Osmos, developed by independent studio Hemisphere Games, is an ambient strategy game in which the player tries to grow a tiny mote into a large one by absorbing nearby smaller motes. The challenge comes in navigating around other, larger motes in the game world; brush up against them, and the player's own mote will be absorbed. The game was published August 18th, 2009, and is available on a number of game websites, including Steam.
Gameplay is based upon Issac Newton's Third Law of Motion, that "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
In order to move, the player must jettison matter from within his or her own mote. This creates an element of strategy to the game. Release too much, and the player's mote will be too small to absorb anything; release too little, and the mote can't be controlled.
Collisions with other motes will result in a sharing of mass and velocity. For example, two motes of equal size colliding head on will result in a mote that is the combined size of the two originals and completely stationary.
The music in Osmos is an ambient, electric-themed collection from the works of the artists Gas/High Skies, Julien Neto and Loscil.
There are several types of objects in Osmos - called motes - each has its own unique properties.
The PlayerThe mote over which the player has control. It grows larger as it absorbs and smaller as it releases matter or brushes up against larger motes.
The Standard MoteThis is the average mote in the game. All motes larger than the player's mote start with a red tint, and, as the player approaches the same size, they turn purple. Eventually, when they can be easily absorbed by the player, they turn bright blue. Standard motes have no mind of their own, but sometimes are given a starting velocity. They either absorb or are absorbed by any motes they encounter.
The Antimatter MoteThe Antimatter Mote is different from every other mote in the game. When antimatter motes interact with other regular motes both motes lose size rather than one mote absorbing the other. Antimatter motes will only absorb or be absorbed by other antimatter motes.
The NemocyteThe Nemocyte actively seeks to avoid motes larger than itself by releasing matter, just as the player does. If the player seeks to chase it down, the Nemocyte will flee to avoid the player.
The RepulsorThe Repulsor moves without expelling matter as same polarity magnets repel one another. It avoids the player at all times, even when it is larger and cannot be absorbed.
The AttractorThe Attractor exerts gravitational force on all other motes in the game. The force exerted by the Attractor increases with its size. In the image to the left, the the attractor is a massive body with all other motes, including the player, in orbit around it.
The FeraxThe Ferax actively seeks motes smaller than itself and avoids motes larger than itself, including the player.
The OvariumThe Ovarium moves slowly and randomly through the field, but otherwise acts like a normal mote.
Osmos participated in the 2009 Independent Games Festival was selected as a finalist for three categories, including Excellence in Design, Technical Excellence, and the the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. It ended up receiving the Direct2Drive Vision Award.
- Operating System: Windows XP or Vista.
- Processor: 1 GHz.
- RAM Memory: 512 MB.
- Graphics Card: 3D graphics card with OpenGL support. Minimum resolution 800 x 600.
- DirectX®: N/A (OpenGL).
- Hard Drive: 33 MB.
- Sound Card: Stereo.
- Operating System: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later