Moving Out 2 brings zany co-op lifting and hauling to your hands in the SMG Studio and Devm Games-developed and Team17-published sequel to the 2020 breakout indie affair. As a noobie at the Smooth Moves furniture moving company, you’re on a mission to move up the F.A.R.T. (Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician) ranks by not only completing moving jobs, but doing them with style.
If you’ve never played the first game, Moving Out 2 may somewhat irk you upon bootup with its initial dialogue and story setup. It harps on inside jokes and self-aware humor a little too hard in a way that feels almost unwelcoming to newcomers. But once you get past that, the slightly crude and certainly sophomoric humor works perfectly fine across the game, innocuous enough that you can laugh or ignore it at your discretion. The story that proceeds is at least tonally consistent and encourages you to feel dedicated to your F.A.R.T. proceedings, which ultimately is the game’s strong suit, especially for solo players.
It’s no doubt that the physics-based effort of picking up objects of various sizes, shapes, and weights and moving them elsewhere goes faster with up to four players, but that doesn’t mean a full party is necessary for success, even in achieving bonus and time-based objectives in the way these types of co-op-optional games can often feel designed in practice for multiple players. Playing alone, I had plenty of fun not only moving furniture around, but especially with my ongoing attempts to discover the most efficient ways to do so.
The sophomoric humor of Moving Out 2 feels right at home with the game’s destructive nature. You’re highly encouraged to break things, make huge messes, and repeatedly fail to chuck objects out windows and across dangerous obstacles, for example. There are no bonuses for neatness, only for efficiency and for discovering specific ways to interact with the environment and use it to move objects. The rewards for speediness or discovery are stars, which apply towards your level. The higher it gets the more levels you will unlock.
The whole system is excellently designed to keep you engaged with levels for longer periods, replaying them to figure out the bonuses and minimize your times, and learning new tactics for handling objects for future jobs. The controls can sometimes feel a tad clumsy, which is perhaps intentional, and some levels, especially those with farm animals, can get rather annoying when speed feels based on luck rather than skill. But as a whole, the progression of levels, obstacles, and environments is pretty good. There’s always something new or differently iterated. Plus, when you repeat levels, there are so many different ways to crack them and enough different stages that if you come back again and again, especially after a few other levels, you’re not so likely to get sick of repeating them too quickly.
The rest of the game’s style is fine. The art style is a fairly standard cutesy affair and the personalities of the characters are innocently juvenile but largely forgettable. I was often frustrated feeling like the whole game was just too zoomed-out. Objects were too small, especially in Switch handheld mode to have much of their own personality, even if the levels they belonged to had a fair amount of it as a whole. There are a good array of costumes you can unlock, though, to add a little more personality to your experience. The music keeps you bopping along in that way where it’s catchy enough to jam to while you’re playing but not too much so that you’re singing it all night afterward.
Moving Out 2 is a fun idea with a cool system of progression that keeps you engaged with repeated attempts and endless ways to try and solve them quickly and creatively. Even playing solo, there’s just enough speed to the levels that you don’t feel burdened by your tasks while engaged enough to keep trying new ways to win. Not everything is ideal when it comes to presentation, but on the whole, it’s a fun game to play alone or with friends.
Moving Out 2 is available now on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Moving Out 2
Not everything is ideal when it comes to presentation, but on the whole, Moving Out 2 is a fun game to play alone or with friends.