I think it’s safe to say that no one likes to pack up their entire life to move to a new house. It’s monotonous, exhausting and overall just dull (I can truly attest to this, having recently moved house myself and experiencing the joy of packing everything in boxes). So it’s a relief to see Aussie Indie game developer SMG Studio provide us the joy that is Moving Out, an extremely fun and hilarious physics-based simulation game based on packing up and well, moving out, that will keep your attention for hours on end.
From the moment you begin Moving Out, it is clear what you’ll be getting yourself into, considering the entire tone and attitude of the game. After completing the tutorial showing you how to play the game, you will be given the honour of being an official ‘Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician’, shortened to ‘F.A.R.T.’. Straight away I was laughing and knew I was in for a good time.
As an official ‘F.A.R.T’, you are a removalist and are tasked with helping to assist various people move their belongings such as boxes and furniture into the removal truck, and as fast as you possibly can. Each house has a time limit associated with them and based on how quickly you are able to retrieve all items that is required into the removalist truck during that time-frame, you are rewarded either gold, silver or bronze.
There will always be plenty of obstacles to stop you in your tracks or large furniture you must drag down a flight of stairs that will make things challenging to achieve your goal. There are also bonus objectives that are mostly all different and unique to each house that you tackle on, all added for more replay value. Some are easy, such as not breaking any windows during the move, and some are much harder, like not being able to hold a box for more than three seconds. It’s all added fun, if tackling challenging elements that adds to the absolute chaotic and crazy gameplay of Moving Out provides is considered your kind of fun.
Speaking of controls, it’s an easy game to understand how everything works and luckily feels great to play. Your customisable avatar character moves with ease and is reliable with grabbing, moving and throwing. Playing and controlling your character almost has a ragdoll-like feel to the movement of running, turning around corners while holding an item or holding a box to take (or throw) to the truck. Manipulating the environment and obstacles around you is key to working with the flow of the controls, and it’s easy to get the hang of things early on. If things do feel too difficult or you are struggling with achieving certain goals, Assist Mode is available and allows players to reduce the difficulty. It’s entirely optional too, so it’s there for you at any time if games with crazy physics like this one are a little too much of a challenge.
Along with this, Moving Out is also a co-op game that I would heavily advise to play with friends, as this would be much more fun and twice the more chaotic and hilarious when other people are involved. It also makes achieving the gold time in packing up much more doable when there are friends to join you, giving a real sense of satisfaction and relief. It is just such a shame that the cooperative multiplayer is not online and requires people to be with you physically in order to join helping you out. I sadly believe that this does a bit of a disservice to the game. A massive missed opportunity in my eyes.
Not only is this game great to play, visually it’s a treat to look at too. The game oozes personality and colour with the presentation of the map you are driving on to proceed to the next house/level, initially detailing very suburban-like homes surrounding you as you begin the game. Everything also gives off a bit of a 1980’s vibe, including a funky soundtrack playing some of the catchiest tunes you’ll hear while you empty house by house. Even the tutorial begins with an instructional VHS tape starting up a very retro explanation of the removalist company and how to become a certified ‘F.A.R.T.’ (this still makes me laugh). It’s all very charming.
The result is that Moving Out is a hilarious and extremely fun game that friends will enjoy playing together, and even players who are on their own with no one to join. While I believe that the game should have included an online co-op and would benefit greatly from this, it should not stop you from purchasing a game that will hook you in with its zany personality and humour. You’ll find yourself having a great time and laugh throughout.
Moving Out is available from April 28 on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and XBox One.