Simultaneously relaxing and frustrating at times Osmos is a game of such simple premise yet a genius puzzle challenge structure which makes it thoroughly enjoyable. Originally released on iOS back in 2009 I picked it up on Steam a little over year later to give it a shot and see what it was like, I wasn’t disappointed.

The idea

The basic concept is really simple: you are a mote of life, a circular blob within a world (usually a box or circle) filled with other motes and some empty space. You can eject some mass to propel you in the opposite trajectory and absorb motes smaller than you (coloured blue). Larger motes (coloured red) which you touch will absorb you of course so the idea is you absorb motes to get bigger and be able to absorb everything, but on the basic levels everything is passive apart from you. It is all graceful physics where Newton’s law of equal and opposite reaction applies, the puzzle of achieving a new objective and no need for super fast reaction times throughout the game. Simple right?

Sentient, ambient, force

Once you have completed the simple levels where it is just a matter of figuring out which motes to absorb and gradually take over there are three different zones to complete.

Ambient is arguably the easiest, though it can take some patience and plenty time to complete on the later stages. With the use of anti-matter which causes any regular matter to shrink, which includes motes larger than you, the result is sometimes that you need to push larger motes around whilst avoiding hitting anti-matter yourself!

The Sentient area involves you having to compete with other motes which are trying to grow like you are. This gets trickier and trickier as these sentient motes are faster, more effective or just more numerous. It does also mean you are against the clock a bit more on these levels so sometimes you do need to zoom in and out a bit but the ability to speed up or slow down time comes in very handy for this.

Force throws in the added extra of gravity wells created by motes which attract others making for some really fiddly play. No longer can you just bounce around and try to avoid others based on a simple straight line basis but rather you need to take into account the spin of gravity. Just to make life fun as you progress through this zone there are motes orbiting in both directions and even attractors orbiting a central attractor…


Once you have completed the main levels (it took me about 20 attempts to do F3C3) there are more which appear and they are literally infinite apparently. Throw in the fact that you can quite literally randomize any level to try and get one which you can figure out better the replay value is pretty much limitless if you enjoy this sort of thing. Coupled with the very chilled out soundtrack this is a great game for taking a slow pace and just enjoying it for a while.

This great little game is available on Steam (demo also available), the Google Play store and iOS store, as well as featuring in bundles like the Humble Bundle, so keep your eye out for it and get it if you like a little intellectual challenge with a bit of simple fun from time to time.

As I have reached the final stages where the new infinite zones have spawned I am marking this game off my list in trying to complete my Steam library. In its place I will be adding Toki Tori as a similarly simple and fun game.