Fantasy settings in games are nothing new. We have slain Dragons, we’ve piloted ships in space, we lost our soul in dreadful horror scenes and, yet, nothing has ever connected us with a game quite as much as Moss. Prepare yourself to get lost in a magical fantasy world with the most adorable hero, a mouse.
It’s a tale of bravery and adventure told to you in the form of an interactive story book session. The journey starts off with Quill, our brave little hero mouse, meeting the Reader – you, the player. The two of you connect early on and it’s from here that the adventure begins. Moss is a short adventure that will last you just under four hours, therefore I’m not going to touch on the narrative at all, but there is a good reason Quill is driven to move ahead with her adventure.
Moss, the name of the world you find yourself in, is absolutely stunning. From the moment you turn your first page in the book you are transported to a fantasy setting – the type you would have never experienced in a VR game to date. The larger-than-life panoramic vistas had me at times just sitting there and admiring what I was looking at. The sun rays pushing through the forestry with each and every blade of grass and other fauna and flora highlighting the beauty bring each scene to life. You’ll visit tiny towns, ruins and other abstract themes that sit at the heart of this experience. The presentation of Moss is divided up into numerous set scenes. Quill starts off at the starting point and must make it to the exit to enter the next scene. Due to this, it’s a VR experience that’s easy on the eyes and on the stomach. What sets the game apart from anything else is that you’re in control of both Quill and the on-looker, you. As with Tearaway, Moss has a good understanding of involving the user in the experience. You feel like you’re the sole reason Quill is still alive and ultimately feel responsible for how events unfold. YOU are the one by Quill’s side and you’re not just merely a bystander.
Moss plays like a traditional action-adventure platformer with puzzles. To move, jump, climb or have Quill slashing away with her sword you simply use the analogue stick or face buttons on your Dualshock 4. At the same time, you’re in control of a floating beam of light that has you manipulating the world to help Quill overcome any obstacle in her way. You also control this by using the Dualshock 4, it’s just that the buttons are mapped to the triggers. You’re generally grabbing and moving items most of the time and motion controls decide where your beam of light is situated in your virtual space. Should Quill receive damage it’s indicated on her back with a blue light turning red. Move the beam of light over Quill, press R2 and pull back on the controller to recharge her health. You’re constantly looking after her well-being. When it comes to the head tracking it’s merely used to keep an eye on events. There are dangers at play in this world and you’ll get a good neck workout because of it.
Enemies of my enemy are my friend
There aren’t many enemies, but those that are there will provide you with enough of a challenge. It comes down to the timing of your attacks and dodging in time to overcome anything in your way. Combine the enemies with the puzzle elements and you’ll sit there with some head-scratching moments. You can use the beam of light to control enemies to help you solve a puzzle. Some enemies are used to activate a switch, while others can shoot projectiles out of Quill’s reach. The puzzles aren’t ridiculously difficult, but it’s creative enough to have you sitting with a grin on your face once you make it to the exit of any one scene.
Moss might be a short game, but for this VR outing I have to admit that dynamite does come in small packages. I can’t think of one single VR game that left me with so much love for a character. There is a replay element to this game as you’ll be on the lookout for hidden Forgotten Fragments. What exactly it unlocks I do not yet know, but I do plan to dive back into the game to go find it all. Unfortunately, there is only one way to finish all scenes (except for one, according to trophy details), so unless you’re looking for the Forgotten Fragments it’s not something you’ll come back to unless you just want to relive the memorable moments all over again.
Moss might be a short game, but for this VR outing I have to admit that dynamite does come in small packages.
Magical, adorable, delightful, endearing and many more words can be used to express how I feel about my short time with Quill. What Moss lacks in length it packs with a mighty mouse punch. It’s finally that PSVR-only game PSVR owners have been waiting for.