Moss VR is originally a Playstation title developed by Polyarc and the game was released in 2018. Moss is a VR puzzle adventure platformer but unlike most of VR games it is played from a third person perspective - which turns out to be your own perspective.
The game starts with you reading a book introducing you a fairy tale like story, eventually taking you into the story itself. Moss is a fully narrated story that makes you part of it. You play as Quill, a cute little mouse, full of enthusiasm. She finds a shard that calls a human sized ghost-like masked creature, a guardian angel of sort. This being is also you. You watch over Quill as she goes on her journey to save her uncle and the kingdom from an evil fire-breathing serpent.
Moss is a simple game that requires a bit of platforming. You control Quill and walk her through beautifully crafted environments that are joy to look at. The environments are single scenes and you have to walk from the place you appeared to the other end of the environment. Sometimes you can just freely walk through but mostly you have to solve an environmental puzzle to get to the other side. These get more and more complex as you progress and they require the intervention of you as the guardian. In the later stages of the game they can also span several 'scenes' and not just one.
You control Quill with joystick and buttons to jump and attack like in a traditional game. The guardian though has 'hands' - blue orbs. Those are where your motion controllers are so you can reach with them and physically move objects around, stall enemies, drag them around. You can also pet the mouse on the head, high-five her when she presents a hand or heal her when she takes damage by holding her for a while. You can even spook her if you wish to. It truly feels like you are a magical being doing magic.
There is some combat but it is fairly simple. At first you just hack at the enemies but later on you will find you that you can stall enemies, move them around (so they explode elsewhere), you can even shoot with the enemies you currently hold in your blue-orb hand. In some areas of the game there will be big fights requiring you to multitask a bit with both of your hands while still moving Quill around (stalling an enemy while controlling Quill and attacking the held enemy for example). This most probably is not necessary but adds more depth to the game and to me it felt natural.
Moss is a game that is about immersion and they did an excellent job at that. The game proves that in order to be immersed in a game you don't need a first person view. The environments are rich and beautiful and I spent a lot of time just looking around and waiting for things to happen. I was so curious that I also spend some time walking around and peeking around every corner. This way I also found out that there are hidden items you can collect (scrolls) that are often somewhere where they are either hard to reach or they are hidden if you are just sitting in the middle of the scene.
The sound is also excellent. There is everything you'd expect and the sound is also 3d. The sound effects are well chosen and they seem to be real be it a turning of a heavy page from the story book at the beginning, Quill's squeaks or her steps. You will hear background noises perfectly matching the environments (or not because it will feel so natural). Stop and listen to the sounds. You will discover how well the sound was done.
Verdict: Moss is a game that provides a unique experience that only VR can deliver. Moss is one of the most immersive games I played even when the game is played from a third perspective. The gameplay is on the simple side but it also means that the Moss is a great game to introduce people to VR and gaming in general. The only downside is that the game is rather short. You can finish the game in 3 hours and be little bit disappointed in how suddenly it ends. If you enjoyed this game and crave for more there is a sequel already out for Playstation VR and soon to be released for Quest.
Ren (stsungjp on Twitter)