Moving Out Review: A nearly perfect delivery
Moving Out is the latest version of SMG Studio, a clever and dedicated co-op affair from the Australian makers of Death Squared. In it you and up to three friends have to clear houses, factories and even space stations and turn boxes, furniture and cattle into a trusting moving van.
The title intrigued me in a preview recently, but unfortunately it was turned off almost immediately after starting a review on Xbox One at home. While this sounds like the perfect couch co-op affair, especially given the time (for those of you who live in the same house and self-isolate), I found a bitter taste in my mouth when I found out just one of ours The team of two players was able to achieve success over time (To update: SMG Studio says a fix for this will be part of a patch for Day 1. Worse still, the first success the game gets is related to a ridiculous 1 gamerscore. After throwing the controller on a sofa cushion and then yelling at my husband for pushing a couch the wrong way, we turned the game off for the night and I decided to continue the review in actual isolation.
Ridiculous gamerscore aside – and a sleep and deep breath later – I can’t deny that moving out is a treat, full of charm and busting at the seams with a myriad of different levels on a layered basis that award gold, silver or bronze medals for trouble. Story mode makes the mechanics easier for you before a really difficult boss fight, while arcade mode is all about challenges (whoever designed the first level is really a sadist). After all, a memory mode is just plain goofy, full of soccer, basketball and humor that is far superior to the random farting noises that accompany your character – a furniture arrangement and relocation technician, or FART – as you go along.
While moving furniture is fun on its own (perhaps surprisingly), the bonus challenges of each level add variety with random hijinks or tasks that require a bit of skill. Coupled with hidden collectibles like retro consoles, foldable mailboxes, and sit-down toilets, all of which are influenced by 1980s pop culture, you get hours of entertainment at a very reasonable price.
Nevertheless, the move is not without problems. Crazy physics sometimes means that objects (or players) immediately start into the void. More importantly, the Bonus Challenge interface takes a lot of work, especially when so much of the game depends on it. While most challenges notify you when you’re done with a task, some just happen to not. Worse, other bonus challenges that require you to avoid an object, for example, won’t show up if you’ve screwed it up. In some cases, you can spend another 7-8 minutes completing a level only to realize that you need to do it all over again.
Perhaps most annoyingly, most levels have a bonus challenge or two that you can probably guess on your first play through (To update: SMG Studio says a fix for this issue will also be part of a day 1 patch. Even if you complete this task the first time, you will have to repeat it a second time to get the credits. Finally a bonus challenge in certain tasks that you have to go to avoid blue tiles even though I don’t see any in a level. As far as I can see there is purple, teal, and yellow, and although I’ve dodged the purple and teal, it’s still a no. For a title so proud of its accessibility options, I’m downright puzzled by the misstep.
However, these lows are rare and you will quickly forget your frustrations as you move from level to level, stay up late and tell yourself that you only have one more try to get that gold medal or bonus challenge. While it’s great on its own, I would imagine those who can play with loved ones like Overcooked without wanting to murder them would be right at home.
One final note on this randomly numbered gamerscore on Xbox One: There are four achievements to watch out for that end in 1, 1, 4, and 9. Thankfully, the first two randomly numbered ones you are likely to get back to 5 and aren’t that hard to come by. The latter two are quite difficult, however – while I found every hidden console in the game, I purposely avoided collecting them until I know I can complete all bonus challenges as well and keep my sanity intact. Needless to say, the whole idea slightly detracts from my enjoyment.
The move will take place on April 28th on Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch.
Undressing was verified using a promotional code provided by the publisher on Xbox One X. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s rating scale.
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