Moss Developers Polyarc Announce Competitive Multiplayer VR Game

Polyarc, the developers behind the Moss franchise, announced a new in-development competitive multiplayer VR game today, sharing some artwork and announcing a playtest weekend for next month.

Polyarc Champion

The game’s title remains unconfirmed and there’s not a whole lot of specific details, however the artwork shared by Polyarc indicates it will continue the studio’s strong visual style established in Moss: Book I & II. The characters also look to be drawn from the same universe as Moss, with the second piece of art (embedded below) almost feeling reminiscent of a Smash Bros-esque fighting game.

Polyarc Champion

The untitled game will mark Polyarc’s first foray into competitive multiplayer in VR. This places them in the same bucket as other veteran VR studios, such as Schell Games and Owlchemy Labs, who have are now confident enough in the number of VR users to justify exploring online multiplayer projects. Polyarc co-founder and CEO Tam Armstrong touched on this in a prepared statement:

“We are happy to see that the audience for VR continues to grow, now counting in the tens of millions of players, with more user-friendly and accessible headsets being released every year. As a game development studio that aspires to create games for everyone, we want to find ways to reach more of the audience within VR and even create space for new folks to join us there. With that in mind, the greater number of players gives us the opportunity to try ideas we have for multiplayer gameplay that can offer more to competitive players.”

Armstrong also gave some small hints at the game’s direction, stating that VR “offers interesting consideration for multiplayer” such as “the ability to read the other player’s focus and intention as they move their head and hands.”

Polyarc Champion

Polyarc will hold a closed playtest weekend between April 14 and 16, which players can sign up for now.

‘Moss’ Studio Announces VR Competitive Multiplayer, Closed Beta Signups Now Live

Polyarc, the studio behind the Moss franchise, announced a new competitive multiplayer VR game currently in development.

Polyarc isn’t saying much beyond that—we still don’t even know it’s name—however a look at the game’s concept art shows a definite influence from Moss‘ style and characters, including the Reader and a number of plucky mice heroes.

Although we can’t read too much into it, retrofitting Moss’ third-person platforming view into a multiplayer battle game may mean the studio is pursuing something very similar in feel to Moss, albeit with multiple classes and weapons. In the concept art we see a gilded Reader and a number of different mousey classes: a tank, archer, knight, wizard, and even some evil leafy dudes.

“It’s apparent observing the community of players out there and receiving some of our own feedback that there are a lot of gamers in VR who are looking for and want to play more competitive multiplayer games,” said Tam Armstrong, co-founder and CEO, Polyarc. “We are excited about this opportunity, as VR offers interesting considerations for multiplayer games. The ability to read the other player’s focus and intention as they move their head and hands are some of the elements that make playing games in person so compelling. We are looking forward to sharing what we’ve been working on and the fun we’ve been having playing it.”

Coming off the success of Moss and Moss: Book II, Polyarc says a competitive multiplayer is “something the team has been excited to develop since the studio’s inception in 2015, but first the player base needed to grow large enough to support multiplayer games of this nature.”

The game, which is still unnamed at the time of this writing, is set to run closed playtesting on the weekend of April 14th-16th. Here’s how Polyarc describes the first round of closed beta testing:

We’re working on lots of cool, new stuff and want to see what happens when we get it in the hands of real players. Each playtest will focus on a different aspect of an in-development game and your feedback will be important to help us make the best final product(s) possible. And we’re here to test the game; we’re not testing you as the playtesters. So please don’t feel like you have to do anything besides play the game. If you are having fun, we want to know! If you aren’t having fun, then we also want to know. And we will ask you all about every juicy detail in a survey at the end.

The studio hasn’t announced target platforms yet, however playtesters will require a Quest 2 to participate. If you’re interested in joining, signups are available starting today.

Moss: Book 2 Climbs April’s PlayStation Store Charts

April’s PlayStation Store charts are in, and Polyarc’s Moss: Book 2 managed to rank in both EU and US lists.

The anticipated sequel, which released at the very end of March, was the fourth best-selling PSVR exclusive game on the store in the US and third in the EU. Though it was able to climb the ranks, Quill’s new adventure couldn’t topple Beat Saber’s epic run at the top spot (which is now nearing its second year of consistently topping the chart), nor Job Simulator which ranked in second on both lists. Batman: Arkham VR also managed to outsell Moss in the US, but came in just behind in the EU.

Moss: Book 2 Hits PSVR Store Charts

Other than that, games like Stride, Swordsman VR and Wanderer fought their way onto this month’s charts, likely helped by recent sales. Mainstays like Superhot VR and Vader Immortal also featured.

We thought Moss: Book 2, meanwhile, was a worthy sequel to the original that offered more of what worked about the first game. It released exclusively on PSVR but will soon be available on other platforms – last month the game was confirmed for Quest 2, releasing sometime this summer.

The rest of the year is looking relatively slim for PSVR releases as we wait for more news on the launch of Sony’s PSVR 2 headset. Current speculation suggests that headset might not launch until 2023. If that’s the case, Beat Saber is likely to enjoy its run at the top spot for the rest of 2022 and then some.

Meta Quest Gaming Showcase 2022: A Full Roundup

Returning for a second year, the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase was an event jam-packed with exciting videogame announcements for the headset. With brand new surprises, sequels and updates, the event proved that Quest 2 has a cracking lineup of titles in the works.

Meta Quest Gaming Showcase

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution

The next instalment in the VR franchise, Skydance Interactive’s The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution continues the narrative from the first game, placing you in a post-apocalyptic New Orleans trying to survive the zombie outbreak. This time around there will be more zombies, a new villain to face and even fewer resources. The game is due out later this year.

Among Us VR

The multiplayer game about teamwork and the imposters trying to kill you all will be coming to Meta Quest 1 & 2 and PC VR headsets this holiday season. Rebuilt for VR by Schell Games, Among Us VR will stay true to the original’s design whilst ensuring plenty of interactive elements purely suited to VR.  It will be a “stand-alone experience” due to the overhaul.

Red Matter 2

The atmospheric sci-fi puzzler from 2018 will be getting a sequel this summer Vertical Robot has revealed. Red Matter 2  is going to be bigger and feature more content than its predecessor, adding new mechanics like a jet pack to fly around with whilst injecting some action by giving you enemies to shoot at.

Beat Saber x Electronic Mixtape

The ever-popular Beat Saber will be getting a new song selection adding 10 iconic electronic hits to its track roster as well as a new in-game environment. No release date at the moment but here’s the track list:

  • Rudimental, “Waiting All Night” (feat. Ella Eyre)
  • Pendulum, “Witchcraft”
  • Madeon, “Icarus”
  • deadmau5, “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” (feat. Rob Swire)
  • Marshmello, “Alone”
  • Zedd, “Stay the Night” (feat. Hayley Williams)
  • Darude, “Sandstorm”
  • Fatboy Slim, “The Rockafeller Skank”
  • Bomfunk MC’s, “Freestyler”
  • Martin Garrix, “Animals”

Moss: Book II

Released on PlayStation VR earlier in April, developer Polyarc will soon be bringing the puzzle adventure to Quest 2. Taking control of Quill once again in a fight against the Arcane, Moss: Book 2 features even bigger threats than before, new items to fight and solve puzzles with and new characters to aid your journey.

Resident Evil 4 – The Mercenaries

The only game announcement from the show that’s available right now as a free update, the VR edition of Resident Evil 4 finally gets fan favourite mode The Mercenaries. Giving you the chance to play as several of the characters from the main campaign, the mode is all about racking up as many points as possible before the timer runs out. This VR version also comes with 20 exclusive Challenges that’ll unlock bonuses including Big Head mode and a Golden Gun skin.

Cities: VR

If you’ve been after a city building experience in VR then look no further, Fast Travel Games has remade Paradox Interactive’s Cities: Skylines for the headset. A city management simulator giving you full control over where to place structures, and how to earn and spend money whilst keeping residents have, Cities: VR is due out next week on 28th April.


Stress Level Zero has finally revealed that its fourth VR project is Bonelab, a sequel to Boneworks. Building off of Boneworks‘ physical interaction engine, Marrow, Bonelab is an action-adventure title set within a mysterious underground lab. With physics-driven interactions forming a core part of the gameplay experience Bonelabs will also support player built mods to further expand the content. The game is expected to arrive for Meta Quest 2 and PC VR headsets in 2022.

NFL Pro Era

An officially licensed NFL videogame for VR, NFL Pro Era is all about immersing you in American football as a quarterback. Featuring all 32 NFL teams, the simulator will put you in command of your favourite team, choosing plays and listening to the chatter inside the huddle. NFL Pro Era will be coming to Quest and PlayStation VR in Fall 2022.

Espire 2

Digital Lode’s stealth combat title returns this November, giving you new ways to sneakily kill enemies without them even knowing you were there, or not, depends how you like to play. Espire 2 will feature two new mechanical units to control, one heavier and more robust whilst the other is smaller and nimble, great for staying undetected. In addition to the main campaign, Espire 2 will also include a co-op campaign with a story set between Espire 1 & 2.


Unveiled last year, the showcase provided a brand new trailer giving a better look at the upcoming Japanese role-playing game (JRPG). Developed by CharacterBank, RuinsMagus has players investigate the abandoned ruins below the prosperous town of Grand Amnis across 26 story-driven quests, facing powerful and fearless Guardians on route. RuinsMagus is expected to launch later this year.

Crystal Atrium Environment

Not a game but a freebie for Meta Quest nonetheless, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave his quick address inside the new Crystal Atrium environment. You’ll find it under the Personalization tab of the settings menu, then change the virtual environment.

Crystal Atrium

Ghostbusters VR (Working title)

Last but not least was the sneaky peek from Zuckerberg of a new game being worked on by nDreams (Fracked, Phantom: Covert Ops) and Sony Pictures Virtual Reality (SPVR), Ghostbusters VR. Set in San Francisco, Ghostbusters VR will support up to 4-player co-op as you and your friends try to rid the city of ghosts in this original adventure. No timeline for release has been given just yet.

Adventure Into the World of Moss: Book II This Summer on Meta Quest 2

PlayStation VR hasn’t exactly had a stellar lineup of videogames this year but one that certainly did was Polyarc’s Moss: Book II. The developer has been coy regarding the other platforms it would eventually bring support to but it was always assumed Meta Quest 2 would be on the roster. The Meta Quest Gaming Showcase has confirmed that today, earmarking this summer for launch.

Moss: Book II

Quill, the central character in the Moss franchise has always been one of the most beloved in VR. A plucky little hero fighting against small and giant monsters alike, she’s a mouse with personality, forming a bond with you – called The Reader – through high fives and other non-verbal actions.

Moss: Book II directly continues on from the storyline of the original, with Quill just having saved her uncle Argus but now facing an even bigger threat. So you’ll have to venture deep into the hexed castle of the Arcane to fight new enemies, solve clever environmental puzzles and unlock secrets hidden just out of sight.

Gorgeous to look at thanks to each area serving as a buzzing diorama filled with life, Quill not only has her sword for this adventure, she’ll also be able to wield a colossal hammer – big for her anyway – to smash open armoured enemies or utilise Chakrams to hit them from afar. Polyarc has also employed new mechanics to further immerse players in the world of Moss, pulling out vines so Quill can reach new areas or helping bring the hammer down on giant switches.

Moss Book II

In gmw3’s PlayStation VR review of Moss: Book II we said: “Whilst not particularly difficult, stepping into Moss and teaming up with Quill is a delight once again, with polished gameplay, more interactivity and visuals you can’t help but soak in. The main problem really is that Moss: Book II ends a bit too soon, as you won’t want it to be over.”

Having won multiple awards from organisations including The Game Awards, Bafta, and GDC, Moss: Book II is an exciting addition to Meta Quest 2’s summer launch lineup, when a date is revealed gmw3 will let you know.

Comfirmed – Moss: Book II Coming To Quest 2 This Summer

Moss: Book II is coming to Quest 2 headsets this summer, after launching exclusively on PSVR a few weeks ago.

The news broke via a new trailer aired during today’s Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, confirming a Summer 2022 launch for the game on Quest 2.

While nonetheless good news, this is perhaps one of the least surprising announcements from today’s showcase. Developers Polyarc had previously expressed plans to bring Moss: Book II to other non-PSVR platforms “as soon as possible.”

Moss 2 Quest 2 Trailer

Now with confirmation of a Quest release, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for an eventual PC VR release (and maybe even PSVR 2, down the line) as well, but no news on that front just yet.

We enjoyed the sequel when we reviewed its PSVR release earlier this month. We noted that it was a solid sequel to the original and built well on those ideas, but still left us wanting just a little bit more:

[Moss: Book II] adds brilliant new gameplay mechanics that make for some innovative combat encounters, whilst puzzles prove to be a surprise highlight. More impressive, though, are some of the ways the game catches you off-guard with both the story and that series-defining bond you establish with Quill reaching new heights. But, just as with the first entry, you’re left wanting more of just about everything; its a longer game but still on the lean side, ending just as its best ideas start to get fleshed out. Greedy as it may sound, this still isn’t the sweeping epic you know this series has in it, but instead another reassuring step towards getting there. 

Moss: Book II is available for PSVR now and releases for Quest 2 this summer. You can read our full review of the PSVR version here.

‘Moss: Book II’ to Release on Quest 2 Next Month

Having received a strong reception on PSVR back at the end of March, Moss: Book II from developer Polyarc is now set to release on Quest 2 starting next month.

Update (June 9th, 2022): Polyarc today announced during UploadVR’s Summer Showcase that Moss: Book II is exiting PSVR exclusivity and coming to Quest 2 on July 21st.

In addition, Polyarc has today opened pre-orders for the Moss: Book II Official Soundtrack (OST), composed by two-time BAFTA award-winning composer Jason Graves. The original article announcing its summer launch window follows below:

Original Article (April 21st, 2022): Action-platformer Moss originally launched as a timed exclusive on PSVR back in 2018, but just four months later it made its way to PC VR too (eventually landing on the original Quest in 2019). And now it looks like the sequel, Moss: Book II, which first launched for PSVR on April 5th this year, is set for a similarly quick jump to another platform.

Today during the Quest Gaming Showcase, developer Polyarc announced that Moss: Book II is due for a release date on Quest 2 this summer (a PC VR version, however, has not yet been announced). The studio also showed the first look at the game as it will look on Quest 2.

Assuming that the trailer is showing an accurate representation of the game’s geometric and texture detail as it will run on Quest 2… it appears pretty darn close to what the game looks like even when backed by the more powerful PS4/PS5.

In fact, Moss: Book II is likely to look sharper on Quest 2’s higher resolution display (1,832 × 1,920 [3.5MP] per-eye) compared to PSVR’s rather dated display (960 × 1,080 [1.0MP] per-eye). That could be a boon for this game in particular, as Moss: Book II’s beautifully composed mouse-sized environments contain intricate details that could be easier to appreciate with the higher resolution display—though we’ll have to see if the game’s textures on Quest 2 can hold up to that added scrutiny.

Moss: Book II on PSVR picks up precisely where the original Moss left off—meaning, if you’re planning to play Book II, you should probably start with the original game first. Luckily, if you find yourself in that boat, the original Moss is conveniently 20% off on the Quest store.

In our review of Moss: Book II on PSVR we scored the game 8.5 out of 10 and summarized it as such:

Moss: Book II is a direct continuation of the first game in both story and core mechanics. Generally speaking, it’s a longer and better experience than the original Moss thanks to the introduction of new weapons, mechanics, and more intriguing puzzles. The game is polished to the brim with stellar art direction, with each segment of the game being its own detailed diorama with top notch composition. Sound is strong and animations are superb throughout, with one of the game’s enjoyable boss fights showcasing Polyarc’s animation prowess in particular. Though the ‘narrated book’ story structure may have hindered the impact of the story and characters, Moss: Book II is a well rounded adventure you won’t want to miss.

So when will it launch? Well, Polyarc has only given Moss: Book II on Quest 2 a “Summer 2022” release date so far (see update). However, the original game launched on its first non-PSVR platform exactly 120 days after its initial release. 120 days from the PSVR release date of Moss: Book II would put us out to August 2nd. Conveniently that’s also a Tuesday (a common day for major game releases), which happens to be the same day of the week that the original Moss and Moss: Book II both launched on. So until we hear a more specific date from the studio, that’ll be our best guess!

The post ‘Moss: Book II’ to Release on Quest 2 Next Month appeared first on Road to VR.

Review: Moss: Book II

When you think about it some of the biggest videogame franchises have been built around a singular character, Mario, Sonic, Master Chief. Say these names and most players will instantly know them and reminisce about spending far too much time in these digital worlds. Yet virtual reality (VR) doesn’t have quite the same heritage when it comes to standout characters, mainly because you are the character. There is a small selection that bucks this trend, top of the list being Quill from Polyarc’s Moss series. And now the second instalment has arrived, Moss: Book II, taking the tiny mouse on another adventure that retains all the charm of the original.

Moss Book II

Moss was an instant hit back in 2018 so the sequel doesn’t play with that formula too much, rather doing what all good sequels should; refine and expand. You still play as The Reader, a looming ghostly figure in the Moss universe who becomes a pivotal part of the story, controlling not only the heroine Quill but also far more than ever before. It’s this connection with the world of Moss that Polyarc has truly grown, because as the interactivity in VR games has increased Moss: Book II has followed suit.

But how do you increase interactivity in a videogame-like Moss: Book II when your only input method is a DualShock 4 controller? By bringing the environment to life, taking those gorgeous environments the series is known for and adding an even greater selection of elements to touch. Most of which are important to the gameplay and figuring out the vast variety of puzzles Moss: Book II has throughout the campaign.

Controlling that blue orb just like the first instalment, the new interactions range from growing vines walls for Quill to climb to pulling out vines to create new walkways. The method is simple yet it encourages you to begin leaning into the environments which need to be closely inspected for secrets. Moss: Book II has even more up its sleeve where new mechanics are concerned, as Quill now has a trio of weaponry to unlock. Beginning with the original green blade, Chakrams help you deal ranged damage whilst the previously revealed hammer is slow, heavy but sure does pack a punch.

Moss Book II

With these selectable via a new inventory system on the touchpad, Moss: Book II’s combat is as playful and enjoyable as ever. Quill can unleash a wave of combo attacks with a few quick button presses whilst being light on her feet for evasive manoeuvres. Even when surrounded by several enemies Quill has plenty of skills up her sleeve, she is a very dextrous mouse after all. Each of the weapons has a unique charge ability, that can be used in battle or for those environmental puzzles. The blade activates a blue dash to cross chasms or hit a row of opponents whilst the Chakrams can be charged into one giant weapon, great for smashing distant objects. The hammer has the most useful ability, creating a giant ghostly version that you can bring crashing down on switches and groups of enemies.

The only real downside to the new weapon selection is being able to switch between them quickly. This is most notable mid-battle, as it becomes quite finicky hitting the touchpad and then selecting whichever weapon you want whilst ensuring Quill doesn’t get hurt. Being able to stick each weapon on the D-pad would’ve been so much simpler – albeit less involved.

Moss: Book II is equal parts action and puzzle-solving, every new area is one giant conundrum to explore and navigate with Polyarc squeezing a generous amount of variety into them. Much like the original, puzzles are environmental, generally tasking you with finding the right path without falling off the ledge and into a seemingly bottomless pit. Yet none of them is too taxing that you’d need a great deal of help as they rarely extend beyond the viewable landscape in front of you. This does aid the flow of Moss: Book II’s narrative yet lacks the satisfaction of completing a brain teaser.

Moss Book II

Moss: Book II’s real hook is in its ability to create an emotional bond with Quill, this little plucky mouse. The overall animation is excellent with Quill’s being exceptional. From the way she dodges an attack to the scuttling of her hind legs when she’s trying to climb a high ledge, Quill is alive more than any other VR character. She’ll also put a hand up for a random high-five or you can scratch her head – which she loves – providing delightful little moments in between all the action.

In addition to the animation, all the levels are magnificent to look at, from huge sprawling vistas teasing castles in the background to tightly cramped underground environments, Moss: Book II is a visual feast. These are mainly 180-degree dioramas that encourage you to lean in and inspect them. You have to, in fact. There are scrolls to find and Relic Dust to collect, which you won’t spot by sitting back on the sofa all the time. Plus, it makes playing the game super comfortable as the camera remains static the entire time.

Alas, this does mean PlayStation VR tracking issues can come into play. Getting a closer inspection can make the environment a bit jittery and there were times when Quill was quite far away to comfortably lean in and activate an ability. Then there was always having to remember to keep the controller’s front light facing towards the camera. If not the blue orb that you control can drift and there was the odd occasion where Quill would miss her landing mark because of this.

Moss: Book II builds upon its forebear in so many ways making a hugely worthwhile sequel. Taking around 5-6 hours to complete without collecting everything Moss: Book II isn’t a huge VR game yet it’s a satisfying experience. Whilst not particularly difficult, stepping into Moss and teaming up with Quill is a delight once again, with polished gameplay, more interactivity and visuals you can’t help but soak in. The main problem really is that Moss: Book II ends a bit too soon, as you won’t want it to be over.

‘Moss: Book II’ Review – A Refined & Satisfying Sequel That Sticks With What Works

A whopping four years after its opening chapter, Moss: Book II is finally here to continue the story of Quill, a tiny adventurer destined for an epic journey. While the game doesn’t think too far outside the box compared to the original Moss, developer Polyarc has refined the best parts of the game to deliver a satisfying direct continuation of Quill’s story.

Quill Book II Details:

Available On: PSVR
Release Date: March 31st, 2022
Price: $40
Developer: Polyarc Games
Reviewed On: PSVR (PS5)


Moss: Book II builds on the same underlying gameplay formula that made the first a great game. The player controls Quill, an adorable and capable little adventurer, through platforming, light combat, and puzzling. The player plays seated using the PS4 DualShock 4 controller (PS5’s DualSense isn’t supported), and controls Quill with the thumbsticks and buttons, but also has some direct influence over the world thanks to a floating orb that represents the position of the player’s controller. Using the orb you can reach into the world to move specific puzzle objects, heal Quill, mind-control enemies, and more.

The story picks up immediately where the original Moss left off, so if you haven’t played it yet, you’ll certainly want to start there.

Moss: Book II is split up into small segments in which Quill usually crosses from left to right over the course of a few minutes. Polyarc has upped the visual ante, even against the already impressive scenes of the first game. Each segment is a beautifully detailed diorama with masterful attention to lighting and composition.

In fact, the scenes are so rich with detail that I actually wish the game provided more reason for players to look around the environment—if you stay purely focused on getting Quill from A-to-B, you’d be missing out on a significant part of the game’s charm. There are some hidden collectibles but they were generally too obvious to really encourage the player to breathe in each scene as a work of art. Astro Bot Rescue Mission (2018) had a simple mechanic where each level had a nearly-invisible creature hidden within it, which was effective at encouraging me to revisit levels and look in places I might not have thought to look on my first pass.

Moss: Book II continues to be light on enemy variety (which was already a critique from the original), but luckily it manages to spice up combat just enough thanks to the introduction of two new weapons (in addition to the original sword) and a special power to go along with all three of the weapons. To activate the special power, the player holds down the attack button to make Quill hold her weapon up, then the player must reach out and touch it with their controller to prime the power before Quill can use it.

Smartly, each weapon’s special power works as both an extra combat mechanic and a puzzle mechanic. For instance, players will get a ranged weapon which, when primed, can be thrown extra far and will stick into walls. Upon using the attack button again, the weapon will fly in a straight line back to Quill. Not only can you use this to hit multiple enemies in a row (both on the forward thrown and the return), but it is also essential to many of the game’s puzzles where the player is tasked with using the return to hit switches that would otherwise be impossible to reach.

Thanks to the new special powers of the weapons, and some new environmental interactions, the puzzles in Moss: Book II take a step up in depth over the original game. Like the first, I found puzzles hit that sweet spot where they occasionally felt challenging and rewarding to solve while steering mostly clear of frustration. There were a few head scratchers that almost had me thinking the game might have bugged, but reliably I would find the answer after retracing my steps and trying to look at the puzzle from new angles.

This was the case especially later in the game where several segments involving magical changing gravity will make you flex your spatial reasoning in new ways.

Moss: Book II started with a fairly slow pace for my taste; this is exacerbated a bit by how long it can take Quill to navigate around the environment even when it’s obvious where you need to go. But by the mid-way point, the game begins to hit its stride as you come to acquire new weapons and more is thrown your way in both platforming and combat. Granted, I don’t think I died once in combat, so the game might have benefited from adjustable difficulty options—like a cooldown on how often you can heal Quill.

Combat against the game’s basic enemies was satisfying but never felt terribly challenging, however the game puts your skills to the test with a small number of unique and well designed boss fights. One of those fights involves an enemy that’s much larger than Quill and features stunning animation that was a delight to see.

And animation isn’t the only place where Moss: Book II shines. Really the whole game is superbly polished both in visuals and sound. Quill herself is animated with such prowess that you really get a sense of her character from the way she moves. And while the music didn’t leave me with any particularly memorable themes, it played its role well in creating the right atmosphere throughout.

From a story standpoint, Moss: Book II has enough going on to carry the action along, but unfortunately the way the story is told hampers things a bit.

Sticking to the style established in the first game, the story is primarily told through sequences that take the player out of the game and places them in front of a book. As you turn the pages, the singular narrator reads the story points while you look at lovely illustrations of what’s happening.

However, several of the game’s key characters are only ever seen in the pages of the book—and they’re all acted out by the same narrator doing different voices—which I felt prevented them from taking on unique personas that were grounded in the world and central to the story.

Further, there was a key story point that wasn’t communicated clearly which robbed the game of the poignancy its ending otherwise could have had. Granted, I appreciated that the game opened up some new and interesting threads with regards to the relationship between the world of Moss and ‘The Reader’ (the name for the player-character), though it seems we’ll have to wait for another chapter still before we’ll see how that might play out.

Players play as ‘The Reader’, a mysterious entity that helps Quill through her journey | Image courtesy Polyarc

All in all, Moss: Book II took me just about five hours to beat, including collecting some 80% of the game’s optional collectibles (all of which was from my first playthrough). While that’s definitely on the short side, I’m happy to report that the game has very little fat, and there’s enough momentum in gameplay and plot that the game feels longer than those five hours alone. It’s just enough to feel like a satisfying adventure, whereas the original Moss felt like it ended too soon.


Image courtesy Polyarc

Like the original, Moss: Book II creates excellent atmosphere with its many beautifully constructed environments. It’s a real shame the game lacks a ‘photo mode’ for taking high-quality photos of these lovely places (the default PSVR screenshots and captures produce extremely low resolution media that really undersells what the world looks like in the headset).

Each segment is its own diorama that’s coated in detail to look at up close, and if you back up and look further around you’ll realize that everything is taking place in a normal-scale world. Many of the game’s segments are set against a huge backdrop, like a massive tree, that gives beautiful context to Quill’s actual journey from one segment to the next.

In fact, you’ll occasionally see the relics of a human world in the backdrop—like a dilapidated human-sized building partly covering the mouse-size stage before you, or a long forgotten statue of a human. This environmental storytelling is highly intriguing, but unfortunately the game never directly acknowledges it, leaving any historical interplay between the human and rodent worlds a total mystery.

Through various mechanics like powering up Quill’s weapons or moving interactive pieces in certain segments, Moss: Book II seems to have the player generally reaching into the world for direct interactions more often than the original game, which helps make it feel a bit more real (save for PSVR’s occasionally wonky tracking).

Small details—like plants reacting to the touch of your orb—help sell the illusion further, and I appreciated that the game’s inventory system isn’t a mere selector but instead has players grab the item they want and then hand them to Quill.

One missed immersion opportunity returns from the original however: there’s never really any threat or interaction directed at The Reader (the player-character), and nobody in the world except for Quill interacts with you in a meaningful way. As I put it in our original Moss review, “I was able to reach into the world, but the world never really reached back at me in a way that truly mattered.” That’s a shame considering how central The Reader’s existence is to the story and game structure in general, and the effective ways in which Astro Bot Rescue Mission (2018) (to name one obvious example) showed how this could be achieved.

Another slight immersion breaker is that the game is very particular about where the player can navigate. Sometimes there will be a tiny fence that you frustratingly can’t jump over—even if it would be a shortcut to where you want to go—and other times there will be a tall ledge that doesn’t look like you could reach it, but actually you can—and it’s the only way to get where you need to go. That makes it feel a bit more like Quill inhabits a ‘course’ rather than a grounded world, and it can rob the player of some creativity in how they get around the environment or solve puzzles.


As a seated game that never artificially moves the camera, Moss: Book II is nearly perfectly comfortable. The only critique to the comfort comes not from the game, but from PSVR’s tracking which isn’t always on point. When your head is just a few feet from a static scene, positional jitter is pretty obvious. It never rose to the point of making me dizzy, but for anyone who considers themselves very sensitive to VR motion it might pose a problem for long sessions or especially tough tracking conditions (remember to play in the darkest environment you can and make sure you aren’t back-lit!).

The only other comfort comment I have about the game is that on occasion I had to reach a little further into the game world than was convenient, simply because Quill was far away from me. This might be annoying depending upon how laid-back your seating arrangement is.

‘Moss: Book II’ Comfort Settings – April 4th, 2022

Artificial turning ✖
Artificial movement ✖
Blinders ✖
Standing mode ✖
Seated mode ✔
Artificial crouch ✖
Real crouch ✖
Subtitles ✔
English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Swedish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese
Alternate audio ✔
Languages English, French, German
Adjustable difficulty ✖
Two hands required ✔
Real crouch required ✖
Hearing required ✖
Adjustable player height ✖


The post ‘Moss: Book II’ Review – A Refined & Satisfying Sequel That Sticks With What Works appeared first on Road to VR.

Moss: Book 2 Review – A Satisfying Sequel That Leaves More Room To Grow

Moss: Book 2 takes the logical steps to improve upon the first game, resulting in a stronger sequel. But there’s still much more room for Quill and friends to grow. Read on for our Moss: Book 2 review.

Moss: Book 2 moves the needle on for Quill and developer Polyarc. It’s a stronger, longer sequel that better explores the connection between our minuscule protagonist and the player, who returns as the ghostly ‘Reader’. It’s still not quite the sweeping epic this series seems capable of, but it’s another important chapter in that story.

If you played the first game in what’s quickly become a fan favorite VR series, you’ll likely remember it for its strong, Zelda-like gameplay, fantastic diorama worlds, and, above all, the unique ways in which the player could reach into levels to aid Quill on her quest and form a more personal bond with her. All of this remains intact right from the start with Moss: Book 2, which starts just moments after the end of the first game. Moreso than your usual sequel, Book 2 feels like the continuation of a larger journey rather than starting out fresh on a new adventure, and it shows as you slip right back into the familiar sword combat and puzzles.

In fact, for the opening hour or so you might worry it feels a little too familiar, with an abundance of returning enemy types and the same simplistic combat that sees Quill swinging her sword based on single-button combos. But the further you get into the game, the more ideas it throws at you. You get the power to make bridges out of vines, for example, but the biggest additions are the expansions to Quill’s arsenal. Throughout the course of the game, she gains the ability to dash over long distances and wields two new weapons in the form of a heavy-hitting hammer and a throwable glaive.

Whilst these additions help change up the combat, they’re also put to incredibly inventive use when it comes to the puzzles. Quill can stick the glaive into a wall, walk to another area of a level and then recall it to hit targets that are initially out of reach whilst the hammer can summon a mirror version that the player can reach in and drop down whilst Quill stands in another location. This results in some memorable brain teasers that initially left me stumped, making the satisfaction of solving them all the more rewarding.

Moss: Book 2 Review The Facts

Platforms: PSVR
Release Date: March 31
Price: $39.99

At their best, these puzzles are even integrated into the action. One new enemy type rolls up into a ball, allowing you to reach in and grab it, then catapult it across the arena and knock out other foes. The hammer’s secondary ability, meanwhile, gets you physically involved in battles and adds a slight tactical element to encounters. They’ll come into play in late-game boss battles, too, which are a little long in the tooth and rely on some well-worn cliches but effectively mix in some weighty moments of human interaction, too.

That said, more could be done to smooth out some of the gameplay. Quill’s core animation set is the same as the first game, for example, and some of the platforming is still a little sluggish, including a jump that doesn’t cover much ground and is hard to judge, especially against environments that often leave gaps to accidentally slip through or objects you might clip into (one bug even let me hover Quill around the environment, stuck in a climbing animation).

My biggest takeaway, though, is that Book 2 still left me wanting much more from the world of Moss. It’s a longer game, yes, but not by an order of magnitude; I was able to clear the campaign in four and a half hours with roughly 75% of the collectibles, and going back to grab the last pieces would likely take an hour or so. It’s not that ‘length equals better game’ so much as the game ends just as its best ideas are starting to be put through their paces, with further potential left unexplored.

Moss Book II_Hammer

There’s also some ideas that could be pushed further. You can find new armor sets for Quill throughout the game, for example, but these are purely cosmetic and won’t buff her abilities or defenses in any way. It wasn’t until I discovered these costumes that I realized just how well suited the series might be to a deeper RPG experience.

Generally speaking, though, Book 2 is a very polished and logical expansion of what you saw in the first entry in the series. Even visually, the game goes beyond the original with a wider array of diverse environments filled with lush vegetation and visual easter eggs for those that lean in to explore. Special credit goes to the vistas; you’re almost always rewarded for leaning back to take in a view or poking through a nearby window to take in the castles and mountains in the distance.

But all of this is the box-ticking stuff, the things you’d expect from a sequel as it looked to flesh out the foundations. It’s all very welcome, if not entirely surprising. Where Moss: Book 2 did catch me off-guard was with its story. Or rather, certain story beats.

There are certain elements to the world that have a lot of potential, mostly surrounding the concept of the Reader character players embody. For starters, the warmth of the connection between you and Quill is alive and well in the sequel and pushed to new extremes. Again, some of these are the highs and lows you’d predict of a darker, deeper sequel, but more compelling are the playful moments where Quill pretends to surf as you taxi her across levels on platforms, or breakdances in celebration of taking down a boss. There are moments of celebration, admiration, and even those cold instances of awkwardness where you feel some sense of intrusion. Capturing these moments is no small feat and it’s a powerful reminder of how intimate and personal Polyarc’s VR storytelling can be.

That goes for the environmental storytelling too, where cinematic moments of boss foreshadowing remind you of the real power of VR. These instances are far stronger than any of the direct storytelling.

Truthfully I’m never been a big fan of the game’s overarching lore of warrior mice and squirrel steeds that wear leaf helmets. It’s like shipping Sylvanian Families off to war, and the storybook narrative structure can drag on when you’d rather be playing. There’s also hints of an MCU-style wider potential for the universe, which I’m not entirely convinced can work outside of VR, although I do have to award points for the appearance of a guinea pig character raising a stein of beer in one cutscene (there’s your protagonist for Book 3).

Moss: Book 2 Review – Final Impressions

For the most part, Moss: Book 2 is the satisfying sequel you’d expect. It adds brilliant new gameplay mechanics that make for some innovative combat encounters, whilst puzzles prove to be a surprise highlight. More impressive, though, are some of the ways the game catches you off-guard with both the story and that series-defining bond you establish with Quill reaching new heights. But, just as with the first entry, you’re left wanting more of just about everything; its a longer game but still on the lean side, ending just as its best ideas start to get fleshed out. Greedy as it may sound, this still isn’t the sweeping epic you know this series has in it, but instead another reassuring step towards getting there. I’m convinced Polyarc has that game in its future but, for now, Moss: Book 2 is another excellent chapter in a wider story for Quill that drives home that familiar feeling that the best is still to come.

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This review was conducted on the Meta Quest 2 version of the game. What did you make of our Moss: Book 2 review? Let us know in the comments below!