Moving Out lets you and 3 others take on the role of a certified Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician (F.A.R.T). It’s a silly and chaotic coop game being made right here in Melbourne by the local SMG Studios team. It’s also a game who’s April 28th release date is rapidly approaching.
Recently I had an opportunity to play Moving Out under the helpful supervision of SMG Studio’s CEO, Ash Ringrose. In my play time I learnt a lot about myself and the game. I discovered I’m impatient at furniture Frogger, I’m obsessed with dragging furniture that’s too heavy for me, and ghosts love to chase me specifically. I also learned that with the right people, Moving Out can be so much damn fun.
This was actually the second time I was able to play Moving Out, the first being late last year during The Game Festival. This was however the first time I got to experience the game cooperatively, and it’s here where the game really shines.
Moving Out is basically a timed furniture removal game, except it’s full to the brim with lunacy. You’ll be tasked with grabbing, moving, and flinging objects from one location into a moving van in as quick a time as possible. Let nothing get in your way as you vault over tables, toss lamps through windows, and generally cause as much physic-based mayhem as possible in a mad rush for furniture relocation.
Each location is unique and full of character. A basic house setup is far from the standard as the game begins introducing bizarre locales. One level had a series of conveyor belts that helped move the furniture along. Another house was haunted with furniture moving on its own volition after placing it within the van. It was clear, even just from our short time playing, that the possibilities for variety were practically endless, and the development team clearly has a mind for creativity.
Moving Out will draw a lot of comparisons to Overcooked. It has the same zany sense of irreverence, and the frantic cooperative elements are an obvious similarity. The game also takes on a similar over-world to Overcooked with different levels connected by a top-down map you traverse with your van. With all players able to control the van at once, it became clear where Moving Out got its inspiration. This is by no means a criticism, with Overcooked being an absolutely incredible game. And dare I say it, Moving Out finds a way to live up to the incredibly high standards set by its inspiration, with some of the stress removed.
When chatting to Ash Ringrose, it was clear that lunacy and fun wasn’t the only focus for the development team. There was also a surprising amount of accessibility built into the game. This was a clear focus for the team, with so many different options available to ensure as many different people were able to enjoy the experience as possible.
An Assist mode is available that will allow you to essentially modify your gameplay experience. If the time limits are too short, you can extend them. If you’re playing with a young child who can’t grasp the idea that heavy objects require two people to move them, then you can make those objects lighter. A whole bunch of these modifiers exist and they let you calibrate your gameplay experience to the ability of those playing. Dyslexia-friendly text and a scalable user interface are the cherries on top of this already accessible experience.
Above all else, Moving Out was just a joy to experience. Playing the game solo is clearly not the optimal play pattern here, so make sure you’ve got some friends ready for a game of couch coop. The sense of humour present throughout the entire experience was simply delightful and it honestly seems like the perfect type of game to introduce to your friends, families, and partners who aren’t huge gamers.
Thankfully a demo of the game has just been made available across all console platforms. You can check it out on the PlayStation store, Xbox store, or Nintendo eShop. Will you become a certified F.A.R.T.?
Moving Out will be available across PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on April 28th, 2020.