Mixture (PSVR 2) Review – Moss Mate

Mixture Review

Mixture from game developer Played with Fire is a port of the Quest version of the game released in February 2023. The closest cousin in terms of gameplay is the Moss series of games. These games employ a single player coop style where you play as two characters. In both games you not only play as the in world character but also a form of omniscient being that sees the world from a god-like perspective.

While the games share similarities, they differ in terms of tone. Moss features Quill, an immensely likable mouse protagonist who shares a truly amiable relationship with your character. In Mixture, the relationship between the exiled moth knight, Sola and your character, the Alchemist Sephairos, is much more adult and complicated. You start out the game as antagonists. In fact, the Knights of Light defeated the Alchemists in battle.

The stylized art style of Mixture makes for sharp boundaries and definitions between objects. There is a decidedly more metallic tone to the environments in stark contrast to the lush and organic, storybook fairytale aspects of the Moss world. Along with the characters, this is a more adult and serious world.

The levels of Mixture are huge. Except for the opening level that takes place in a dungeon, the start of each new stage fills your view and goes beyond. There is also verticality to the levels that will require the two of you to work in tandem so that Sola that successfully through them. Besides, the environmental obstacles there are also enemies to be overcome.

Mixture Has Big Levels

The level design differs from Moss in terms of your perspective. In Moss, the game limits you to a single area in each level. So your view is like looking at a picture on a screen. Your position is at the midpoint and you have an equal view of all areas. In Mixture, because the levels are so large, your view continually changes. You cannot roam freely. This can cause moments where your view becomes obstructed because you are confined to a specific location.

The opening dungeon level serves as a training area to become familiar with the controls sets of the two characters. Sola’s has a limited move set compared to yours. She has a parry and dodge move to start with. You can expand her move set by collecting seeds. As a moth, she also can glide. For your part, as an alchemist, you can mix compounds to create elixirs with unique properties such as glue or making objects bouncy.

You will also be able to lend Sola a literal hand to cross gaps. To create elixirs, you need to gather material via your magnetic ability. The elements are minerals scattered throughout each level. As you relearn your abilities, a new formula opens. The formulas are accessible through a bracelet around your dominant hand. You grab a test tube with the R1 trigger button and move the tube into the selected formula.

Once you have crafted an elixir, you must throw the tube at an object for it to work. Unfortunately, aiming is not always accurate. Part of this is has to do with the normal throwing option. If you throw normally, part of your swing is out of the headset’s camera range. Thus, a lot of the force of your throw is lost. Once I changed my throw to start from my chest, the force of my throws felt more natural.

Tricky Throwing

To get proper aim remains a challenge. Fortunately, Playing With Fire took this into account and has an Aim Assist option that marks your target before you throw. The throwing mechanic could have been greatly enhanced if the game utilized the PSVR 2’s eye-tracking ability. Games like Call of the Mountain and Synapse prove how intuitive eye-tracking is when implemented properly.

There is a greater emphasis on combat than puzzle solving in Mixture, especially in the first half of the game. The balance between the two shifts as you traverse the four biomes that comprise thirty levels. New gameplay mechanics come into play as you expand the character’s skill sets to face the new enemies and environmental challenges.

There are beings made of living metals and gigantic boss battles. Some levels will have Sola half-piping sections of them. The levels are set up to allow for exploration and item collection. You’ll also open an option to visit any level upon game completion so that you can collect any missing items.

Much of the story is relayed through text box dialog. There are no character voices. This approach distances the player from the story, especially if you skip through it. Understandable given how much text there is for the game. Also there is little in the way of spatial audio. This is due to all action taking place in front of you. It’s a bit weird to have the sound so forward heavy in a VR game but it is understandable given the game design. The music score is good if nothing too memorable.

Quest Port

Mixture is a challenging game and you should expect a fair bit of experimentation to figure out correct solutions. There are regular checkpoints in each level so you won’t need to restart a level over every time you die.

This appears to be a straight Quest port. There is no haptic feedback, nor is any use made of the adaptive triggers. The biggest omission is the already mentioned lack of use of eye tracking. In addition, there is no use of dynamic foveated rendering. On the plus side, there are no reprojection issues. Frame rate appears to be a native 90 FPS.

If you like one player coop games in the style of Moss, then Mixture may be worth checking out. There are too few games of this type, be it flat or VR. Mixture may have less personality than Moss, but the gameplay is overall solid minus the throwing mechanics. Mixture provides a solid challenge and an interesting world.

***PSVR 2 code provided by the publisher for review***


The Good

  • Great visuals
  • Challenging gameplay
  • Good level design

The Bad

  • No use of PSVR 2 features
  • Occasional Camera issues
  • Throwing mechanics need more tuning