I have played quite a few VR games, but I have never had the chance to play a platformer in VR. To me, the idea of a platformer in VR seemed like it would be a waste of the tech. When I play a VR game I want to feel immersed and I always thought that a game that wasn’t in first person would fail to satisfy that desire. Then I played Polyarc’s new VR game Moss and boy was I wrong.
When Quill walked over and looked up at me my first instinct was to look down at her. Immediately a smile came over my face, in the water at the bottom of the screen, I saw my own characters staring back at me. This is by far one of the coolest things that I have seen in any VR game; my mind was completely blown. I must have had a physical reaction as well because the developer knew right away that I had seen my face and mentioned how much he enjoyed that moment as well.
Once I had control of Quill I started moving her around the beautiful and colorful environment and the puzzles started. I was pleasantly surprised at the difficulty of the puzzles. While I could control Quill and use her to complete puzzles, I was also able to reach out and move certain structures on the screen with my own character. This allowed for the puzzles to be more complex. I was stuck on one puzzle for a whole five minutes because I had forgotten that I could manipulate the field. I had been sitting there moving Quill and a beetle back and forth over and over again completely confused when it hit me, all I had to do was reach out and turn the structure in the middle. Doing this was such a moment of triumph. Not only did I get past the puzzle, but I myself was the one who turned the structure making it possible. This adds an extra level of accomplishment that you can’t get in a non-VR game.
I initially thought that the game was going to be a straightforward platformer, where you would go to an area, complete the puzzle, and then move on to the next one. Then I got to a room full of beetles that all decided that they wanted to attack me. At this point Quill pulled out a sword and I was in a fight for survival. The sound of Quill’s sword striking an enemy is one of the most satisfying sounds I have ever heard in any game. I found myself eagerly awaiting each strike just so I could hear that sweet slice.
The final area was a very dark room with a few areas where light shone through. Instantly I was intrigued as to what this darkness was hiding. Then I saw it. Slithering out of the distance was a huge red snake that went straight over and stared Quill right in the face. Finishing the demo I was scared for Quill and excited to see what will happen next.