Get packed unfolded onto Google’s Stadia service on 28 April and after a week of hard toil, we took a break to tally up the damage on this online multiplayer experience.
Ditchlington is in an unfortunate situation, the salty new corporate residents of the suburban town are ousting its residents. Don’t worry, where there is disaster opportunity also exists and Get Packed challenges players to grab a partner in crime, secure the packing tape, and grab everything they can. Get Packed is a physics-based action title where players band together to move as many items as possible out of a residence and onto the moving truck that awaits. Featuring competitive ranking options, local action, online competition, and a super silly aesthetic, Get packed comes from the same service sector as Overcooked and Moving Out.
Whether it’s a AAA top of the line construction or a back-alley indie pixel brick, first impressions make a serious impact on potential buyers and Get Packed certainly knows what sort of seller it is. The cartoon characters crafted by Moonshine Studio inhabit a bright suburban world that clearly doesn’t take itself too seriously at all. From the opening family house to the factory yard, or a haunted mansion, each of the stages in Get Packed is stuffed full of character. From a simple beginning in a small town garden and domesticated bliss of moving a residents’ chonky cat to the ghost-ridden laboratory on the spookier side of town, everything in Get Packed is played for laughs. Players bouncing into action might find themselves dodging traffic on the highway on one job, playing with dynamite on another, or even hunting ghosts with a hoover. With an incredibly diverse range of maps and quirky little mechanics, the chibi styled player characters that makeup Ditchlington’s own moving team manage to keep this entire encounter feeling refreshingly light.
Even the bulky objects that sit in Ditchlinton’s most opulent mansions might seem like simple work for heavy-handed team of removal specialists. Players that join the action get an opportunity to grab and throw around everything from dressing tables and pillowcases to bank vaults. Rushing through the hallways of the local bank with two arms full of ill acquired gold booty is a glorious moment of chaos that you’ll find yourself in during Get Packed. Dressing tables, suits of armour, kitchens appliances, and boxes of flat-packed goods all bounce around this physics-based game. However, what sounds like a fairly mundane task quickly becomes a contorted mess as pressure to drag furniture out the front door and an amped-up physics engine make for some hilarious consequences.
Pick one of Last Ditch Removal’s four central protagonists and it quickly becomes apparent that controlling your delivery agent is best attempted with a compatible Stadia controller. The intuitive control system allows players to whiz around the scene of their upcoming criminal damage and grab objects using a corresponding button for the left and right hands. It really is that simple for most of the game. Get Packed is, however, not all about the comedic value of trying to drag a trampoline out the front door. In order to move onto the next job in Ditchlington, players need to stow enough gear in their removal van and send it on its way. Unfortunately, with fully breakable objects your on-screen removal team might very well destroy more than they send away. To compound that problem, a timer sits at the top of the screen and trickles down to zero. Bank enough cash and Last Ditch Removals will earn a grading and cash in a few dollar signs. In campaign mode, this is a largely symbolic pressure with players able to easily make the minimum grade on their first solo encounter. Where this grading and destruction really starts to make a difference is in multiplayer co-op and competitive modes. The inclusion of other players online and in person can make or break a job. Find a third stooge in the game’s 1-4 player co-op and the bank balance can end up negative very quickly. This ability to score more cash than your opponents is also crucial to the more competitive elements of this self-service packing experience. With the option to unlock a range of bespoke maps, including an incredibly fun Destruction mode, Get Packed really begins to deliver when you sit down with an opponent for some friendly movement action.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get much time in Get Packed’s online options. While we were initially worried about latency or even graphical fidelity on the Google Stadia platform, we were more surprised to find that our only issue with Get Packed was finding an online opponent. Opening up and waiting for other Ditchlinton residents out on the internet seemed to take a prohibitive amount of time and I can only conclude that they all ditched and left me behind. With that said, Get packed looks fantastic on the Google Stadia Platform. Part of the reason Moonshine moved this title onto Google Stadia, which we found out about during our discussion with them last week, was the ability of Google’s own cloud compute to run a physics engine and allow the player base to just enjoy the chaos. From this perspective, it works fantastically and graphics pipe down to the player screen on a crystal clear 50Mbps connection.
Get packed excels as a fun frolic through a town full of destructive multiplayer madness. It embodies the same sort of character and carnage that Overcooked excels at and I had a ton of fun chasing that last big job with my right-hand mover. The silly aesthetic, variety of scenarios, and surprisingly deep gameplay make get Packed a party game that will crack you up. Handled with care and played locally, this is the sort of game that can make a party, you remember what a party is right?
Get packed is out now for Google Stadia and will set you back around $19.99 or local equivalent and is possibly the best flat-packed co-op available on Staida shelves right now.
We were graciously provided a key by publisher Coatsink for this review