Announced this week, Mixture is an upcoming action-adventure platformer coming to Quest 2 and PSVR 2 from Polish studio Played With Fire. After some hands-on experience at Gamescom, this might be one to watch.
In Mixture, you simultaneously control two characters. One is Sola, a small moth knight with a deadly scythe, and the other is Sepharios, the Master Alchemist, who you embody at roomscale, looking down on Sola as she travels around the environment.
Jumping into a demo last week, it was clear to me that Played With Fire had a few design touchstones and key influences in mind while developing Mixture. The most obvious one is Moss, perhaps VR’s most famous platformer, developed by Polyarc and starring the adorable mouse Quill, who you move through whimsical vignettes.
Controlling Sola through platforming and combat encounters works in a very similar fashion, but with some added mechanics. It’s not just the platforming aspects that feel reminiscent of Moss, but also the whimsical, fantastic nature of the environments as well. Mixture does lean a little more toward high fantasy in its setting and narrative, featuring some stunning visuals with amazing environments, beautiful character design and thoughtful art direction.
However, what’s most interesting about Mixture is how it tries to significantly build on its sources of inspiration – this isn’t a clone, but a game that introduces some seriously different mechanics as well. For starters, Mixture features a dynamic camera. While Moss used a stationary camera that faded in and out between vignettes, Mixture opts for something more complex. The camera glides alongside Sola as you move her around the world, which gives a slightly more polished feel.
However, it’s the titular mechanic that provides the biggest gameplay shake-up. As mentioned earlier, you won’t just be controlling Sola in Mixture – you’ll be simultaneously embodying Sephairos, the Master Alchemist, at roomscale. While Sola runs, jumps and slashes around, you’ll be able to scout for minerals in the environment as Sephairos and harvest them as needed. You can then use the minerals to craft bottled mixtures, which you can throw around the environment to aid Sola in various ways.
In my demo, I used a glue mixture to block off vents of air, giving Sola room to cross through a blocked passage. In later sections, I threw the glue mixture at flying enemies, blocking their wings and forcing them to the ground. This brought them within Sola’s reach, so I finished them off with some hacking and slashing. There’s plenty of other mixtures to discover as well, which will let you repel, grow or break items further down the line.
Conceptually, the mechanic is a solid idea with huge creative potential, especially when combined with the platforming and action sequences. The game will also feature a variety of bosses, spread throughout the campaign. The first of which, a giant snake, I went up against in my demo. It was a highlight of the session, requiring smart thinking and coordinated use of mixtures and Sola’s scythe to outsmart the opponent.
While the demo only lasted about 20-30 minutes, I’m interested to see how Mixture forges its own identity using its unique setting and mechanics. There’s definitely still work to do before release – my demo experienced a few restart-requiring bugs and the user interface and tutorial could be a lot more intuitive – but it’s a solid start for what looks to be a promising release.
Specific release dates have yet to be confirmed, but Mixture will launch first on Meta Quest 2 and follow with a PSVR 2 release later. If you’re at PAX West this week, the game is available to demo at booth 650.