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Osmos’ stages are split into three independent tracks. On one track, the only challenge is to grow as big as you can. Another introduces artificially intelligent creatures into the mix. Osmos thrives on the third track, where the stages incorporate gravity and orbital motion. The visual aesthetic of these levels is much the same, but the metaphor is different. Suddenly, you aren’t a bacterium in the primordial soup, but rather a little planetoid, fighting for your existence in the firmament as you careen around a pulsating star. When you give yourself a tiny push to shift into the orbit of a smaller mote, there’s a sensation that the galaxy is falling into sync with you. It’s moving in every sense of the word.
At the very least you'll gaze into its gloopy beauty and sink into the chilled tranquility of arguably the finest ambient soundtrack ever committed to a videogame. Quite unlike anything you've played, Osmos is the kind of game even Brian Eno would admire.
Zen gameplay titles aren't nearly as common as they should be, but Osmos is a shining example of the zen gameplay movement. This is the type of game that mellows you out rather than winds you up, even when you're being challenged. The team at Hemisphere Games have crafted a beautiful and unique indie gem that should be experienced by any gamer with the patience to appreciate what's being offered.
Frustration and lack of tension aside, Osmos is an excellent game. I would only hesitate to recommend this to the most diehard ambient music hater, and I imagine such a person would be too angry for video games anyway.
This makes the game quite challenging despite the lack of an artificial time limit, as many layouts require precise moves. Luckily, you can accelerate time as you wait for your orb to sllloooooowwwwly move across the screen. Your AI competitors don’t make things any easier, as they are trying to become the largest object as well. Their high skill level compensates for the lack of competitive multiplayer (hello, Osmos 2?). The interface clearly indicates which orbs can be absorbed without cluttering the screen. The high difficulty might prevent some people from accessing the later levels and fully enjoying the game and the levels do become repetitive, but Osmos is still great value at an inexpensive price point. The game is definitely worth it for fans of the genre and those looking for a quality casual game.
Все, написанное выше, имеет одну цель – заинтересовать ровно настолько, чтобы хватило любопытства запустить Osmos. А там – клеточно-немоцитные войны до полуночи, прохождение каждого этапа по пять раз и непонятный страх перед стаканом воды. Это что же, если выпить – такое будет твориться у меня в желудке?
Osmos is more than worth its ten dollar asking price. The controls may irritate you and the game's attempt at a Zen aesthetic may come off as a little dull, but it nonetheless remains a constantly surprising, wonderfully unclassifiable, and, ultimately, damned satisfying piece of gaming.
Already, this self-described ambient game with pretty graphics and eclectic but totally serene music has had a ton of praise heaped upon it from multiple sources: It was a Seumus McNally Grand Prize Nominee at the 2009 GDC Independent Games Festival, a PAX 10 finalist, and a winner of the D2D Vision Award. And it’s with good reason: Osmos is a great game (and is a great bargain, at only $10US) that will challenge the puzzle-solving skills of even the best gamers, as ambient gaming enters a new cosmos with Osmos.
The small team at Hemisphere has crafted an alluring, captivating experience that is a nice change of pace from the frantic action videogames often provide. It well deserves the Direct2Drive Vision Award it received at this year's Independent Game Festival (full disclosure: IGN owns Direct2Drive). Even though Osmos is relaxing, that doesn't mean you won't find a nice challenge. But even the early stages are nice to play around in, lazily swimming about and becoming the big fish in the pond. There is a long list of games Osmos bears something in common with: flOw, Asteroids, Katamari Damacy... But it emerges as its own thing, and definitely deserves a look.
Lasting Appeal: Osmos comes so close, but ultimately just misses the mark. Intensively challenging levels ruin the mellow mood, but too many become the biggest levels seem repetitive. A near-perfect short game becomes an underwhelming longer game. The first couple levels have excellent replay value, since there’s something addictive about mellow beauty of drifting orbs. I imagine I’ll pick this game up again from time to time, for the relaxed playstyle, delicate soundtrack and sparkling orbs, but I also imagine becoming annoyed with the later levels all over again.
A première vue Osmos ne semble pas particulièrement original et son principe rappelle même furieusement celui du superbe flOw. Il faut pourtant reconnaître que ce jeu indépendant est une réelle réussite : non seulement il vous plonge dans une ambiance douce et envoûtante mais il propose aussi un gameplay accrocheur et des défis juste assez relevés pour toujours titiller votre intérêt.
Nadeel van Osmos is dat er maar weinig variatie zit in de gameplay en dat je haast gedwongen wordt om traag te spelen, aangezien snelheid maken ten koste gaat van het afstoten van massa. En dat is iets wat je ten zeerste moet vermijden in een spel waarin je vooral groter moet worden. Maar de relaxe sfeer en de mooie graphics maken veel goed, en de soundtrack is ronduit subliem.
Osmos fits snugly into the growing genre of ‘Zen’ games: the music is entirely ambient, the visuals are soothingly minimalist, and the risk/reward mechanics demand a measured approach to the task at hand. However, there’s also significant challenge to be found later in the game, and the power to randomise every level grants the game a longer life than its diminutive size would suggest.
Osmos' music does its job well; each track stays true to the game's ambient vision while providing subtleties of its own. The visuals should have taken a cue from the soundtrack. They are pleasant but unchanging and will make you long for a touch of diversity and contrast that never comes. Yet if you've got the patience to work past the occasional frustration and frequent lulls, Osmos will both delight you with its ingenuity and induce that meditative trance that few games can evoke.