The authentic 80’s infused party game that you didn’t know you needed until now. Moving Out is a hilarious physics-based moving simulator. By yourself or in a team of up to 4 you must haphazardly pack and stack furniture, appliances and all manner of doo-dads out of level specific buildings into a moving van in record time. Jointly developed by SMG studios and DevM Games Moving Out leans heavily on the 80’s aesthetic with literally everything from the graphic design, interior design, static fed voiceover and most notably its soundtrack.
The music is really the big selling point for me as the entirety of the soundtrack is made up of dormant recordings from songwriter Lenny Macaluso, while you may not be aware of him by name you have most certainly heard his music in recent movies and pop culture. Most notably “The Touch”. Never have I heard a more authentic soundtrack that evokes the nostalgia and mental imagery of a time 40 years past. It made me want to rewatch Beverly Hills Cop, Jumping Jack Flash and a bunch of other movies that had strong ties to its soundtrack.
Giving new meaning to the term “Couch Co-op” Moving Out unfortunately only supports local multiplayer and has no online options for those seeking to play with friends in other households. Oversight or intentional it’s a definite red X for any single gamer families or solo living situations. Nevertheless, it’s still an enjoyable game and probably a lot easier to reach the gold medal worthy times and objectives when played alone but the gameplay and hilarity really shine when played with others thanks to the ragdoll physics and awkward resistance that each item provides when carried.
In a very similar fashion to its cousin Overcooked. The overworld acts as a hub for level selection as you indiscriminately plough through oncoming traffic and fences to start the next job all the while being treated to cheesy and satirical dialogue from your player character and your cardboard box of a boss.
Later levels break away from the soon to be repetitious design of “Not another house with slinky sofas and still connected TV’s.” and branches out into warehouses, haunted houses, farms, offices and factories. Each adding their own new mechanics and hazards to reenergise the gameplay with what could otherwise make the game extremely laborious and better still “Housing” their own references to once again… the 80’s. Most notable of the references that I found was Ferris Bueller’s day off and Frogger.
As you progress, (although it seems obvious to employ real world common sense.) you’ll realise that some forward planning is in order in regards to which items you load up first as the items will just barely fit into the van. It pays to put the larger/flatter items in first and try your best to use the full amount of surface space before chucking in the rest on top as to avoid spillage from the van – forcing you to fight against the physics and keep everything from falling out.
Arguably the best party game of 2020 and one whose soundtrack repeats in my head long after its completion. Moving Out is a game I’m happy to whip out at any family gathering but even if it isn’t your thing… look up the soundtrack. You won’t regret it.