Osmos Review

Osmos - ThumbnailOsmos plays like an adventure in biology or astronomy. You control a bluish life-form known as a “mote”. To grow, you must consume other motes. You can eat these other life-forms by bumping into them. However, if you are the smaller life-form, you will be consumed. If that wasn’t concerning enough, changing your velocity will cause you to shrink. Tapping the screen causes the bluish life-form to shoot out a small piece of itself, propelling the mote in the opposite direction.

Osmos This is actually an innovative way to control the game, as it increases the challenge but it also makes Osmos an easy game to learn. The game takes Physics very seriously. It even has a quote from Sir Isaac Newton, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The game performs those calculations – even if there are hundreds of motes on the screen.

Another on-screen message emphasizes an Osmos feature. It states, “Best with headphones”. Music is another important aspect of Osmos. I tested it out. Nope, I do not believe that headphones are necessary here. The music is very relaxing, and it matches the theme of the game, but it doesn’t really add to the way the game plays. Time-shifting will cause the tunes to speed up or slowdown, but I didn’t notice any other significant reaction to the action. I quickly grew weary of the music. The game itself was more interesting.

Time-shifting is an excellent addition to Osmos. If you’re waiting for a particular collision or event to transpire, you can speed up or slowdown time. That shows off the strength of the game engine.

Osmos can make you wonder about life. As I write this, I’m on a bluish orb that flies through space. If all of those calculations on an iOS device are impressive, what about the real world? What about the entire universe? Is that not more magnificent? Osmos is an excellent puzzle game, but I think it goes beyond that. It’s a way to introduce minds to the wonders of life. Perhaps it could encourage players to pursue a career in science.

Osmos - Solar
The bluish mote could be the personification of the planet Earth.

A typical level starts off in the same manor. You begin as a tiny spec, but you can grow to be the largest mote in the area. When you see what you’re up against, you might feel overwhelmed. But with planning, strategy and determination, greatness can be achieved. That’s inspirational! Is that not a possible outcome for humanity? Will we not reach beyond our current confines an achieve greatness?

Of course, Osmos doesn’t have to be just about expanding your mind. It’s also a great way to relax. There’s something soothing about Osmos. Although, that sensation didn’t last for me. The later arcade levels are quite difficult. I found it annoying to repeat the same level numerous times.

Osmos has received plenty of accolades. That’s why I feel a bit surprised for not enjoying the game more. Osmos is a good game, but you might want to stifle the hype before playing. Lower your expectations a bit. I wasn’t impressed by the music and the replay value is limited. After completing the 13 Game Center achievements, I don’t see much point to the game. But at 99¢, the game is a tremendous value. Even if the impressive moments of this game are fleeting, I think it’s something amazing to behold.