Moss: Book II Review - Cuteness Overload

moss book ii, review

moss book ii, review

As soon as I heard that Moss: Book II was coming to Quest 2 this summer, I decided against the painful experience of setting up my PSVR. The first Moss was a delight on PSVR, but the comfort and ease of use that comes with playing on Meta’s wireless set is good to turn down.

As the developers said in a roundtable interview with them shortly before release, playing Moss: Book II on Quest 2 is an improvement due to “the ease of use, the wirelessness, and the independent use of your hands that really helps that immersion factor.”

Not only is Quest 2 the most comfortable way to play Moss: Book II, but the game is an excellent addition to the headset’s library.

Incredible World Design

Much like the first game, Moss: Book II is a masterclass in VR level design. Structured as various rooms you move through one by one, each one is a wonder to behold with a specific central idea.

They’ll either be a room dedicated to story progression, one that’s combat-focused, or puzzle centric. No matter which, there’s something to marvel at as Quill makes her way through them and you loom over the world.

Polyarc also takes wonderful advantage of virtual reality in the level and world design. The world feels both massive and quaint at the same time. Each room is small, but the surroundings, often made up of massive castles or towering trees, seem endless.

From your vantage point above Quill, controlling her is easy. As the Polyarc developers said, having two controllers to play with using Quest 2 makes everything so much more immersive. It allows you to “tackle the environment freely and much more naturally… being able to very naturally grab any object you feel within your reach. And it being wireless makes it much easier to peak around some nooks and crannies in the world.”

You get a perfect view of everything that’s going on, yet she still looks like a tiny mouse in a massive world. The second main area you head to, which is a castle massive garden area, is simply stunning.

moss book ii, review
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Magical Worlds to Explore

Yes, the Quest 2’s modest power means the vistas aren’t the clearest, but the level of detail in every single part of every single level ensures Moss: Book II looks beautiful.

Each room is also meticulously designed for combat or puzzle solving. The puzzles are smart and genuinely challenging at times and the combat is intense.

At times, I did wish the combat would take more of a backseat. The storybook exploration and puzzle platforming are the best parts of Moss: Book II, so I wish that’s what the game focused on.

The combat is fine, good even, it just feels at odds with the laidback fairytale nature of the rest of the game due to how challenging it can be at times.

You can’t aimlessly swing Quill’s sword around. You need to be patient with your attacks, using dodges to get away and reposition. There’s even a complex dash mechanic that requires movement from you as well as Quill. A lot of precision is required in Moss: Book II’s combat.

moss book ii, review
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Quill Is Adorable

Elsewhere though, Quill is one of my favourite characters from any platformer. Not only is she a cute protagonist, but her detailed animations make her so endearing. Through the way she scrambles up ledges, her legs flapping to try and get traction on the wall, or the way she gives you a little wave if she stands still too long, the game builds a real connection between you and her throughout the game, just as the first did.

The voice acting is also phenomenal, and not only for Quill. Morla Gorrondona narrates and provides the voices for all characters, striking the perfect balance between believable voices and storybook style. Just like a parent reading a bedtime story, albeit with better voice differentiation than my parents could ever manage.

The more intense story-telling sections, between chapters, can be a little long though. You’re just sitting there looking around while the story progresses on pages in front of you. Each time, they feel like a lull in the game.

Much like the first game though, Moss: Book II is a joy to play. Wandering through the world that Polyarc has meticulously created, solving puzzles and taking on enemy bugs, is unmatched by any other VR platformer.

Moss: Book II
Even if the combat is a little overbearing, Moss: Book II is a wonderful puzzle platformer. In VR, the world Polyarc has created is stunning and exploring it as one of the cutest characters ever is a joy.
quest 2
8 out of 10
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