Think about the last time you moved home… Your life in the hands of the people you hired to help. The careful wrapping and packaging of your treasured possessions, and the care and precision in which the moving vehicle was loaded ready for that fateful journey. But what if you just had to get out? What if you were paying based around getting in and out as fast as possible? Imagine the chaos… Now go play Moving Out.
For one to four players, Moving Out repositions the removals business with a comical lens. It all begins with you Immediately thrown into a tutorial so that you can gain your certification as a Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician (FART). After being guided through the basic controls and then being let loose on an unsuspecting neighbourhood you can undertake your first job. Driving to the first job on the world map sets the tone as other cars are smashed out of your path and you arrive at the marked house.
Starting outside the house you can, at any time, see the number of items to still load into the moving van — as well as your current time and the current reward tier you are in. Pressing the associated button (Y/Xbox, Triangle/PS4 and X/Switch) highlights all items in the house that still need to be placed into the van. Then carnage commences as you run in and out of the house with the items you need to move and collect.
Adding more players sounds like it’s going to make things easier — after all, many hands make light work don’t they? It’s a double-edged, laughter-inducing, stress generating sword in reality. Whilst you can see the time saving when player one heads to the kitchen and player two to the bedroom, what happens when they reach the same exit at the same time? Planning your route in and out of the house suddenly becomes more important since you have additional foot traffic to deal with.
Packaged with this are the items that start to appear as more players play. These heavier, bulkier furniture pieces require more than one person to lift, not only that but they take more space up on the van and are conveniently sized to only just fit through most doorways. There’s also something in here about “The law of Diminishing Returns” in that your efficiency in clearing a house clearly peaks at somewhere between two and three players and with any more they are seriously only there to cause utter carnage.
Progression in Moving Out is initially subject to just completing the level within the allotted time barriers to earn medals. From gold through to silver and bronze; each time limit breached moves you into the next category and its ever-deteriorating rewards. Mastering a level alone or with friends allows you to earn the rewards you missed out on last time and eventually you do need a certain amount of medals to progress to the next clearance. After clearing a level players get to see how they have done in addition to discovering some secret additional objectives that can be completed for extra rewards on later replays.
This is where chaos starts to work in your favour. The house plots within Moving Out are not meant to be carefully negotiated and the people hiring you care very little about the place they are vacating. This is immediately apparent from the delightfully labelled “Throw” and “Slap” functions you are introduced to with the mandatory tutorial. Why is that window much bigger than the sofa and almost unrealistically huge given it’s on a load-bearing wall? I’ll tell you why. It is so much easier and more satisfying to launch said sofa out of a window and watch it sail into the van than it is to argue with three other people trying to negotiate a single doorway.
As you think you have the routing of multiple people organized, assume you have managed to arrange doorway access like a world-class police negotiator and surmise that you can now wreck houses like a demolitions expert, Moving Out introduces some interesting risk vs reward mechanics. Why do I have to walk all the way through the house and through three doors with this fridge when I could just throw it over the swimming pool?
This sort of manoeuvre is like something out of a movie, it requires the synchronicity of a professional dance troupe and perfect communication between all the players at hand. If you miss, the item resets back to its initial position with a satisfying splash. If you land the throw then the receiving player has to grab it since the throw will only just make the pool edge and will (most of the time) fall in. But when you land it, it’s one of the best parts of Moving Out.
Increasing the risk in throwing objects or clashing with other players are fragile objects. Easily recognisable as red boxes, these items smash or shatter when they hit the ground or other hard objects. If you throw them they must be caught or you lose the item from the maximum items total available in the level — they don’t reset. It tends to be best to just take your time and negotiate the house with these.
Moving Out is a hard game to master, especially with more than two players but it’s always fun that can be played for hours or minutes given most levels top out at 10 minutes before failure. Moving Out is frantic, hilarious and is a great game for kids and adults, and one that does not take itself seriously. I highly recommended it if you have the controllers and couch space to play it.