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Toss! Review: Keep Your Grips About You

Toss! Review: Keep Your Grips About You

Toss! serves up a healthy portion of exhilaration and silliness as you climb, swing and jump through a range of cartoonish obstacle courses, even when its physics and tracking feel a little off. Read on for our full Toss! review for PSVR 2, Quest, XR Elite and PC VR.

The best VR platformers blend excitement with difficulty, asking players to navigate their way through complicated environmental puzzles to complete objectives. Toss, a new game from Swedish studio Agera Games, summons many of these qualities and, despite a few technical gripes, manages to stick the landing.

Toss! Review – The Facts

Platforms: PC VR, Meta Quest, Vive XR Elite & PSVR 2 (Review conducted on PSVR 2)
Release Date: Out now
Developer: Agera Games
Price: $19.99

Toss quickly sets itself up as a quirky narrative evocative of the Pikmin series, casting the player as a monkey who crash lands on a cloudy alien world. It’s a pretty simple premise - you need some bananas to fix up the various parts of your ship, which can be earned by successfully parkour-ing your way through a series of increasingly complicated bric-a-brac jungle gyms.

Introductory exposition consumed, I started moving through the levels. Beginning with basic leaps from platform to platform, I later graduated to swinging trapezes, sliding bars and bouncing platforms, all adding new physical challenges for me to master. There was a good pace to this difficulty curve, which relied more on my animal instinct than any specific instructions. Toss wasn’t necessarily holding my hand but rather shoving me off progressively taller cliffs and asking me to trust my intuition.

Toss later introduces targeted missile creatures and lasers, among other precarious hazards, pushing my VR platforming skills to their very limit. Repeat attempts offered steep learning curves that, over time, gave me a newfound sense of confidence with VR. If you’re a little more cautious about getting into the weeds of VR’s more intense platforming games like STRIDE or Gorilla Tag, Toss might initially throw you in the deep end, but it is keen to teach you how to swim.

It’s not just about making it to the other side either – there are additional metrics, including item collection, contact limitations, and speedrunning challenges to take on. Thankfully, these aren’t essential to progression and rather serve those more adept at the genre who want additional hoops to jump through.

Let me tell you, Toss doesn’t pull any punches with these optional challenges. At one point, I needed to complete a course using only three grabs. I tried this repeatedly, flinging my monkey form as far as possible with both hands, but even with all my might, I could barely reach the goal. However, in other instances when I did meet the requirements, I got a rush of adrenaline akin to what Olympic athletes must feel when they achieve gold. This overwhelming delight was amplified as I climbed up the global leaderboard with additional attempts.

If you can meet the criteria, Toss rewards players with custom cuffs to dress up your monkey avatar’s wrists. Not exactly the most compelling character customisation system, but I took them as an extra medal for making it past some of the game’s most formidable challenges. It was nice seeing a different palette when I would ritualistically shake my hands with excitement upon slapping the big green goal button.

There are also two game modifiers to unlock – Zero G, which removes the gravity, and Double Toss, which allows you to grip mid-air and pull yourself forward. These additions will hopefully help keep the game fresh post-credits once you’ve set all your best scores.  

It’s clear Toss doesn’t necessarily want you to follow the most obvious path through its courses. I found it much more rewarding to make my way to the objective point in the most unusual manner possible, just to prove that I could. I would be remiss to mention Toss’s percussive soundtrack here, which gave me the momentum I needed when I was on struggle street. In turn, it also gave me too much confidence at times, leading me to miscalculate my jumps and fall to my self-inflicted doom.

One thing Toss is sorely missing in the current build is a quick reset button (similar to the system seen in Neon White) so that you can skip the wait time when falling through the clouds. They’re precious seconds, but they did feel tedious, especially when I was trying to set records.

There are nine overarching locations to tackle in Toss, all of which harness a charming cartoonish art style that maintains its welcoming vibe even as the game shifts towards a dramatic stormy atmosphere in later levels. A surprising side effect of this design was how it distracted me from my genuine fear of heights. Games like Stride VR or Call of the Mountain boast impressive realism, which can be really hard to take if you struggle to look down. In Toss, the fall beneath you is covered in clouds. All you face is a friendly-looking obstacle course, with tension only coming from your desire to finish and the hazards themselves. By the end of my first hour, I laughed as I dropped into the clouds below, readying myself to go again – a far cry from my experience with other VR platformers.

Getting used to falling was almost necessary, as the tracking in Toss was sometimes inconsistent on PSVR 2. There were plenty of awkward falls where my grip looked like it should land, but ultimately didn’t. Other times, I’d fly in the wrong direction as I pushed myself forward. It may fare better with outside-in PC VR tracking systems or self-tracking controllers on standalone headsets like Quest Pro, both of which (unlike PSVR 2) allow your hands to be continuously tracked while behind your body. We can’t speak for the Quest 2 version, but playing on PSVR 2 featured some moments of tracking frustration that felt inescapable as I progressed to the harder levels. Ultimately, I started using a solo grip to throw myself across some of the more delicate obstacles to avoid flying backwards or too far to one side.

In these moments, Toss reminded me a lot of what it felt like when I tried to learn the monkey bars as a kid. From exhilaration to frustration, giving up and blind faith, I couldn’t seem to give in. Even when I was sick of the same annoying set of obstacles, it summoned an innate need to succeed in me that kept me playing, pushing past my urge to throw my controllers out the window.

Toss! Review – Comfort

Toss uses a fluid movement system which you control by grabbing the environment with the trigger or grip buttons and then propelling yourself into throws across the map. Turning is automatically set to incremental, but can be switched to smooth or turned off turning altogether if you prefer.

As you play, you’ll likely want to exercise a full range of movement, extending your arms to swing and grab accurately. This is something to be wary of in your play space, especially if there are low-hanging lights or random environmental clutter within your reach.

Toss! Review – Final Verdict

There is a lot to love about this new addition to the VR platforming catalog. Between the intense moments of blind frustration to the silly near misses and elaborate fails, Toss successfully compelled me to attempt its levels time and time again. While it could definitely benefit from slightly improved tracking and some more bespoke controls for speedrunning, Agera Games has created a more-ish game that would suit both confident VR players and those new to the medium.

UploadVR focuses on a label system for reviews, rather than a numeric score. Our reviews fall into one of four categories: Essential, Recommended, Avoid and reviews that we leave unlabeled, such as this one. You can read more about our review guidelines here.

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