Full disclosure: Review code for Moving Out was provided by Team17.
I’m here to lug furniture and chew bubblegum…
I hate moving house. In my relatively short time on this earth, I have had to relocate my furniture from one demesne to another maybe a handful of times – and each time brought forth a rage comparable to the heat of a thousand suns. Moving Out is a multiplayer game about lobbing furniture into a van, yet despite my predisposition of unrelenting fury, I found myself not hating every second of my existence.
But it’s still not great. Moving Out is a game that teeters on the edge of good, but I found it rarely hit the mark. You are a freshly qualified F.A.R.T. (Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician) for the Smooth Moves Furniture Removalists. Your goal is to take an indeterminate amount of furniture from a location and pack it onto your van. That’s it. It’s a simple premise that, to its credit, gets more complex as you progress through its 30 levels.
A surprising amount of content
You might start off tearing kitchen appliances off walls, or sprinting houses carrying all manner of boxes, but eventually, you will be dealing with hordes of chickens, navigating conveyor belts and yeeting valuables over swimming pools. Throw in a time limit, time-related medals and unlockable side-challenges and you have a game with a hefty chunk of content that lasts around eight hours.
It’s just not that interesting to play. This is a couch co-op game, and these games live or die on their ability to be a catalyst for fun. The party makes the game memorable – the game makes the party. It’s a symbiotic relationship at its core. Moving Out doesn’t have the frantic gameplay and memorable moments, and therefore doesn’t really pull its weight.
Sure you might have to team up with a mate to move an L-shaped sofa effectively through a door, but for the most part, you can just toddle off on your own and do your own thing. Teamwork is helpful and strategy is certainly a factor, but nothing about the game really pushes your party into manic hysteria. Each level ended like a flaccid plop into a pool of liquid humdrumery.
We decided to take early retirement
My elite team of casual gamers quickly tired of the experience. Even with a fairly diverse selection of levels on offer, it didn’t manage to hold their attention for long – or mine for that matter. There were no raised voices, no screams of anger, no raucous cheers of joy. At most, the game pulled a few nodding heads and the occasional, “hmm, yes, that was indeed a level”.
You can play Moving Out solo, but what little excitement the game offers in multiplayer is completely absent here. It goes from light teamwork to tedious nonsense almost immediately. The game also has no online multiplayer, so if you have nobody to play with, then there is very little reason to pick this up.
At the very least, Moving Out looks pretty. The game has a wonderfully vibrant colour palette with hods of unlockable player characters each with their own animated quirks. The game absolutely scores bonus points by allowing you to play as a sentient toaster. Moving Out goes with a very catchy synth soundtrack very reminiscent of an eighties TV show, which when combined with the infrequent, yet wonderfully corny narrator, gives the game a real sense of style.
Style is nothing without substance, and whilst Moving Out has a lot of content, the content on offer failed to land in my household. There are makings of a great party game here, but ultimately, there are far better cooperative games on the Switch. It’s a competently made game with an interesting concept, but that’s about it.