Last year, a smaller indie title for PlayStation VR attracted attention right from the start. We are talking about the adventure game “Moss” by Polyarc Games, whose final release many PlayStation VR owners eagerly awaited today. At first glance, it’s not even the game itself that fascinates you, but the little heroine in it called Quill. A cute little mouse that turns into too big adventures.

TitleMoss
PlatformPlayStation 4
PublisherPolyarc
DeveloperPolyarc
GenreAdventure, Puzzle
ReleaseFebruary 27, 2018
ModeSingle-player
esrb-rating-everyoneEVERYONE - Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

The inspiration for the “Moss” came from big adventure games like “Zelda.” But thanks to the fact that Virtual Reality technology for gaming is highly advanced, it is possible to present an entirely new perspective that draws you right into the adventure and lets you participate in it.

So small and so brave

The story of “Moss” is a traditional adventure game reminiscent of earlier titles like “Zelda” or “Secret of Mana.” Our heroine stumbles upon an old relic, a glass crystal, which she takes home with her without overthinking. When she shows the remnant to her uncle, he reveals to her that this glass crystal may not promise anything right. Then after the uncle goes on a journey without telling her where or why. When he is not back the next morning, a shining creature appears before Quill. Starlight that persuades her to follow her uncle, and the adventure begins.

Moss-screenshot

At first, it may not be an extraordinary story. Because you have heard it somewhere before. What is unique about “Moss,” however, is the aspect that the reader becomes a part of this story and is directly involved instead of just experiencing it in front of him. It starts with a bird’s-eye view of the world and the individual levels, being directly addressed by the characters in it or, if necessary, being able to reach into this world and interact with it.

Despite the simple story, Quill faces exciting challenges, courageous boss battles and many dangers over the next seven chapters. Also, you roam deep forests, dark dungeons, knight’s castles or imposing beach landscapes.

A completely new perspective

Unlike most VR titles, “Moss” is not seen from the widespread first-person view, but as a kind of spectator through the fourth wall. You always have an overview of the whole level. But often you have to turn right or left or even get up to look behind hidden corners or find your way. It results in new perspectives and entirely new ways of looking at a game. Mainly because you experience everything from the body size of a small mouse and your environment appears enormous.

As a so-called reader of the story, you are not only a quiet spectator who presses the buttons of the controller. You can also reach deep into the levels with it, move statues, move objects, flip switches, and open doors. You can even hold on to enemies, whereby you become a direct participant in the events. The platformer approach, on which most levels rely, also offers new possibilities for puzzles like in, for example, the LittleBigPlanet game. You grab and turn objects, pull chains to yourself or lift up your little heroine to give her some comfort.

A heroine to love

Moss-screenshot

As already mentioned, Quill is a real heroine to love. She is primarily due to the focus on the cute and carefully implemented animations of the mouse from head to tail tip. Quill jumps, runs, swings his sword and so courageously contests this adventure. The little mouse also demands a virtual handshake now and then. It will always drive you to your face with a grin. Quill, like any other mouse, can hardly make more than a few beeps sounds. Due to that, Polyarc has come up with something unique for this and used sign language. In a simple form that everyone can interpret immediately. The whole Quill package is right from the front to the back, which you might like to have in your hand.

You will quickly find yourself in “Moss” in a playful way. You only have to maneuver the mouse through the levels. Also, defend yourself with the sword or additionally intervene yourself. Now and then such small tactical approaches arise, especially when it comes to dealing with several opponents at the same time. However, “Moss” doesn’t offer much depth in this respect. There is no character development, no power-ups, and no equipment for upgrading. Failure is also impossible since one relies on the trial and error principle here without having to fear consequences. Apart from this, you can also collect various paper rolls. They probably unlock something at the end and thus bring a specific replay value with them. But in the first run, we didn’t find everything either. You have to look around really well in every level.

Beautiful fantasy world

Like Quill itself, Polyarc has also paid attention to the overall visual presentation. The “Moss” can now count itself among the most beautiful VR games to date, with a dense and inviting atmosphere, as well as a lot of love for detail. Above all, there is also variety from level to level. To underline this unique atmosphere, one relies on a melancholic and slightly dreamy soundtrack, which is all too typical for adventures of this kind.

Moss-screenshot

Conclusion

From the very beginning, Moss was considered a real insider tip for PlayStation VR. It stands out from most games in the VR sector due to its unique concept. Even if the story with its 3 to 4 hours is quite fast again past, one always thinks back with a smile on the face of it. The little heroine Quill scores right from the start with an enormous sympathy factor. Coupled with cute ideas and innovative gameplay approaches. A beautiful game world and a dreamy soundtrack with which you can get lost in the Moss’s world.

The playful claim is unfortunately set a bit too low and could have used more depth. But you don’t allow yourself to make any serious mistakes and can look forward to a continuously fluid experience. And who knows, if the end of Moss keeps what it promises, you won’t have seen Quill for the last time.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
FUN FACTOR - Clever puzzles on all levels, great sound, and beautiful game design brings unique fun time to the game.
9
GRAPHICS - If not the most beautiful, it's certainly among the most beautiful VR games.
10
SOUND - Dreamy soundtracks with which you can get lost in the world of Moss.
9
SINGLE PLAYER - Excellent adventure game with smart puzzle and so lovely protagonist and heroine Moss.
9
CONTROLS - Rewarding and intuitive control system.
9
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