Enjoying otherwise fruitless labour in wacky video game form makes for a fun co-op formula so let's get moving and play Moving Out.
Although Overcooked set the gold standard for local co-op games a few years back, there have been plenty of games since that have tried to capitalize on its success. Moving Out definitely fits this description yet it also provides a much more accessible and streamlined experience. So, if you're looking for the next challenging co-op game, you may be disappointed with what Moving Out has to offer. That being said, if you simply want some laidback fun with a friend or 3 then you'll certainly have a ton of fun with Moving Out's basic and enjoyable gameplay. Speaking of which, all you essentially do is load a truck with required items which simply involves carrying them across the stage. Some items are larger or more awkward than others so cooperating with a friend is often the key to success.
Moving Out presents a colourful and cartoonish world which makes the game really shine as lighthearted, animated, and silly. The stages are cleverly designed with plenty of tricky-to-navigate corridors, water hazards, and fun gimmicks. Meanwhile, the music is delightfully retro which blends with the rewarding sound effects. As a side note; we noticed odd farting sounds as we played yet never knew where they were coming from. It wasn't me, I swear! Anyway, there's an overarching '80s aesthetic to the game world as well and you'll find oodles of funny references as you play through the campaign. Almost every stage is based on pop culture locations such as Seinfeld's apartment and Konami's classic arcade game Frogger. In the end, it's a carefully crafted and humorous world that's sure to make you smile.
Moving Out's gameplay may be simplistic but it does have some variety. For example, few things are as satisfying as throwing a couch into a moving van with a perfectly timed cooperative toss. With that in mind, I couldn't help but miss the amount of cooperation that's required to master games such as Overcooked and Tools Up! In those games, you have to consistently communicate in order to ensure success but in Moving Out, the strategy often doesn't require much more than saying, "Can you grab the other side of this couch?" We also experienced a few frustrating glitches throughout. On one occasion, a box got stuck on the van's roof and we could not retrieve it so we had to restart the level all over again. In fact, you can watch that happen in the gameplay video below.
On the plus side, Moving Out features a fantastic amount of replay incentives in the form of completing each of the 30 stages in under their par times as well as fulfilling 3 bonus missions per level. You could play for hours and hours and still have things to do. However, one annoying aspect is that the bonus missions don't unlock until you complete a level which needlessly pads out the play time. It leads me to ask; why can't I aim for these goals on my first attempt? It makes no sense and on top of that; many missions contradict each other. For example, "break all the windows" and "don't break any windows". So, you're telling me that I have to play through 3 times? Talk about repetitive. I suggest saving these challenges until after you complete the campaign then try for them if you're up to it.
Moving Out's greatest aspect is its cheerful and humorous game world followed by its easy to pick up and play gameplay. In other words, if you're looking for a challenging co-op experience, you won't find that here but you will find a silly easy breezy lighthearted romp.
- + Simple pick-up-and-play gameplay
- + Lovely visuals, sound, and great sense of humour with loads of references
- + Solid amount of replay value
- - Gameplay doesn't require much strategy
- - Why the heck are challenges locked during first level playthroughs?
- - Includes occasional glitches