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Hands on preview: Moving Out - Fun beats safety

Published: 22:32, 19 December 2019
Key art for Moving Out.
Sure. It looks cheerful now. But you prepare for things to get HECTIC.

Moving Out is a madcap physics based puzzle action hybrid, where you're tasked with extracting various personal items and shoving them into a removal van as quickly as possible. We go hands on with a demo build of the game.

In many ways, this bonkers co-operative title has a lot in common with Devolver Digital's Carrion; responsive player movement and well-tuned physics are at the very core of Team 17's Moving Out. But instead of playing an amorphous red creature hell-bent on eating every human soul within a 5 mile radius, you jump into the shoes of a brand new Furniture Arrangement Relocation Technician. Yes. We can see the acronym here. 

It speaks volumes about the sense of humour prevalent throughout every aspect of Moving Out. Everything, from the bouncy player movement, to the exaggerated object interactivity is played for laughs, and it really works. Even the tutorial features extremely sarcastic and witty asides, including our personal favourite line of dialogue from a game this year: "Playing solo? No problem. Lift heavy objects with your back!" The care taken with every aspect of the presentation is plain to see, making this exactly the sort of adventure you'll want to share with friends.

Despite the simple premise of moving objects out of a building within a set limit, there's all kinds of wrinkles to the formula that help make each level a mad dash to the finish. If you decide to take a more reckless approach, dumping objects in any order within the limited confines of your truck, you may find yourself having to play a stressful game of Tetris as you desperately re arrange everything to make sure it fits. Two players can grab heavier objects together, swinging them like a pendulum as you release at exactly the right moment to gain maximum travel distance. You might even bump into a ghost wandering the hallways, who will reset you to the beginning of the map! 

Team17 Lots of broken glass and chaos in Moving Out. Can't fit it through the door? Chuck it out the window!

We haven't even mentioned the flamethrowers, buildings with multiple floors, environmental hazards, and even speeding traffic which are all potential stumbling blocks that you have to overcome. The whole thing has a lightness of tone combined with a trial by fire approach to difficulty that you'd think would make for a disjointed experience, but if anything actually makes Moving Out feel really well defined. 

Bonus objectives in each level add replay value, but it's the little touches that really helps it stand apart. The elasticated power cables that ping out of their sockets when you drag their connected object too far. The thud of a front door as you burst in to move someone out without a care in the world. Even the choice of characters is endearing, ranging from a cheerful human to a blue lizard and a potted plant. 

We had an absolute blast discovering all these extra nuances, and it shows that developers SMG Studio and DEVM Games absolutely have their eye on the ball when it comes to the details that matter. Moving Out is an addictive, hilarious party game that will no doubt be a highlight of next year's upcoming releases.

Team17 4 player co-operative action in Moving Out. Conveyor belts with flamethrower hazards really aren't good for efficiency.

Moving Out launches in 2020 for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. 

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