Playing Moss is like poking your head into a fairytale. Huddled over a dusty tome, the story within its pages comes to life, transporting you to an enchanting fantasy world. This is the first game from Seattle-based studio, Polyarc, adding to the strong, diverse line-up of titles now available for PlayStation VR.
In Moss you effectively play two roles in tandem: as petite protagonist named Quill and the disembodied “Reader” that watches over her. Many of the puzzles you encounter play off this relationship, with Quill navigating self-contained dioramas while you manipulate them using the DualShock 4’s motion tracking. It’s a fairly straightforward puzzle platformer, although there are a few head-scratchers and some segments requiring you to multitask.
While not as deep as your typical AAA blockbuster, Polyarc’s focus on storytelling and world-building are a real boon here. Where a lot of VR games have you tearing up object-filled sandboxes for no apparent reason, Moss takes you on a journey.
Inspired by ancient folklore and the fantasy works of pioneers such as Tolkien, Moss follows a fun yet familiar template. Quill is clearly an adventurous sort, having been raised on stories about dark powers, magic sprites, and noble knights. So, when her mentor Argus disappears into the night, she naturally goes after him.
There’s a backstory and small nuggets of lore to uncover but not so much that it weighs Moss down. One nice touch is how the game’s narrated like an actual book. A single female voice actor juggles a cast of characters while guiding you on your journey, adding to the storybook vibe.
It’s a gorgeous game to look at too. Each chapter is comprised of adjoining segments or rooms with the Reader looking down from above like some mystic giant. Although your position is fixed, there are nooks and crannies to explore by moving your head and peeking around corners.
Polyarc conjures up a rich, enchanting world brimming with heart and passion. Having a cast of tiny talking animals may seem childish to some, but it adds a degree of charm you wouldn’t get from the typical trope of humans, elves, and orcs. In Quill we also see a new mascot – not just for VR but PlayStation in general.
- Rich, immersive fantasy world
- Controlling Quill and the Reader simultaneously
- Fun platforming and puzzle-solving sections
- A comfortable, accessible VR experience
- A few more advanced mechanics wouldn’t have gone amiss
Moss is an absolute joy to play, proving that a great VR experience doesn’t always require that you flail your arms around while fending off bouts of motion sickness. It’s a wonderfully realised puzzle platformer with clever twists, beautiful backdrops, and an adorable hero, making PlayStation VR even more tempting for prospective buyers.
Version tested: PlayStation 4 Pro