Osmos

Good
  • Fantastic design and atmosphere that turns the simple core gameplay into an impressive experience
Bad
  • Repetitiveness of core mechanics may not make it worth the full game price
8

Osmos is a relaxing puzzle game available across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android devices released in 2009 that explores a simple premise although layers it with an increasing sense of difficulty. Using simple mechanics and great core game design Osmos has captured plenty of praise for its enjoyable, atmospheric and in time challenging gameplay loop for computer and mobile players.

osmos-gameplay-level-view

The premise of Osmos is simple with players advancing through each of the game levels on offer by increasing the size of their single celled organism (referred to as a mote) by consuming ones that are smaller around you. While this gameplay is not new to Osmos it does present it in a unique way with some different mechanics to what other games in the space offer.

Most notably is the graphics and general ambience of the physics game world you find yourself in which looks like something from outer space. This pairs with another core mechanic in the way that using movement impacts on your size so is a limited resource that needs to be managed rather than something that is fully unlimited. While both of these are simple enhancements to a familiar genre they provide a wealth of enjoyment ahead of competitor titles.

osmos-gameplay-motes

Starting out in each level of Osmos players will be a small circle mote with only a few smaller motes to absorb with your objective to become the largest in your immediate area. Contact with any of the larger mote circles will result in an instant game over for that level and require a restart so players will have to carefully plan out their route which can be achieved by zooming out to assess the entire level. In total you’ll find 47 such levels with some additional bonus content through procedurally generated random levels for those that want more gameplay or a practice ground while you work through the core levels.

To navigate around the map players can tap behind their little mote to propel them forward as your primary control mechanism. This expends a small amount of your mass and thus should be used sparingly but will give you enough force to move in your intended direction for some time as you float from this initial propulsion. While a strategic mechanic it is also intended to encourage players to slow down to enjoy the atmosphere while waiting for resources to come to you.

osmos-gameplay-player-mote

The gameplay of Osmos quickly evolves beyond these mostly ambient levels filled with inactive motes though to more intense levels that involve active enemies that will hunt you down and even force based levels that use a concept similar to gravity to move around the level. When encountering these smarter mote variants the difficulty of Osmos quickly climbs as you are chased for every single morsel of resource. Further variety is also introduced through a dynamic time changing mechanic that can change the flow of gameplay from slow to fast and adds another challenge layer.

For a simple puzzle game with superb design you can’t look past Osmos for the games wonderful atmosphere and slow advance in mechanics.

Summary:

  • A simple puzzle game with superb design that creates a unique atmosphere to explore.
  • Slowly ramps up the difficultly with each new level through changing mechanics that require you to apply your previous experience gained.
  • Command your small organism with careful touch as you utilise your limited resources to move through the game space.
  • Battle mote hunters and even gravity in the advanced game levels or dive into procedural levels for endless replay challenge
  • Superb soundtrack that brings the atmosphere to another level of gameplay.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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