It’s funny how certain happenings marry up perfectly throughout one’s life. Having been in the process of moving houses myself over the last few weeks or so, I’ve had the opportunity to experience both SMG Studio and DEVM Games’ beautiful-yet-disorderly Moving Out on Steam and can indeed confirm that it’s much more fun in a virtual format. Still as stressful and just as likely to end in near-broken relationships, but fun nonetheless. Who’d have thought that games take creative liberties for the purpose of enjoyment?
Blatant sarcasm aside, Moving Out follows in the footsteps of the Overcooked titles, also published by Team 17, in providing a disorderly cooperative affair where communication is key. The goal is, akin to the aforementioned Overcooked, extraordinarily simple: Vacate a house of its many belongings to a pre-designated area as quickly and effectively as possible. Small items can easily be carried by a lone player but, for the larger items, multiple operators are required to effectively spread the weight evenly, less they throw both it and themselves down the stairs. Hilarious, yes, but not always the best mode of transport.
Should the tone of the title not be immediately apparent from the get-go, the wacky cast of characters available competently ingrain the colourful, charismatic blend of chaos that Moving Out clearly thrives upon. The wide assortment of unique characters, that range from people with toasters as heads to full-on reptilian creatures, help further imbue the same personality that the previously mentioned Overcooked did. Whilst they don’t directly add anything to the game themselves per se, they’re certainly more enjoyable than the plain humanoid characters that we’d otherwise be left with.
Through the various levels available in the preview build, only one lends itself effectively to such a simple premise and is obviously there to teach you the metaphorical ropes which, conveniently, don’t have to be moved due to not existing in the first place. With little-to-no obstructions or nuances to this beginning two-up two-down stage, mechanics are ingrained and faux confidence is implanted within your very core. You’ll break a window, sure, although you’ll then find that the opportunities to shave a few valuable seconds present themselves in such a manner, and then utilise said path going forward. After all, bay windows are wider than doors and thus require less Friend-esque pivoting, so why wouldn’t you use this?
Regardless, you’ll find yourself optimistically picking a second stage, only to find that everything has changed. Gone are the houses you’re accustomed to. Gimmicks are in. Whilst I had to contend with nails sticking out of carpets in my ‘IRL’ finding, Moving Out starts to throw busy roads, ala Frogger, at you, whilst another places copious conveyor belts around to both assist with and deny your objective – dependant on effective communication during each eventual incident, of course. No, shouting at your friend is not “effective communication”. Nor is sharply nudging them in the ribs with your elbow. Both, however, will be used regardless of my disclaimer, so make sure to provide make-up Pizza after your many sessions on this guaranteed success. It works a treat.
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