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Moving Out Preview: Moving into our hearts

Moving Out is the latest from the Australian-based SMG Studio, an Overcooked-style affair that tasks players to move furniture alone or in a group of four. Oozing with charm and a hilarious 80s aesthetic, it’s definitely one to keep your eyes on.

As part of a recent preview opportunity, Stevivor teamed up with three other players to check out the game’s tutorial (for the basics of course) before dropping into a handful of very different stages that showed off what to expect from its more than 50 planned levels. As part of the trial, we shifted furniture from a normal home, one with a giant pool splitting it in half, another haunted by a series of poltergeists, a crazy warehouse with active conveyor belts and a level that sprawled across a busy highway, clearly inspired by Frogger.

While the landscape always differs, your main objective does not: take the marked furniture from a home and work together to load it onto a truck. It’s not that simple of course; you’ll need to work with other movers to be careful with fragile objects, avoid pitfalls and traps and eventually, perform some Tetris-style shifting to get things to actually fit in the truck. Do that successfully, though, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician, or F.A.R.T. for short.

What followed was always hilarious, yet sometimes frustrating — two of our group were trying to work to objectives while the other two were practicing for their upcoming stream, slapping one another and trying to cause hijinks rather than help out. As with most games of this nature, choose your friends wisely.

One of the first things I noticed when getting ready to play is that I could customise my player to have him (or her, or it) sitting on a wheelchair. That’s to say there’s not just one wheelchair-bound character; rather, every single in-game character has the option to use one. It’s a small touch, sure, but a very appreciated one.

The feedback from [publisher] Team17 was that the most popular character was the raccoon in the wheelchair,” SMG’s Ash Ringrose told Stevivor. “We realised that if we put the extra effort in, we could make all the characters work that way

“We had a lot of great feedback from players saying like, ‘I’m in a wheelchair, and this is the first game I’ve played where I felt like a hero,'” he continued. “That was a really great feeling.”

There’s no hindrance to being in the wheelchair either — you move at the same speed, have the same jump height and strength as non-wheelchair characters. Even better, Ringrose confirmed that all characters have customised dances to match the unique emotes that able-bodied characters have too.

Moreover, Moving Out has been designed with a number of accessiblity options in mind, incluing the ability to change to bigger, smaller or dyslexic-friendly fonts. The PC version offers a fully remappable keyboard and those with colourblindness can rest easy; while rooms are identifyable using the colour of their floors, those same floors also have a different, recognisable pattern per room.

A multi-optioned Assist Mode can also be used, providing options like reduced difficulty, lighter items, and a truck that disappears successfully-delivered boxes.

“It allows people with any ability to play so we can make the game as easy as you want,” Ringrose continued. “That’s a big assist point for letting kids play as well because your kid might not understand how to stack the truck. You don’t want to be there yelling at your kid.”

Moreover, Ringrose confirmed that Assist Mode won’t lock the ability to unlock and earn bonus objectives, access levels earned through said objectives and, most importantly, Achievements or Trophies.

“That was a debate in the office,” Ringrose admitted. “But we don’t want to tell you that using Assist Mode is not the real way to play. I think there’ll be people that will want that one achievement; they can turn all those [Assist Mode options] on and get it done.”

Moving Out heads to Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch on 28 April.

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.