list if doing it legit but you can earn all of them by enabling the assist features which then makes the list very easy.
Moving Out is hard to not recommend to fans of these co-op physics games. It’s got a great assortment of levels that will challenge you and is complimented by a cartoony art style, great soundtrack and plenty of humor. The care the developer took to make sure it had options so that anyone could enjoy it was also great to see. It can do more to reach the highs that a certain co-op cooking game has reached but for a first entry Moving Out is a smooth mover.
*Moving Out is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.