Announced during the PlayStation press conference at E3 2017, Moss is a virtual reality action-adventure puzzle game starring a brave mouse named Quill. The player acts as the game’s camera, but they’re also a character in the world. A character with an adorable little rodent friend.
When people who haven’t had any experience think of virtual reality, they imagine the sort of “you are there” first-person experiences found in games such as Star Trek: Bridge Crew or Eagle Flight. But one of my favourite VR games so far, Lucky’s Tale, casts the player as a third-person camera overseeing the action. It’s one of the most comfortable VR experiences I’ve had, especially during prolonged sessions. Moss takes that same idea and expands upon it.
The player in Moss finds a strange book in an old library. Reading the book transports them to a fantasy land. There they befriend Quill, a young mouse embarking on a grand adventure.
More than just a camera, the player is a character in the game. Quill is aware of the player, who manifests as a masked face and a glowing orb. The pair communicate throughout the journey, forming a bond as the story progresses. She’s basically the little mousy friend I’ve always wanted.
You are the blue-faced thing reflected in the water.
Along with controlling Quill as she navigates the forest kingdom and battles strange enemies, the player uses their glowing blue orb to manipulate the environment, helping their diminutive companion navigate obstacles and solve puzzles.
“Developing a game like Moss has been an inspiring challenge. We have the chance to connect the players to the world and characters in an entirely new and exciting way. For example, Quill can see you and she reacts to your movements as well as the environments you interact with,” said Chris Alderson, co-founder and art director of Polyarc, via the game’s official announcement. “Our goal is to let the player’s senses teleport them to a world where the characters and environments truly feel alive.”
Quill and the world she inhabits brings to mind Brian Jacques’ Redwall novel series or David Peteresen’s Mouse Guard comics. Speaking to Kotaku on Tuesday afternoon following the game’s reveal, Alderson said the inspiration for Quill didn’t come from those works directly, but rather from a similar place — the desire to present a small character in a large world. Mice are just perfect for this sort of thing.
Moss is slated for release on PlayStation VR later this year. While initially exclusive to Sony’s platform, Polyarc would eventually like to see the game available to everyone with a virtual reality headset.
You can follow the game’s development at the official website.