is a game where the player controls a substance in an enclosed environment, reminiscent of flOw
. By touching smaller objects, they can be absorbed, merging to create a larger substance. The substance is controlled through the mouse with a mechanism similar to the classic Asteroids
. The mouse is used to choose a direction and gentle clicks, or holding the mouse button, provide acceleration in short bursts, steadily moving the object in a certain direction until touching a border or being slowed down by another object. Moving however causes to leave behind small droplets of fluid, rendering it smaller. When touching an object larger than itself, the player's substance gets absorbed.
The levels are set in enclosed environments where zooming can be done freely. After a few tutorials levels, different paths are offered based on variations on the concept. Some of them are based on aggressively tracking another organism or surviving in a crowded environment, another set is about an orbital course floating around a large object, and the final one is the slowest where there is very little space and the area needs to be captured with caution. In levels with limited manoeuvrability, time can be speed up or slowed down to prevent losing too much fluid when going slowly. Levels are usually won by capturing a specific organism (there are many, with different abilities) or growing to a certain size. In later levels antimatter is introduced, with the opposite effect or regular organisms.
The gameplay is supported by soothing, ambient electronic music.
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In order to promote the Linux release of the game, Hemisphere Games
offered a free copy of Osmos
to whoever wrote about the game on their blog. One of the recipients was Maxim Bardin of Linux Gaming News, who had already purchased a copy of the game. As such, he gave his free copy away as a prize in the first LGN Contest.