Moving Out (PS4) Review

Moving Out (PS4) Review
Moving Out

Moving Out was released in 2020 by Australian developers SMG Studio and has been compared at times to Overcooked. With this in mind, it’s got pretty big shoes to fill. Having said this, Moving Out is definitely unique in its own right, and whilst there are similarities, you could also say this is a bit of a lazy comparison at times. In short, you could describe Moving Out as a co-op puzzle game that involves moving furniture out of homes. This is where its name comes from and trust me, it’s a lot more fun than it sounds!

Story

The story begins where you and your partner (this is a two player game) work for a removal company. Your goal is to clear sold houses and get the items into your removal van as quickly and as safely as possible. As speed is important, this means cutting corners such as jumping out of windows whilst holding TVs and throwing boxes into the back of your van.

Interestingly, the game begins in a regular town but eventually moves into space when a more sinister plot is revealed. Yes, that’s right – this game’s story is actually deeper than it first seems. Without going into the gory details, it actually has a cool twist where a villain is revealed. Whilst Moving Out may seem a bit quirky in the beginning, it gets weirder as it goes on and this actually makes it more exciting.

To recap, the story may not exactly rival the depth of Zelda. However, it’s actually a lot better than most games in this genre which can sometimes fall short when developing a real plot.

Graphics and Audio

The graphics of Moving Out are what you’d expect for a game of this size. They aren’t aiming to be the best in the world but they more than do the job. SMG Studio opted for a cartoon feel with clear colors used throughout. This actually fits the feel of the game perfectly, as it never takes itself too seriously. Basically, this is where the comparisons with Overcooked are seen as both games were published by Team17 of Worms fame. It does the job and fits the overall aesthetic. In fairness, if this game did have perfectly crisp graphics, it probably wouldn’t fit the comedic vibe that flows throughout.

The audio is equally cartoonish. It has a basic track that plays during the levels and this is almost like retro elevator music. Arguably, over time this can get a bit repetitive which is one of the few holes in this game. To nitpick further, it would have been nice for the audio to switch every now and then as it threatens to get monotonous at times. Saying this, it does have some nice sound effects thrown in. For example, when pulling a TV off the wall, the chord will make a lasso-type noise when it finally breaks. It’s small touches like this that show that Moving Out was made with love.

Another thing worth mentioning is the dialogue between characters. Often, they will say things with a hint of not-so-subtle humor. Earlier on, the one character says how being a house remover is their dream job, and the other claims they love physically back-breaking work. It’s funny and is in tune with the rest of the game.

Movement and controls

Thankfully, the controls fit the PS4 perfectly. At the start of the game, there is a quick tutorial that holds your hand and shows you how to pick up items, throw them, and basically do everything required in the game. One cool part about the movement is the physics behind it. For instance, if you try picking up a large item such as a sofa, you will feel the gravitational pull when trying to drag it. This differs from the small, lighter items that feel easy to grab and move with.

Arguably, the controls are perfect for the PS4 as well and everything feels natural. This may be in part due to the simplicity of the game where you’re not really required to pull off combos or anything overly fancy. Instead, it’s quite basic and stripped down which is great because it works. This may not be the case for other platforms such as the PC of Switch, but it definitely feels natural for the PS4.

Once again, it’s the little touches that add up with Moving Out. When you throw large items, sometimes your controller will vibrate, and whilst this may be commonplace these days, it shows again that this game has been well taken care of. Lastly, the camera angles are also well done, and the use of the joysticks fits like a glove.

Levels

As you may expect, each level gets progressively harder and more detailed. I fell into the trap of earlier assuming that this game was quite simple and relatively easy. However, the dynamics of each house get more intricate with time. For instance, earlier on you may simply move a few boxes out the front door. Later on, you will have to time jumps to avoid getting run over by traffic, avoid ghosts and combine with your partner to move things around walls. Perhaps the physics of literally moving things is what makes this game so good. As stated earlier, it may feel basic in parts, but it gets the fundamentals spot on which is why it works.

I should also mention that this game actually gets pretty challenging too later on. Without spoiling it, some of the levels eventually take place in space which is where the game truly shows off its toughness. On these levels, you can’t be lazy and it really tests your puzzle-solving abilities. In this sense, Moving Out is far from dumbed down which is also nice to see.

There’s also enough replay value in Moving Out if that’s also your thing. Whilst you may complete a level earlier on, you’re scored by gold, silver, and bronze awards based on your time. In fact, if you run out of time completely then you fail. This reward system will appeal to perfectionists that want to re-do levels to beat their score as much as possible and adds more hours of gameplay which is another positive.

Verdict

Overall, it’s fair to say that I thoroughly enjoyed playing Moving Out. In a world full of lazily developed games, Moving Out doesn’t hide and excels in its mission. Call me old school, but games are meant to be fun and this is exactly that, without ever threatening to take itself too seriously. So, whilst Moving Out may not appeal to the hardcore gamers of this world, it’s certainly a gem and if you’re into co-op puzzle games, then this one is hard to beat!

Rating

Rating
85 100 0 1
85/100
Total Score

Pros

  • Very well made
  • Great controls
  • Constant humor throughout

Cons

  • Basic soundtrack
  • Can feel repetitive at times
Total
9
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