In Moving Stories, our heroine is tasked with fitting her life into a tiny suitcase, and leaving everything else behind. You’ll play the time-honored game of Inventory-Tetris to decide what goes in the trash, and what few possessions get to move along with her. Like all possessions, each of them tell a story. Especially that jar of urine.
Your first run through the game will tell you a lot about yourself. I, for example, snap picked the family photo and the old travel ticket because I’m a sucker for nostalgia. Someone else may have chosen to bring their cat, or an extra change of clothes. Through the item’s descriptions, I learned about the main character’s relationships, and how excited she was to finally move in with her boyfriend. I trashed the rest of the items, and found out why she had decided to leave certain things behind. Later, her mom showed up and complained about having to take care of the cat I chose to abandon. Then it was time to leave.
After being satisfied with the story that had been told, I was greeted with a message that a new item had appeared in the girl’s bedroom. Soon after, I had new options to pack a handgun and a jar of urine in my suitcase. There’s more to Moving Stories than you think.
Once you’ve “finished” the original story, new items appear with each subsequent playthrough. The original items change their place in the story, gaining different attributes. “Jack’s scarf” may become “Brad’s scarf”, which totally changes the character’s reaction to seeing it. The game is filled with little references and jokes depending on what combinations of items you take together, and what you decide to leave in the dumpster. New characters make appearances after your first cab ride, so poking at what changes the game is just as fun as the original, memorable story. Naturally, all I took on my second playthrough was a handgun and a passport, which led the main character to a shooting range to meet a new guy after exposing her bitter feelings towards an ex.
Moving Stories is all about the little tales each of our belongings possess, and how it feels to choose what means the most to you. The game relishes in our closest memories, and how a tiny object can tell a big story. Terry Cavanagh and Stephen Lavell’s collaboration brings both artists into new territory, and I’ve love to see similar team-ups in the future.