Moving Out 2 review – I like to move it move it

September has arrived and the gaming industry is on pace for one of its best years. The quality and quantity of narrative storytelling, paired with innovative gameplay, keep raising the bar for many AAA studios. With many single-player experiences claiming high scores from critics and consumers alike, it’s difficult to see all the fantastic party and co-op games waiting to be discovered. One hidden gem is SMG Studio and Devm Games’ pun-filled sequel to their infamous moving simulator. Of course, I’m talking about Moving Out 2. After breaking windows and tossing furniture to box up my Platinum Trophy, this garners my recommendation as a title to give players a break from the AAA slugfest.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Moving Out blends puzzles, speed, physics, and dad jokes to create a comedic adventure guaranteed to test the most veteran of friendships. Players participate either solo or with friends through varying levels to grab, carry, and deliver household items to a specified area. A story is present, but its purpose is a canvas for jokes and puns painted across your playthrough. The sequel, Moving Out 2, looks to expand and innovate the series. So, why should you pick this title up? Let’s dive in.

Picking up after the events from the first game, Smooth Moves is tasked with another set of jobs in the eternally covered-by-insurance town of Packmore. Moving Out 2 begins with players recovering their F.A.R.T. (Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician) certification after losing it from the last move. The tutorial recaps the basic controls and shows new players how easily they can cause chaos with a few simple button presses. After a few opening levels, things kick up a notch when three spontaneous portals appear in town leading to new dimensions that, of course, need assistance with moving out. Journeying from the sweet tooth’s paradise of Snackmore to the fantasy-driven Middle Folkmore, players can experience colorfully created dimensions that offer themed puzzles, collectibles, and side objectives.

Foundationally, the developers have stuck to the same core gameplay loop as the first game. Players will deliver objects varying in size and shape to the loading area in an attempt to beat a time limit. Playing as a solo mover, every object requires only one person to carry, but in co-op, bigger or heavier objects will require the assistance and coordination of a friend. Each stage consists of a series of objectives that will reward stars for completing them. These stars level up the F.A.R.T. certification, which unlocks more areas and levels. Simply passing each level isn’t enough, as a ‘Pro Time’ and side objectives on many of the levels need to be achieved for progression. This ‘Pro Time’ is completed by finishing the level before a specific time limit, and the side objectives can vary from delivering certain items first to not using certain doors as you move things.

Moving Out 2 adds a variety of game modes to provide a diverse experience that keeps the simplicity from becoming repetitious. Moving In, Score Attack, and Arcade unanimously knock it out of the park and would make incredible spin-off titles on their own. I got to preview Score Attack earlier this year and love its mini-game formula, so it was welcoming to see so many stages use this variation. Arcade, however, is my favorite mode, as it primarily focuses on jumping and platforming a variety of areas with simplistic puzzles sprinkled in. With the majority of Moving Out 2’s levels revolving around puzzles, it is a refreshing change to overcome a different set of challenges.

Moving from the original to the sequel, the physics and level design also take a positive step forward. The physics feel smoother when picking up and tossing objects, and how the environment reacts to said physics. The level design is well executed in how it’s laid out as well, allowing players to choose what path they want to use in order to overcome each level. From encountering robots and drones in the futuristic Pactropolis City to magic and portal elements of Middle Folkmore, every stage brings in new surprises where I’m not gated in how I approach it. The only questionable choice is requiring players to finish a level when to complete side objectives. Having to start back at square one isn’t fun, and it’s unnecessary when some objectives are as simple as smacking three clocks.

While you can play the entirety of Moving Out 2 solo, it shines when playing with friends. Newly added is the ability to play online co-op, so now you and up to three of your companions can test the mettle of friendship. Unfortunately, the solo experience isn’t for everyone. My first playthrough was entirely solo, and while I enjoy the speed running difficulty of Pro Time, it’s not something everyone will enjoy pursuing. If we get another entry in the series, creating more engagement and interaction for the solo player is an area to be looked into.

Moving Out 2’s accessibility features are standouts, allowing anyone with any skill level to participate in the fun. The settings offer a User Interface Scale, Dyslexic Friendly Font, Subtitles, and Screen Shake slider in addition to an Assist Mode for each level. Assist Mode contains a set of checkable boxes that make the game exponentially easier, and present no barrier to entry in regards to skill level. Everyone from seasoned gamers to someone who has never picked up a controller before can work together and not feel intimidation.

Lastly, it’d be a crime not to talk about the wacky writing of this masterclass in comedic dialogue. The fun-filled tone of this game’s visual style perfectly synergizes with the never-ending amount of puns and dad jokes. I lost track of how often I sat my controller down on my desk to laugh and smile at the interactions between characters. It is consistent, it never feels overdone, and I confidently say it’s the star of the show. A show that provides humor, puzzles, and accessibility for everyone.

Noah is the resident weeb who spends most of his time gaming and watching anime. His goal is to expand his skills while meeting new people. You have probably seen him feeding the other team kills in Overwatch Comp or speculating Star Wars and One Piece. Follow him on twitter @RigsbyNoah.



Moving Out 2

Review Guidelines

Moving Out 2 innovates on the foundation of puns, puzzles, and platforming its predecessor built before it and provides a break from the mainstream releases of 2023.

Noah Rigsby

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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