Moving Out is an unlikely game for me to enjoy. For one, I’m not really fond of simple “physics based games”, and playing a game about moving furniture isn’t exactly my idea of a fun weekend. But this simple concept and the increasingly challenging levels made me hooked.
Developed by SMG Studio, the same team that made Overcooked, Moving Out is a physics-based moving simulator. As a newly certified “Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician,” you’ll take on moving jobs across the town of Packmore.
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The story mode can be played solo or as a team of four friends (highly recommended). You get to move through sleepy suburbs, frenzied farms, haunted houses and lands beyond to grow your company’s reputation.
One thing that bothered me while reviewing the game is that it’s hard to put it into categories. The graphics and music aren’t anything to write home about: bright colors with goofy designs, and a track that is “sufficient” but not memorable. The story? What story? You are an employee of a moving company, and that’s pretty much it. You need to carry all the packages to the moving truck within the specified amount of time, in increasingly complex houses with different barriers that includes ghosts. Your “success” supposedly expands your business, but that really is more of an afterthought than a narrative.
But that is what makes this game fun. Like, seriously fun.
There is beauty in the game’s simplicity that is more than the sum of its parts. There is a sense of fulfillment when you manage to carry all the packages to the moving truck in time, despite literally wrecking the house. There’s no overarching plot, no reason to keep doing what you’re doing. You just keep doing it because it is good old-fashioned fun.
This game is all about physics. Carrying packages or furniture awkwardly will lead to you getting stuck on corners. You will need to plan ahead, making a mental image of how you will negotiate an L-shaped sofa through a narrow hallway, all while the timer is ticking. It adds pressure, it adds, urgency, but strangely enough, it relieved my stress.
As soon as you unlock new areas, the challenge increases. Bigger houses with more rooms and obstacles challenge you, forcing you to think how to efficiently move furniture within the time limit. These levels encourage you to bring in a friend to help out. Tackling them solo is possible (and fun in itself), but real life moving requires a team, and it is more fun to overcome challenges together.
Moving Out is a simple and fun game. One that does not wow you with technical mastery, but with its fun and accessible gameplay. It feels quite unfair to judge it in the same way I judge AAA titles, that I almost want to refrain from assigning it a number. However, if you want a simple and fun way to kill time either solo or with friends, then I wholeheartedly endorse this game to you.