As a kid arguably my favorite genre of video games featured couch co-op as I loved playing games with my brother. Today it is much harder to find good couch co-op games as most multiplayer games have moved to online only. While online multiplayer is also fun, I just don’t think it is as enjoyable as a good couch co-op game. This is one of the main reasons that I am a big fan of games published by Team17 as many of their games have an emphasis on couch co-op. On top of that many of their games also rely on quirky premises which is always a plus in my book. Released last April Moving Out is an interesting premise for a co-op game as you basically play as a moving company that tries to finish the job as quickly as possible even if that leaves some damage in the wake. With the latest DLC Movers in Paradise having been released recently, I thought it was time to check out the game. Moving Out and Movers in Paradise succeed at turning the process of moving, a task most people hate, into a fantastic couch co-op game that is a blast to play.
In Moving Out you play as a new associate of Smooth Moves, a moving company. Unlike most moving companies, your company doesn’t really care about pesky things such as property damage. All that matters is to getting everything moved out of locations as quickly as possible and onto the truck. You will be given jobs all around Packmore. Some are pretty typical jobs and others are quite a bit more dangerous. Can you keep up with all of the jobs as Smooth Moves expands across all of Packmore?
Moving Out is divided up into 30 different missions. In each mission you are given a set of objects (indicated by an icon) that you need to remove from the location and place into your truck. You are given a certain amount of time to accomplish this task in order to pass the mission. There are also quicker times to reward you for a job well done. You and the rest of the players must work together in order to accomplish this task. You are given a grab button which allows you to carry an object. Some objects are too large/heavy for one player to carry though so players have to work together in order to move them. You are also given a throw button which allows you to throw objects over ledges, through windows, or in other ways in order to save time. In addition to just moving all of the required objects, each level also has a number of additional objectives that you can complete in order to receive other rewards.
As a big fan of couch co-op games, one of my favorite games in recent years has been the Overcooked franchise. When I first saw Moving Out it immediately reminded me of Overcooked. It didn’t hurt that both games were published by Team17. While the two games have obvious differences, cooking versus moving for example, I actually thought Moving Out played a lot like Overcooked. Basically Moving Out is a co-op game through and through. While you could technically play Moving Out by yourself, I would highly recommend against it. The game would probably still be fun, but you are missing out on a key part of the experience.
That is because the gameplay was built around working well together. While there are quite a few items that can be handled by just one player, you need teamwork in order to succeed. That is especially true if you are trying for the better times or the additional objectives. Players need to spread throughout the location to efficiently collect all of the objects. Teamwork is even more important for the large objects. The large objects are too heavy for one player to carry as they can barely move it by themselves. Therefore two or more players have to grab it at the same time and move together in order to move it towards the truck. This is made even more complicated in a lot of locations since the furniture is placed in very tight spots where there isn’t a lot of wiggle room in order to get them out. If players aren’t able to work well together you are going to have a hard time moving these pieces of furniture.
Outside of the teamwork element, Moving Out’s gameplay is just really satisfying. At first glance a game built around moving might not sound all that interesting. Like many of the games from this genre of co-op games though, in practice it is really fun. Maybe it is just me, but I liked the game’s wacky premise built around the fact that the moving company that you work for doesn’t really care about the damage they cause doing their job. Want to throw that sofa out the window to save some time. Go right ahead as it is actually encouraged in most of the levels. The game is far from serious, and the game succeeds because of that. It doesn’t matter how it happens, you just need to get all of the items on the truck as quickly as possible.
As for Moving Out’s length it is really going to depend on what type of player that you are. The game has thirty main levels as well as some arcade levels which are basically little challenges. The length of each level somewhat depends, but I would say that most will probably take between 3-7 minutes. It is generally quite easy to beat the minimum time for a level as the game is quite generous with these times. If you are satisfied with only beating these times and ignoring the additional objectives, you can probably beat the game within five or so hours. If you are interested in beating the best times though and completing all of the additional objectives, Moving Out will take considerably longer. Most completionists will likely take 10-15 hours.
Moving Out is a blast to play, but it does have a couple of small issues that keep it from being perfect.
While the main gameplay is really fun, outside of a couple of unique levels the gameplay can get a little repetitive. Some people will think this is a bigger issue than others. I enjoyed the entire game as the gameplay remained enjoyable until the end. I didn’t find this to be a big issue as while I wish there was a little more variety, the game was still really enjoyable. The main difference in each level comes from the layout of the location and the sizes and shapes of the objects that you have to move. The levels give you plenty of challenge especially if you go for the additional objectives/faster times. Each level feels similar though. Basically if you don’t enjoy the gameplay at the beginning of Moving Out, your opinion likely won’t change later in the game.
Honestly the biggest issue with Moving Out is that the controls/physics can get a little wonky at times. This is usually not a big problem, but pieces of furniture can get stuck at times which requires some maneuvering in order to get them unstuck. Throwing objects can also be kind of finicky. It works most of the time, but sometimes the objects will fly/bounce in a direction that you don’t expect. This normally wouldn’t be a big issue, but some of the faster times and additional objectives require you to be really precise. It kind of sucks when you fail to reach one of the faster times or one of the additional objectives because of the controls/physics. The objects usually act how they should, but there are occasional times where they don’t which can mess you up.
A little less than a year after the original game came out, Moving Out recently received its first major piece of DLC, Movers in Paradise. Movers in Paradise continues the story of Smooth Moves. After your adventures in the base game, it is time for a little team building vacation to Packmore Island. The owner of the island has decided to tear down the island resort to replace it with a shopping mall and you have been called in to do the moving. You soon get wind of a legendary treasure on the island referred to as “the greatest haul of them all”. Will you finish your job and maybe find some treasure along the way?
The DLC ends up including 24 new levels to play through. Fourteen are traditional levels while ten are arcade levels. The structure of the levels are pretty similar to the base game as the objective is still to move all of the objects into your truck as quickly as possible with collateral damage not really mattering. The DLC does include a few new mechanics though. These mostly have to deal with new obstacles that you have to deal with and unique ways of moving objects to the truck. I am not going to get into all of the specifics, but some of the additions include: fans than you can use to blow objects, crabs that will take objects and run away with them, scuba gear that when damaged can be held allowing you to fly through the air, goats that might be just as destructive as you, and a few other additions.
I wouldn’t really say that any of the additions to the DLC drastically change the gameplay, but they are nice little additions to keep the gameplay fresh. Generally speaking I am kind of skeptical of DLC. Sometimes DLC can really improve upon the original game and other times it doesn’t really add much to the experience where it can pretty much be skipped. Movers in Paradise basically gives you what you would expect from DLC, more levels that find different ways of utilizing the same enjoyable gameplay. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the length of the DLC. The main set of levels are less than half of the main game, but they add considerably more to the game than you would initially expect. The arcade levels are pretty fun as well since some of them are specifically built around some of the new mechanics. The length you get out of the DLC will depend on how much of a completionist you are. If you give an honest effort to try and complete all of the optional objectives and the time rewards I could see getting at least five hours out of the DLC. Basically if you enjoyed the main game, I see no reason why you wouldn’t also love Movers in Paradise.
As a fan of great couch co-op games, I would say that Moving Out and its DLC Movers in Paradise are some of the best that I have played in the last couple of years. The idea of a video game about moving furniture doesn’t sound all that interesting at first, but in execution it is. The moving mechanics are silly as you throw objects around and generally just make a mess. The game also requires quite a bit of teamwork as you won’t succeed without it. The gameplay is just really satisfying especially when you beat one of the best times or complete some of the optional additional objectives. The gameplay doesn’t drastically change which might feel repetitive for some people. The physics can be a little annoying at times as well. As for Movers in Paradise it adds a few new mechanics, but mostly just gives you more levels that are quite enjoyable.
If you usually aren’t a big fan of silly couch co-op games, I don’t see Moving Out being for you. Those who generally enjoy these type of games though should really enjoy Moving Out and should pick it up. As for Movers in Paradise I thought it was a really good DLC and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the original game.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank SMG Studio, Devm Games, and Team17 Digital Ltd for the review copy of Moving Out and Movers in Paradise used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.