The first time I ever heard of Osmos was yesterday, when it was part of Steam’s Five Day Long Sale. Originally the game cost $9.99, but the sale brought it down to $2.00 – which is 80% off. After watching a trailer and looking at the great reviews and 81/100 metascore, I decided to buy it since it was only $2. I think I am done with about 70% of the game, after about two hours of gameplay. Here is the link to Osmos on Steam. Screenshots are below, followed by the review.
Osmos comes from a small developer – Hemisphere Games. The game, however, is very good. It is difficult to describe it. Basically, you are an orb. You absorb orbs smaller than you. You get absorbed by orbs larger than you. There is antimatter, which shrinks as it absorbs. There are repulsive orbs, which are pushed away from you. There are “living” orbs, which are like you, but computer controlled – they can move around and think. When you move, you give off small orbs and that causes you to shrink. This means you have to navigate the map wisely, conserving “fuel”.
This is like a puzzle game, combined with the first level of Spore. Except you have no weapons or defenses – you either eat or get eaten – and that only depends on strategy. This game has great visuals and a great atmosphere to it – considering everything is essentially an orb. The music might get repetitive, but at least it’s not generic music like you get in every other game these days. The soundtrack is nice and calming, and it perfectly complements the atmosphere of Osmos.
Osmos combines space with living organisms. There are some levels in which you orbit around a “star”, but you can still move. Some levels have other artificial intelligence. It’s a very cool concept, and it definitely makes Osmos unique. There are at least 14 main levels, and each of those has between two and four sub levels. I say “at least” because I don’t know if I have unlocked all of the levels yet, but I think I have. The levels get more difficult as you play the game, but I feel that it kind of gets tedious. For the most part, you just start off as a smaller orb, so it’s more difficult to advance – the goal of most levels is to “become huge,” which means become the biggest orb on the map. This gets boring – they should have included new types of orbs, and maybe implemented weapons and defenses like in Spore – but I guess that would make this a completely different game.
Another interesting part of the gameplay is that when you move, the orbs you expel as you shrink can be absorbed back by yourself or other orbs. This means when you are fleeing from another orb that’s about to absorb you, that orb absorbs the small orbs you give off, which makes the enemy orb bigger. So when you flee, you are giving the “enemy orb” an advantage.
This game is definitely not meant to be played in one sitting. This is for those times when you don’t feel like playing, say for example, Counter Strike, and just want some quick game to relax with. Osmos is the perfect game for that. I believe it will also have good replay value, since you won’t be able to replay a level in the same way, simply because of the number of orbs on the map that all interact with each other and with you all based on your movements.
In conclusion, I’ve said the word “orb” way too many times in this article. Also, in another conclusion, Osmos is a great game that is definitely worth $10. Getting it for $2 is a steal. Get it while it’s on sale through Steam. Without this sale, the world might have never found out about Osmos. Osmos is definitely up there with World of Goo on the list of great indie games. However, because of how unique it is, many people might not like it or will find it boring. Personally, the only thing I see wrong with Osmos is some of the later levels which just make you start off smaller, but don’t add any new content. I will rate Osmos an 8.5/10. Definitely worth buying.