Moving Out Nintendo Switch review – couch (and fridge and TV) co-op
In the tradition of multiplayer classic Overcooked comes a game about moving house and arguing with friends and family – and it’s great.
They say that moving house is one of the most stressful activities the average person can undergo, which probably says more about first world comforts than it does about the process of putting everything you own in boxes and taking it to a new location. Stressful or not though it’s never seemed an obvious topic for turning into a video game, but then the same could be said for many great games, especially multiplayer ones.
The obvious point of comparison here, especially as they’re both published by Team17, is Overcooked, the wonderfully silly cookery game where you try to co-operate with up to four others in running a restaurant, by throwing ingredients at each other and try to put together a burger while falling in a hot air balloon – amongst other unlikely scenarios.
With a similar top-down view, cartoon graphics, and a fine disregard for common sense, Moving Out does for removal services what Overcooked did for fine dining. It’s also the perfect game to play during lockdown as it involves something you can’t really do now and it’s much more fun playing it with someone in the same room, than if they were just online (not that there are any online options but that’s not the point).
Moving Out has you and up to three friends trying to move objects and furniture from out of a house and into the removal van waiting outside. Some of it is small enough for one person to lift while others require more people to help with. The furniture is always the most awkward shape possible (so the game’s quite realistic really) and the game’s physics system means that it’s very easy to go from simply knocking pictures down as you go past to smashing through entire walls.
This is, of course, always the other players’ fault, and never yours, as everyone instantly starts blaming each other for not realising that the TV was still plugged in when you tried to move it. The physics engine not only simulates what happens if you ram a wall with a wardrobe but also proves surprisingly good at the more complex question of what happens when a fridge door swings open unexpectedly or you get into a tailspin with a Tetris block-shaped sofa.
But in the same manner as Overcooked, the relative realism of the opening few stages soon gives way to increasingly nonsensical scenarios, where you’re trying to move across conveyor belts in a factory, through a train as the lorry drives along next to you, chasing pigs and chickens around a farm, or navigating narrow walkways above a laboratory filled with toxic waste. Moving Out also frequently breaks out into pastiches of other classic games, from Frogger to Pac-Man, but never in a way that seems too desperate or cloying.
Just getting to A to B is not your only concern though and if you want to earn a higher reward you’ll have to start working out how to do things faster and more efficiently. Like Overcooked, you can throw smaller objects between two players but for some reason flinging a chest of drawers out a window, instead of taking it out the door, is deemed perfectly acceptable. Although additional objectives do sometimes reward you extra points for not breaking anything, as well as more esoteric achievements like scoring a basketball hoop on your way out.
Like all good multiplayer games there’s a lot more nuance to Moving Out than it first seems, with how you load up your truck also being a key strategic decision. Throw everything in at random and you’ll soon find out you’ve got no space to work with and all the big things end up crushing everything else as soon as you try to get them in.
On your own none of this is even slightly enjoyable but together with friends it’s all good, manic fun. It does feel more contrived and less freeform than Overcooked, with some of the attempts at wacky cartoon humour being rather obvious (i.e. there are fart jokes), but overall this is a much more enjoyable excuse for a family argument than who left the toilet seat up again.
There are some frame rate issues on the Switch, and the asking price is rather optimistic, but there’s a decent amount of content here and plenty of replayability thanks to the different rewards tiers and some unlockable mini-games.
Moving Out is also one of the most non-gamer friendly titles we’ve played in a long while, with extensive customisation options that allow you to tailor the challenge to everyone from hardcore gamers to complete casuals, as well as a suite of accessibility controls covering everything from dyslexia to text size. Moving Out continues the proud tradition of making miserable jobs into enjoyable games and is, if nothing else, guaranteed to be the most fun you’ve ever had moving a sofa.
Moving Out Nintendo Switch review summary
In Short: The best game about moving out there’s ever been but, more importantly, a fun four-player co-op game that’s perfect for causing family arguments everyone can enjoy.
Pros: Fun premise and a surprisingly complex physics system. Imaginative level design and plenty of unlockables. Highly accessible, for every type of player imaginable.
Cons: The cartoon wackiness can feel a bit contrived and obvious at times, and the core gameplay isn’t as versatile as Overcooked. Some frame rate issues.
Formats: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC
Developer: DevM Games and SMG Studio
Release Date: 28th April 2020
Age Rating: 3
Email [email protected], leave a comment below, and follow us on Twitter
Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.
Source: Read Full Article