A number of new local co-op based games have started to rise to popularity recently and one of the latest is called Moving Out.
Published by Team 17, who also published the Overcooked series, have taken a successful formula and rejigged it to a different real-world task.
Where the Overcooked series is a cooking simulation, often taking place under extremely strange circumstances, Moving Out focuses on exactly that - moving out.
Being likened to its successful sister title, how does it stack up?
What Is Moving Out?
Moving Out is a fun physics-based moving simulator, developed by SMG Studio and published by Team 17.
The game is very reminiscent of the Overcooked series, in which you need to complete your tasks within various different scenarios and are then graded based on your score.
You and your friends (should you choose to play with others) take on the role of Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technicians - you’ll take on moving jobs all across the busy town of Packmore.
As you acquire more jobs for your new company 'Smooth Moves', you will find that they get more and more difficult, as well as ridiculous.
Where Overcooked requires some solid coordination, Moving Out takes it to another level.
As you aim to move objects to the moving van, they come in different shapes and sizes. Some of the larger objects require two people to carry them around.
Thanks to the funky physics, it requires even more coordination to alternate between who is steering when transporting an object. This leads to A LOT of Ross from Friends moments - PIVOT!
Finally, you need to put the objects in a limited sized van, often requiring you to be smart about which objects go in first. When carrying objects together, you can initiate a coordinated throw to lob objects on top of each other.
It sounds simple, but as you play and the levels change it gets harder. One level has players transporting farm animals, meaning you need to catch them as they move around and then place them in a hay-filled van to stop them leaving.
Ultimately, the goal is to move all of the stuff into the van as fast as possible. You receive a gold, silver or bronze medal for your efforts; depending on how quickly you finish.
As well as this, there are optional hidden challenges to complete, such as finishing a move without breaking anything.
Overcooked Or Moving Out?
My fiancee and I recently dived into Overcooked 2 and loved it (besides a few moments of adrenaline-induced yelling as we frantically try to get our orders out).
So, when we had the opportunity to try Moving Out, we were extremely excited. The game has very similar qualities and a few nostalgic shouting matches ensued again.
Overall, the gameplay experience was great and if like us you're looking for a couch co-op game to occupy your time during this lockdown, Moving Out is a perfect game to bring people together.
In comparison to something like Overcooked, it is a far more relaxed experience and we didn't feel as excited when playing. It meant our accomplishments made us feel a little less accomplished.
A lot of the gameplay is running back and forth from objects to the van and after a while, it can admittedly feel a bit tedious. While it does a good job of changing the environment, the tasks are all very similar at the end of the day.
A game like Overcook provided entertaining twists and plenty of variety on almost every level. New recipes meant different ways to cook, new obstructions regularly tried to thwart your efforts and the environment was always unique.
The game is very safe, there's a lot of charm and it can be very enjoyable. Perhaps having only recently tried Overcooked, it set a pretty high bar for us and the memory of such an epic game is still lingering and influencing our judgment.
We're still BIG fans of the game, but it felt like the game could have done more to switch it up and provide new twists.
Characters, Story And Themes
The game provides you with a roster of unique characters to choose from, which grows over time, to give you a customised experience.
A humble city provides the location for a quirky story, where players can explore using their van icon to select different jobs and watch videos. The interactions between the Smooth Moves staff will definitely make you giggle from time to time.
The 80s theme that arcs over the story sets a nice tone and has a vibrant soundtrack. I personally enjoyed the small nods to video game past such as Super Mario Bros, Pac-Man and so much more.
Is It Worth It?
The game will set you back about £20 and if you're looking for a fun local co-op game to occupy your household, during this lockdown, it's a great game and will provide hours of fun.
While there are plenty of other games that follow a similar formula, for cheaper, Moving Out provides a unique experience and really shines with four players caught up in the chaos.
It's another great game from Team 17 and it makes me excited for what may come next. Perhaps a DIY based co-op game?
If you're still not sure whether you want to spend the full amount, the game offers a free digital demo.
Final Score: 7/10