[Review] Moving Out – Nintendo Switch

Written by Thomas Haroldsen
  • Developer: SMG Studio
  • Publisher: Team17
  • Release Date: 28/04/2020
  • Price: £19.99 / $24.99
  • Review code provided by Team17

Video Review

Introducing: Moving Out Switch Review

Late last year my family decided we had outgrown our home and it was time to move. As novice movers, we were ill prepared and due to lack of planning, ended up with a moving truck for only one day. We spent nearly ten hours getting everything packed tightly so we could transport our belongings nearly 300 miles or about 482 km. Calling it a hectic day is an understatement. When my family got to relive our moving day in Moving Out, several emotions resurfaced. Keep reading our review of Moving Out to see if this package ships or slips.

Move It or Lose It

Moving Out begins with a rather cartoony setup. You’re new to the moving industry and thus need to be trained adequately. The training program works as the tutorial which introduces the characters and the job. My kids and I eagerly entered the training program where we became Furniture Arrangement Relocation Technicians. As certified F.A.R.Ts we fully grasped that whatever the boss says, goes, including that broken TV. Slapstick comedy is the force that drives Moving Out. The story is as exaggerated as the gameplay with humorous dialogue preceding and closing each level. The funny sayings and hijinks your off-the-wall characters blurt out elicited more giggles from my children than the actual gameplay.

The Journey From A to B

Speaking of gameplay, Moving Out is a couch co-op game for up to four players. Each level in the game is represented by a home or building that is ready to move. The items are packed up and your team is responsible for getting everything into the truck one way or another. Most items can be carried out but you’ll save time if you throw them. Bigger things, like couches or refrigerators need two people to work together and coordinate getting them through doors and around tight corners. Moving Out is designed in a way that makes it hard to hold onto items and move throughout the levels. These intentionally clumsy controls and stiff movements are understandable when trying to provoke cheap laughs, but only a few levels actually paid off in a humorous way. Whether due to tight spaces or floors engulfed in soda, there are plenty of obstacles to overcome.

The game puts you in wacky scenarios while racing the clock. Your timing determines whether you get a bronze, silver, or gold rating. Earn enough gold ratings and you can unlock special levels. In addition to the time element are bonus objectives. Not falling into water or helping a frog avoid being crushed by cars will net you access to the Arcade where you can play mini games. These bonus objectives often contradict each other so you have to play the levels a few times to unlock them all. Between this and trying to beat old times, there’s plenty of replayability.

A Path of Broken Boxes

Overall, the setup and premise of Moving Out looks like a solid couch co-op experience. In reality, we found quite a few flaws with its delivery. Many of the levels had unique setups geared toward wild antics, yet the humor felt forced and was rarely natural. Sure, we had moments of laughter, but those paled in comparison to the anger and frustration we all felt. I rage quit more in one hour of Moving Out than my entire playthrough of Dark Souls. My ten year old got to the point where she refused to play the game. Our early time with Moving Out was anything but fun. It was a reminiscent ride down memory lane of the frustration and hopelessness we felt when trying to pack up and move our own house.

To be fair, this was our experience with the core game. Once we altered the difficulty settings and added more time, Moving Out became less stressful and more enjoyable. Playing with a younger gamer may necessitate that. Our youngest gamer is eight and allowing more time per level helped a lot. We also found that some levels are better suited for one or two players. Trying a mix of approaches helped us break up some of the difficult levels and we still enjoyed watching each other play.

The Client Signed a Waiver

The cutesy graphics and adorable charm gives hope for something simpler in Moving Out. The graphics belie the difficulty making the game seem more accessible to a younger audience. With several creative characters to choose from and multiple ways to customize them, there was no shortage of pleasing avatars to play.

Like the fun and vibrant graphics, the music has an upbeat and charming quality to it. It adds ambiance to the background despite going unnoticed with all the chaos surrounding the main game. The sound effects were well done and helped clue you into what other players are doing. It was nice to have discernible sounds when it was easy to get lost in your own minutiae of the gameplay.

Don’t Worry About Smashing Stuff

Moving Out ran without any technical problems. We didn’t run into any bugs or glitches. Though it runs well in handheld mode, I’d only recommend doing so when playing solo. With all of the small details on screen, it was too hard to successfully complete a level while playing in tabletop mode, making docked for television play the best approach.

Final Wrap

Though Moving Out didn’t resonate with my ten year old or myself, it did strike a chord with my other kids. My thirteen year old and eight year old loved jumping into bizarre levels and seeing what damage they could do. I found it more enjoyable watching them play than grabbing a controller myself.

Despite its difficulty curves, Moving Out offers several ways to play with a lot of replayability and unlockable content. And even though I found it more frustrating than funny, it’s almost funny how frustrated I would get. And if that summary isn’t paradoxical enough, then perhaps this will be. Moving Out accurately captures the emotions and stress of moving in real life with its off-the-wall, unrealistic representation of simply throwing crap into a truck without caring if it breaks because you just want the job to be done.

Pros

  • Tons of Content to Unlock
  • Fun to Watch
  • Comedic Antics and Writing

Cons

  • Stiff and Clunky Controls
  • Frustrating Level Design

Verdict
Moving Out captures the chore of moving with a little fun sprinkled in.
3/5

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