This nifty little game is one you should get your mitts on precisely because it’s the opposite of the adrenaline-fuelled, fit-inducing states a lot of games seem to be aiming for.
Presumably based on the scientific principle of osmosis, Osmos has a simple concept: you “pilot” a little blue sphere with the aim of absorbing other spheres to make your own bigger. Osmosis, of course (of course?) being what happens when two bodies of water meet through a partially permeable membrane – it goes from where there’s more to where there’s less. As such, your sphere can only absorb others smaller than itself, and is absorbed by bigger spheres.
Some of us paid attention in biology GCSE/can use Google. I’ll let you decide which is valid here.
Movement is simple – your sphere ejects part of its own mass in the opposite direction to which you want to travel. It very much gives the impression of a zero gravity environment, with the ejected mass impacting upon the movements of other spheres as much as your own sphere.
There are several different modes, some more than others relying on a pretty advanced physics engine to make things more interesting. In the more complex stages, the gravity and inertia of objects very much impacts how your little blue sphere makes its way through the swirl of bigger, meaner red spheres. The one I could never quite master sees your sphere in orbit around a much larger central body, with its path overlaid onto the arena for the player’s aid.
Other modes include the presence of antimatter, that destroys rather than absorbs matter, and my personal favourite “Impasse” which sees the full potential of a slow burning game explored. The smallest movement by your sphere has a butterfly effect within a difficult to navigate arena, meaning the player has to strictly ration their activity or face the metaphorical hurricane from the flap of their tiny, pretty wings.
The graphics are gorgeous, and a mellow, zoned out, ambient soundtrack perfectly matches the feel of the pseudo space molecule/microscopic organism setting of the game. Headphones are recommended by the game, and I just can’t see how you could enjoy it without them.
Osmos is available on Android, iPhone, iPad, and on Mac, PC and Linux computers so there’s really no excuse not to. Click for more info and to buy.
EDIT: My good pal Dave Penfold got me onto this game, go check him out on Twitter.