Thursday, 30 April 2020

Asylum Reviews: Moving Out [Xbox One].

Team 17 are a company that we always keep an eye out for, as they develop and publish plenty of great games that are fantastic for not only single-player, but couch co-op too – and this is no exception. Made in collaboration with DEVM Games and SMG Studio, Moving Out is a home removals game in the same style as Overcooked, and is a hilariously manic game where you and up to three friends empty the contents of a house as quickly as possible – with sometimes disastrous results.

You are given the certified title of F.A.R.T. which stands for Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician, something which my childish brain (and that of my 9-year-old son) found hilarious. My daughter on the other hand, was not pleased. I called her a F.A.R.T. and she was mightily offended. Her brother being better at the game than her might have played a teensy part in her annoyance!

One thing that really stands out when you first start the game is the soundtrack. It sounds fantastic, and really fits in well with the game. It has a very 80s vibe to it, which makes sense as much of it was composed by Lenny Macaluso, who co-wrote The Touch with Stan Bush back in 1986. The art style of Moving Out is adorable, with a very cutesy cartoon appearance with plenty of customisation options for characters. Within the character menu you can alter your appearance from standard “people” characters to animals and even humanoid toasters! Another fantastic addition is that you can play as a character in a wheelchair too, which adds a little bit of inclusion to an entire group of people who are often under-represented in videogames. There are also accessibility options throughout, allowing for dyslexic fonts to be used and other tweaks to timers and levels where required, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the game.

Whilst it doesn’t hold your hand the whole way, there are a lot of little pointers to keep you on track, with items that are to be removed having a blue glow to them, and pressing Y will highlight this further indicating how many people are required to lift (if playing with friends). Some items are also breakable, so will need to be handled with greater care than simply chucking them out of the already smashed windows into the truck below. Part of what makes Moving Out so entertaining is that you don’t need to be careful with the furniture like you would in real life; we don’t have to clean up the broken glass at the end of the day. The trick to success within the levels here is to think ahead: which items need to be packed onto the truck, and are there any shortcuts I can take? Getting the bigger stuff onto the truck first can help with space, as sometimes leaving them till last will require a bit of manoeuvring getting them on to an already-full truck. Then once those are loaded on, it’s just a case of running back and forward tossing the smaller items in at speed. After all, we’re racing against the clock here!

Some levels are laid out in such a way to make things a little bit more challenging, with pools blocking a potentially shorter route. Again, thinking ahead can really help to bring down the time here. Running right through the house repeatedly is just going to waste a lot of time, so chucking items over the water can help to reduce this, but they’re breakable I hear you say. Yep – but if they land on other items, or if you’re playing with a friend and they catch the items, then bingo! The longer you take to complete each job, the worse your end score (and medal) will be. Achieving a gold medal is quite difficult in some cases and whilst the criteria is adjusted depending on the number of players, playing with friends can help to give you just a bit of an edge against the timer.

In between levels you are in an overworld, driving the moving van to different jobs. Each level is replayable, and can be attempted as many times as required by driving to the relevant location. As well as the time element there are also additional tasks that can be completed, such as completing a level without breaking any windows. On the flipside of this, you might have two contradicting tasks (one without breaking, one with breaking) which means you’ll definitely have to do at least a second attempt to achieve all of the tasks. This allows for a lot of replayability, whilst the variety of differently styled levels keeps the game fresh and interesting. From normal looking houses and multi-storey buildings, to death-defying delivery routes across busy roads and conveyor belts across lava pits, there’s plenty of stuff going on here.

Overall, we really enjoyed playing Moving Out and will continue to go back to it with the kids. There's lots of stuff keeping us interested and working through the Arcade has kept things fun in between the main levels.

In the end we decided to give Moving Out the Collecting Asylum rating of 8.5/10.

Have you played Moving Out yet? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Thank you to Team 17 for the Moving Out Xbox One review code!

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