Moving is one of the most unfun chores on the planet. It’s as tiresome as it is tedious, even if everything goes smoothly and there’s a well-earned pizza at the end. But chores don’t always have to be chores when in video game form, as MOVING OUT is trying to prove. Although it’s not quite a forever home, this charming cooperative game is a cozy enough spot worth settling down in.
Given its camera angle, joyful presentation, and cooperative take on a normal task, it’s hard not to compare it to its culinary cousin, Overcooked. But instead of moving around chopped onions, delivering pizza, and screaming at your partners, you’ll be moving around boxes, delivering couches, and screaming at your partners. Apparently some things don’t change.
Moving Out Review | Lifting with your legs
Aspiring movers have to use these skills in a variety of different locations that task them with lugging the designated objects into the moving truck within the time limit. Getting everything in the truck is hectic as some furniture requires two sets of hands and just coordinating that can be a surprisingly monumental task.
Hazards and wacky level layouts add on top of the chaos since it layers on even more ways that jobs can go sideways. Some of them are homages to other pieces of pop culture while others bend the existing toolset to avoid complete stagnation. It could have pushed further in that direction but the assorted stages are all still colorful buildings to wreck shop in.
Simply getting the furniture to the truck is only half the battle because you have to actually fit everything inside. Since you’ll be smashing windows and tossing couches off balconies, it makes for a welcome bit of strategy to an otherwise charmingly reckless experience. Trying to do anything carefully while under a timer fits the cooperative nature of the game since these types of games thrive on that brand of excitement. The humor — which mainly stems from strained farts and the nonchalant attitude towards breaking your clients’ property — brings levity to those tense moments, too.
It’s a simple loop that works because of its uniqueness and its accessibility. Thanks to a few accessibility options and how the game only uses one or two buttons, casuals can jump right in and its original concept will intrigue more seasoned players. Unlockable levels and hidden mission objectives might even entice more hardcore players as those features add something to chase. Moving Out uses its simplicity well by appealing to multiple audiences, which is something good co-op games of this ilk do.
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However, excellent co-op games tend to do more. Having local-only co-op isn’t a huge deal breaker since it’s best enjoyed on the same couch, but it is unfortunate for those who aren’t in the same house. But, more importantly, Moving Out also doesn’t have the randomness and high replay value of Overcooked. Recipes change and ensure that every round is different. You’re always being tested and this perpetual state of panic is why it is such a co-op classic.
Moving Out is not as frantic as the levels and strategies don’t seem to change. It becomes less about mastering the mechanics and more just about memorizing what is there. You’ll see the couch in the same place so it becomes a routine even if the couch in the next level is in a different place. Semi-random layouts, furniture that requires a different approach, and secondary objectives (something analogous to washing dishes in Overcooked) would keep the game from being as routine as it currently is.
Some parts of that routine can be a little tedious, too. Figuring out how to move the furniture is a solid challenge most of the time, but narrow doorways can make that process annoying. Having to squeeze a 48-inch-wide couch through a 49-inch doorway is a grating exercise that’s too close to real moving to be fun. Wiggling oblong chairs through hallways is where the meat of the game is and doorways often turn that joy into frustration. Ghosts are similarly annoying as their persistent patrol patterns just pester rather than add tension.
Moving Out is mostly a seamless move, even considering these bumps in the road, because of its cooperative gameplay. Filling up a moving truck full of junk and the occasional farm animal is simple and silly enough to work, despite its inability to continually refresh itself. There might be a ding on your dresser because of the cramped doorways, but it’s an endearing new place that’s worth the lease and best enjoyed with a few other people.
GameRevolution reviewed Moving Out on PS4 with a copy provided by the publisher.