Osmos was originally released in late August of 2009 for the PC, and went on to win numerous Editor's Choice awards as it was initially reviewed, then was awarded further at both the Independent Games Festival, PAX, and even the Spike TV 2009 Video Game Awards. In fact, if you want to see just how much the gaming media loves Osmos, take a peek at their web site where they've got links to a ridiculous amount of reviews with all of them near the top of the scale each media outlet used.

As I mentioned when we first heard about the game coming to the iPad, it didn't take much more than a few seconds of playing the game on my computer to realize just how well it could work on the iPad. I'm happy to report that my suspicions were correct, and Osmos for iPad [$4.99] is a fantastic fit for the device. To get players up to speed on the iPad, Osmos includes "Odyssey mode" which is a 27 level tutorial of sorts which will walk you through everything there is to know about the game.

Osmos has a wide variety of different level types, which all revolve around one common theme: Be the biggest. You control a tiny organism called a "mote". By tapping in a direction, you expel mass towards where you tapped, and your mote goes zooming off the other direction. With each tap you lose a little bit of your mass, so it doesn't take long before you're making extremely calculated taps to get exactly where you want to go with minimal loss of size. Your mote can absorb any mote that it smaller than it, but it also can be absorbed by any mote that is larger than it. You can also zoom in or out using a pinching gesture.

This gameplay mechanic works extremely well on the iPad, and is expertly paired with some fantastic mellow electronica that does a great job of setting the mood of the game. Initially levels simply ask you to be the biggest, but it doesn't take long until Osmos throws other level types at you such as levels where everything is orbiting around a central mass and you must carefully expel your own mass to change your orbit to absorb other motes as well as levels that require you to capture a specific mote.

These levels are my favorite as the "enemy mote" (if you'd even call it that) is also trying to absorb anything smaller than it to get bigger than you to munch your mote up. Since there are only so many smaller motes around for you to absorb initially, these levels turn in to a really fun race for motes you can absorb while avoiding larger ones that will absorb you, and finally absorbing your target mote.

In all, eight different levels types are included, which all have their own unique mechanic centralized around the physics engine powering Osmos. You can even speed up or slow down time by swiping the screen, a function that becomes very handy in later levels when you need time for precise movements. Following the completion of Odyssey mode, arcade mode is unlocked which allows you to play any level type on whatever difficulty level you choose. OpenFeint is even bundled in for tracking the various in-game achievements.

If you're curious about Osmos, there isn't a lite version, but there's a free demo for Windows, OSX, and Linux available on the Osmos web site. Overall, Osmos is a great experience, and while I'm still waiting for a game that feels like it could only exist on the iPad, Osmos is definitely a game that feels a whole lot better on the device.

TouchArcade Rating

  • http://www.metroccolis.com Silent Rocco

    For iPhone, please!

  • http://www.metroccolis.com Silent Rocco

    For iPhone, please!

  • dyscode

    I was hoping for a iPhone version, too.

    Well, at least I got the desktop version.

  • dyscode

    I was hoping for a iPhone version, too.

    Well, at least I got the desktop version.

  • Eb

    "...so it doesn't take long before you're making extremely calculated taps to get exactly where you want to *go* with minimal loss of size.". :)

  • Eb

    "...so it doesn't take long before you're making extremely calculated taps to get exactly where you want to *go* with minimal loss of size.". :)

  • GCC

    So there wont be an iPhone version?

  • GCC

    So there wont be an iPhone version?

  • PhysicalEd

    The iPhone version is still coming. They decided to push it back and do the iPad first.

    http://www.hemispheregames.com/2010/06/12/osmos-for-ipad-the-beta-begins-and-what-about-iphone/

    I can't wait, I love the windows/mac versions (you get both for same $$). The music is great too, and they released it separately as mp3's.

  • PhysicalEd

    The iPhone version is still coming. They decided to push it back and do the iPad first.

    http://www.hemispheregames.com/2010/06/12/osmos-for-ipad-the-beta-begins-and-what-about-iphone/

    I can't wait, I love the windows/mac versions (you get both for same $$). The music is great too, and they released it separately as mp3's.

  • Josh

    I cant get enough of ambient music.

  • Josh

    I cant get enough of ambient music.

  • Brian

    I have the Mac demo and think it's great, and will probably buy it. I can see how this would work great on the iPad, but have a feeling the iPhone screen might actually be too small for this game.

    • dyscode

      Maybe, but I think the small iphone screen could lead to quite new challange and you have still ZOOOOOOM ;)

  • Brian

    I have the Mac demo and think it's great, and will probably buy it. I can see how this would work great on the iPad, but have a feeling the iPhone screen might actually be too small for this game.

    • dyscode

      Maybe, but I think the small iphone screen could lead to quite new challange and you have still ZOOOOOOM ;)

  • http://Www.ricmarderimagery.com RM imagery

    Osmos is a must buy. Very relaxing yet engaging. If they add scoring (which should be easy) and leaderboards it will be an all timer.

  • http://Www.ricmarderimagery.com RM imagery

    Osmos is a must buy. Very relaxing yet engaging. If they add scoring (which should be easy) and leaderboards it will be an all timer.

  • DoomedBunnies

    It's awesome, but a little buggy. Though not in game-breaking ways; when actually playing, it's been smooth as I could ask for. Weirdnesses only seem to be in the outside-the-game GUI.

    Issues I've bumped into: Despite actually being online, the OpenFeint integration repeatedly declared that I was offline. After rebooting the iPad, OpenFeint automatically logged in with my usual username (it didn't do the usual thing of asking me for confirmation about that username). But OpenFeint seems to be working now.

    When unlocking arcade modes, the "arcade" text is drawn at a weird aspect ratio, and is partially obscured by what looks like it's supposed to be a black-and-white mask for some icon (which is also drawn at a weird aspect ratio).

    From the main menu, if I tap on the trophy icon, the game crashes, even after a fresh reboot of the device. (I've completed the first two phases of "Odyssey" mode, but haven't yet done anything in "arcade" mode)

    Are these just me? Or is anybody else getting the same weirdnesses?

    Still hugely fun, regardless. :)

    • nick

      You know what, you're right. There were some oddities in the text at various parts of the game. I know that doesn't exactly answer the question, though...

      It was under the notifications at the first early levels...

      But you're right - not game breaking, but it takes away from the incredible amount of polish...

    • DoomedBunnies

      There's just been an update (it's been what -- only three days since launch?); all those minor glitches I mentioned seem to have been fixed. Awesome! :)

  • DoomedBunnies

    It's awesome, but a little buggy. Though not in game-breaking ways; when actually playing, it's been smooth as I could ask for. Weirdnesses only seem to be in the outside-the-game GUI.

    Issues I've bumped into: Despite actually being online, the OpenFeint integration repeatedly declared that I was offline. After rebooting the iPad, OpenFeint automatically logged in with my usual username (it didn't do the usual thing of asking me for confirmation about that username). But OpenFeint seems to be working now.

    When unlocking arcade modes, the "arcade" text is drawn at a weird aspect ratio, and is partially obscured by what looks like it's supposed to be a black-and-white mask for some icon (which is also drawn at a weird aspect ratio).

    From the main menu, if I tap on the trophy icon, the game crashes, even after a fresh reboot of the device. (I've completed the first two phases of "Odyssey" mode, but haven't yet done anything in "arcade" mode)

    Are these just me? Or is anybody else getting the same weirdnesses?

    Still hugely fun, regardless. :)

    • nick

      You know what, you're right. There were some oddities in the text at various parts of the game. I know that doesn't exactly answer the question, though...

      It was under the notifications at the first early levels...

      But you're right - not game breaking, but it takes away from the incredible amount of polish...

    • DoomedBunnies

      There's just been an update (it's been what -- only three days since launch?); all those minor glitches I mentioned seem to have been fixed. Awesome! :)

  • nick

    "I'm still waiting for a game that feels like it could only exist on the iPad"

    Amazing. Love that comment, and I agree.

    Most of the HD games are great on the iPad, but when people ask me "Are there any games that aren't ports of iPhone games?" it's hard to say no.

    No matter, the games that are there ARE great, but unfortunately more expensive than their iPhone counterparts and, like Angry Birds initially, have little more to offer....

  • nick

    "I'm still waiting for a game that feels like it could only exist on the iPad"

    Amazing. Love that comment, and I agree.

    Most of the HD games are great on the iPad, but when people ask me "Are there any games that aren't ports of iPhone games?" it's hard to say no.

    No matter, the games that are there ARE great, but unfortunately more expensive than their iPhone counterparts and, like Angry Birds initially, have little more to offer....

  • Sunrun

    Yes I noticed the graphical glitches on the text as well and thought that it really detracted from what is otherwise a beautifully crafted game. I'm sure they'll fix it in an update and it should be no reason for someone not to buy the game, but it was a shame to see - kind of spoiled the atmosphere (which, thanks to the audio, is very well developed).

  • Sunrun

    Yes I noticed the graphical glitches on the text as well and thought that it really detracted from what is otherwise a beautifully crafted game. I'm sure they'll fix it in an update and it should be no reason for someone not to buy the game, but it was a shame to see - kind of spoiled the atmosphere (which, thanks to the audio, is very well developed).

  • David Horinek

    I am really looking for the iphone version. It looks amazing. But I hope for smaller price.

  • David Horinek

    I am really looking for the iphone version. It looks amazing. But I hope for smaller price.

  • lukeb

    I'm sincerely disappointed in the review community, including IGN and others, for pushing this product as an example of original or uniquely ipad-suited gameplay. Those opinions comes from reviewers such as Levi with his 114 IQ.

    • Slayher

      You're crazy! This game's amazing. Graphic and audio design, gameplay, everything...

    • Greg

      Umm... Would you have some reasons to support this argument?

  • lukeb

    I'm sincerely disappointed in the review community, including IGN and others, for pushing this product as an example of original or uniquely ipad-suited gameplay. Those opinions comes from reviewers such as Levi with his 114 IQ.

    • Slayher

      You're crazy! This game's amazing. Graphic and audio design, gameplay, everything...

    • Greg

      Umm... Would you have some reasons to support this argument?

  • Adrian

    I had the same glitches that DoomedBunnies has. I emailed the developer when I bought the game a couple of days ago. They said that they didn't happen when they used their developer tools to install the game but happened on the version they downloaded from the App store - all a bit weird but would explain why such noticeable bugs were not noticed and fixed before release!

    As mentioned, the glitches DO NOT affect the actual game play in any way. I am sure they are working on it. The game is well worth the asking price.

  • Adrian

    I had the same glitches that DoomedBunnies has. I emailed the developer when I bought the game a couple of days ago. They said that they didn't happen when they used their developer tools to install the game but happened on the version they downloaded from the App store - all a bit weird but would explain why such noticeable bugs were not noticed and fixed before release!

    As mentioned, the glitches DO NOT affect the actual game play in any way. I am sure they are working on it. The game is well worth the asking price.

  • http://appsnail.com/ipad/ thrinlog

    yea this one rocks, very interesting stuff

  • http://appsnail.com/ipad/ thrinlog

    yea this one rocks, very interesting stuff

  • Swampthing

    Original gameplay? Unique?? Has the reviewer ever played SPORE? or SPORE ORIGINS? Same game...

    • Ooops

      at their very base, the games Osmos and Spore origins share a concept. However, they still play and feel completely different from one another. And Osmos is the vastly superior experience, with more variety, better atmosphere, and overall better use of the underlying idea.

      Saying both games play the same is like saying Sonic was unoriginal because of Super Mario.

  • Swampthing

    Original gameplay? Unique?? Has the reviewer ever played SPORE? or SPORE ORIGINS? Same game...

    • Ooops

      at their very base, the games Osmos and Spore origins share a concept. However, they still play and feel completely different from one another. And Osmos is the vastly superior experience, with more variety, better atmosphere, and overall better use of the underlying idea.

      Saying both games play the same is like saying Sonic was unoriginal because of Super Mario.

  • ZamboniMan

    Odyssey mode may be a tutorial but it is also required to be completed to gain access to Arcade mode. So, if you want to enjoy all the different game modes, you'll need to get through Odyssey mode first. If you get stuck on one of the levels, you don't get to play anything in Arcade mode. This should be clearly conveyed to people considering buying this game.

  • ZamboniMan

    Odyssey mode may be a tutorial but it is also required to be completed to gain access to Arcade mode. So, if you want to enjoy all the different game modes, you'll need to get through Odyssey mode first. If you get stuck on one of the levels, you don't get to play anything in Arcade mode. This should be clearly conveyed to people considering buying this game.

  • Jason

    I will buy this right when it is released for the iPhone! I can't wait for the iPhone version.

  • Jason

    I will buy this right when it is released for the iPhone! I can't wait for the iPhone version.