Critical Play: Puzzles

For my puzzle game, I ended up playing Moss on the Oculus Quest. Moss is a virtual reality adventure game developed by Polyarc for various VR headsets that has a primary focus on solving puzzles. In the game, you control a character named Quill, who is a mouse that must journey out into the world to save her uncle. She faces many obstacles and enemies along the way. What’s interesting about the game is that the character is aware of the player’s presence. You as the player serve as a magical/mythical guiding spirit that Quill looks to to help her along her journey. As the player, you are responsible not only for controlling Quill but are also god-like in the sense that you have some power to manipulate the environment to help Quill. The game incorporates puzzles by requiring players to maniuplate the environment in a specific way to allow Quill to get through certain levels. This puzzle mechanic is interesting because it adds an element of challenge that doesn’t exist in other similar platformer type games like Super Mario Bros where the player’s only responsibility is to move the character to get through levels. In Moss, there is an additional responsibility to consider both how you plan on moving Quill around as well as how you need to manipulate the environment at the same time so that Quill will be able to move through the level.

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