by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
I have only had to move a couple of times in my life. Gently packing everything of importance into a moving truck and then carefully unpacking it all (although some things just remained in boxes for months afterwards) once the new location has been reached, is a somewhat daunting experience. Sometimes it is just better to get someone else to do all the hard work. But having said that, I would not use the removalists from Moving Out, as they are as gentle as a bull in a glassware store aiming to get the job completed as quickly as possible.
Moving Out tasks gamers with becoming certified Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technicians (also known as F.A.R.Ts) and being the best movers in the town of Packmore. Starting with some small, basic jobs, our removalists will get themselves a reputation before being given some tougher, but more rewarding jobs from higher paying clientele.
Squeeze it around the corner
Levels start off simple, with our cute, comical avatars running around a house picking up furniture and boxes and carefully placing (or just throwing) the items in the truck. But as your team build up a reputation and get bigger jobs, other hazards impede their path between the house and the moving van. Dangers such as swimming pools, ghosts, farmyard animals and domestic pets, roads, rivers and even moving vehicles, provide for a new experience. Puzzle elements such as switches – which appear later in the story – also require some tactics when determining how to go about the move. And the final level…well, without giving too much away, is a real doozy.
Furniture can be transported to the moving truck through any means possible. The front door is not always the most direct route. In the first level, there is a massive window right next to the truck that disappointingly shattered on our first run though. But this ‘accident’ allowed for quicker access to the truck. Throwing small objects between teammates is also an option, as is simply throwing objects onto the truck from a second storey window. Large, heavier items are tough to move, and will require two people to move. Again, with two people on opposite sides of a bed or couch, throwing the object Is often a quicker solution.
The game provides thirty levels of removalist fun, each with three levels of achievement. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded for completing the move in certain timeframes. But as well as getting all the objects into the truck in time, each level has three bonus challenges. These challenges will often require multiple playthroughs of the level to complete, as they are not known until after the mission has been completed for the first time. The challenges can also ask moving teams to complete two opposite tasks. For instance, the first house has one challenge which requires you to smash all the windows in the house, but also has a challenge that asks your team to not break any windows.
Moving Out has simple controls, with just four buttons plus the left thumbstick required (can also be played with a keyboard if you prefer). This combined with a range of difficulty settings that can be removed - such as not having to fit everything into the truck Tetris-style or increasing the time limit – helps to make the game more accessible to younger gamers. Or for gamers with a lack of dexterity for that matter.
The game is loaded with comic relief, as movers who are straining to move heavy furniture often feel the strain too much and let out some bowel gas. The first time that one of our straining characters let out a bout of flatulence, there was a look around the room, with everyone denying that it was them. It was only a few minutes later when it happened again that we realised it was a sound effect from the game. The dialogue between characters also had me giggling to myself (whilst at the same time making my youngest daughter burst out laughing).
The game also pays homage to a host of 1980’s pop culture. Right from the outset, an 80’s retro video is shown to get gamers acquainted with the controls and never lets up after that. There is a level that has your team crossing over a river of logs and crocodiles like a game of Frogger. One level has a car parked in an upstairs garage that falls out in a tribute to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Another has a masked turtle that follows your team around in a house full of pizza slices and empty pizza boxes. It is details such as this that add an extra layer of enjoyment to the game, as you find these Easter Eggs as you progress through. The cartoon style visuals and cast of zany characters further enhance the fun nature of the gameplay.
Get to the truck
Moving Out is a light-hearted approach to the art of furniture removal, and with the cute visuals, hilarious dialogue and story, and simple control scheme, Moving Out is a game that is accessible for anyone. The bonus level achievements and the Gold Medal collection will mean that each level has a certain amount of replayability as gamers chase down each of the achievements on offer. And with up to four players locally, the whole family can get into the fun-filled action (especially during a period of isolation). Moving furniture has never been so entertaining.
Hilarious gameplay, simple controls
Characters can occasionally get stuck, causing you to waste valuable time.