You’ve managed to escape a relentless Nemesis and even saved the world from a One-Winged Angel. But all that is just child’s play. Nothing could have ever prepared you for the most action-packed, grueling, and intense quest you’ll ever tackle in a video game: Moving furniture.
You’ve seen video games where you can be a cook, a doctor, a farmer, and even a DJ. Now, you can add being a F.A.R.T. to the list. In Moving Out, you are a Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician, or F.A.R.T. for short.
Somewhere out there, some developer thought that a game where you move furniture would be an interesting concept for a video game. So is it? Join us as we discover the joys of moving with the Smooth Moves Company in this review of Moving Out.
In Moving Out, you take on the role of a rookie mover as you work your way up in the town of Packmore, where somehow everyone just wants to have furniture moved elsewhere. You’ll be going to different locations where you will have to move a set number of items from a client’s location to your moving truck, and you will have to do so in record time. Sounds simple? Sure, but not as easy as it sounds.
Moving furniture will require some degree of strategy and planning as you will need to study routes and consider that furniture pieces are bound by the laws of physics. Smaller items like chairs and microwave ovens can be moved with no problem at all. Heck, you can even throw them into the truck to save on time! The challenge will be heavier furniture like sofas and beds that will require you to drag them. It’s especially more challenging for the more oddly shaped items like L-shaped and curved sofas.
Looking rad, Brad
One of the things we have to highlight in Moving Out is definitely the presentation. The visuals are bright and colorful, making them very pleasant to the eyes. The graphics can almost be compared to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the Switch and the choices of heads you can customize your avatar with can make you think the game is in the same universe as Parappa the Rapper.
Moving out is set in a fictional town called Packmore and believe it or not the developers have made the effort to put in a simple story about moving furniture to follow as you progress. You drive around the town of Packmore in your moving truck to your various locations that has this cute Simcity feel to it, just bustling with broken cars… Yes, broken, because you don’t have to worry about driving on the wrong lanes or crashing into other cars. You’re a professional mover, not driver.
Speaking of comparisons to other titles, there’s also references to pop culture and other games that can be found in the game’s visuals and dialogue like the Ninja Turtles and Frogger. It’s these small details that make Moving Out such a good and smart game to get into.
Moving Out has quite a number of catchy tracks that can get you moving to the beat while throwing the furniture around, some of which might even get stuck in your head. The sound effects are also spot on like the sound of breaking windows, the howling of ghosts, to the sound of arcade machines giving off beeps and bells as you pull them off their sockets.
F.A.R.T.s can have fun
Your job as a F.A.R.T. is to move your client’s furniture in record time… by any means possible. One quote in the different loading screens states your customers signed a waiver so you, as someone who represents the Smooth Moves company, must move furniture as fast as possible even if it means breaking a few windows here and there to create some shortcuts. You don’t even need to get that TV into the moving truck in one piece, that’s just how it is!
The exchanges between your avatar and your moving partner are funny to read and really give off the vibe they just simply love their job. Just don’t expect the same level of love when it comes to handling your furniture with care (A moment of silence for all those game consoles that were thrown around and broken in-game during our playthrough). But hey as your boss said: “Move fast or die trying.”
Luckily, controls won’t be much of a problem as they are simple and easy to get used to. You move your avatar around with the analog stick and you use the shoulder button to grab and hold onto furniture to move them. You also have one button for throwing the smaller furniture around and another for jumping.
There’s even a dedicated button in the game for slapping. Yup, the best action in the game bar none. Your slap will be your best tool against stage hazards like ghosts (you can’t get any more badass if you can slap ghosts!) or if you want to knock some sense into your teammates. There shouldn’t be any problem getting the hang of controlling your avatar and while movement is a teeny tiny bit slippery, it shouldn’t be too much of a concern as overall, the control scheme is great and intuitive.
Don’t think moving will be easy because there will be a lot of different locations you will be going to, each with their own challenges and hazards to face. In this 31 level (1 tutorial level included) moving experience, you’ll start with the more normal households but things will escalate as you move furniture in a haunted house avoiding pesky ghosts, to farms with hazardous rakes lying around as you try to move very unwilling farms animals, to even that Frogger inspired river level complete with moving traffic and floating logs.
Later locations will add even more puzzle elements will like switches and moving platforms. To add to the presentation, even the households vary as you’ll be visiting houses of professional athletes and music artists, as well as snowy lodges and muti storey apartments. We mentioned ghosts so you can be sure a couple of haunted houses and offices are in your list of clients.
There’s also the matter of your moving truck. You’ll have to be aware of the positions of your items in the truck. If you aren’t careful that basketball you threw may have already rolled out which is definitely a hassle. You’ll also have to ensure that everything you jam into your truck will fit as there’s nothing more frustrating that moving a whole heap of furniture only to realize you didn’t make space for that last L-shaped sofa.
Rewards in the game consist of Gold Coins and the aforementioned Pocket Watches, the latter of which will depend on how fast you are so you got either Gold, Silver or Bronze watches to earn. The Gold Coins on the other hand will depend because each level in Moving Out has different bonus objectives to compete. These bonus objectives can vary from simply kicking a soccer ball into a goal, shooting a basketball into a hoop, to breaking all of a house’s windows. What’s great is you don’t have to fulfill all conditions in one go. You can simply concentrate on one goal and just replay the level going for the remaining objectives, and it will all be registered as completed, so there’s definitely some degree of replayability.
Some of these Bonus objectives in later levels tend to be vague though and will require some investigation and exploring on your part and all these rewards will work towards unlocking more goodies in the game as Gold Coins will let you unlock challenging move based mini-games in the Arcade while Gold Pocket Watches will let you buy extra levels in the VHS Store.
There’s definitely a lot to do in Moving Out, even if you were to play the game alone. That said, the potential of this game is fully realized when you get to moving with a partner. While it’s fun to play alone if you’re just after beating your personal best records and completing bonus objectives, the solo experience just doesn’t cut it compared to moving furniture as a team.
Playing solo didn’t give us the urge to play one more level, and we had to take breaks in between to kind of reset a bit because after a few levels, the game does feel a bit of a drag. Unfortunately, for a game that fully shines in multiplayer, it was quite a glaring omission that there isn’t any online multiplayer mode, just the basic couch co-op. Sure it can be solved by a patch in the future, but it is just baffling to think why it wasn’t included in the game to begin with.
to three other players can join in on the fun and it makes moving the heavier furniture more convenient. If you’re moving a heavy object with a friend you can even work together to throw it into the truck. Even if the number of required items increases with the number of players, the fun really is how well you coordinate with each other. And definitely teamwork and maybe even friendships will be tested as you all coordinate your moves in finishing in record time.
What we liked:
- Bright and colorful graphics accompanied by catchy soundtrack
- Bonus objectives encourage replayability
- Perfect as a multiplayer experience
What we didn’t like:
- No online multiplayer
- Playing solo can be a bit of a drag
Verdict: Buy it!
At $24.99 or around PHP1,250, Moving Out sounds like a steal of a deal only if you have somebody to play the game with. Similar to our previous review of Biped, the single player experience is short but fun and if you’re fine with that, go ahead, but know that this game is built with multiplayer in mind.
Much like Overcooked, Moving Out the perfect multiplayer game that will require skill and coordination from both players. The lack of an online multiplayer mode is just surprising and while couch co-op magnifies the fun, it would have been nice to have the option to play with complete strangers.
Moving Out is a rather short game and finishing the 30 default levels shouldn’t take too long as it can probably be done in a day or so. That said, if you’re never going to be playing this with a friend, we’d recommend that you wait it out a bit until a reduction in price. Playing through all those 30 levels solo, we just couldn’t shake off the feeling something was missing when there’s nobody to move with.
If you are buying the game with multiplayer in mind, then Moving Out is definitely worth your time and money but multiplayer usage will vary depending on the level of your relationship with the other mover, as things may get a little spicy during your gaming sessions. Hey, at least you’ll have someone to split the non-existent repair bills with.
*Moving Out was reviewed on a PS4 Pro via a review code provided by the publisher.