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What's Osmos all about?
Osmos for iPhone is essentially a puzzle game. You start off as a small cell in a world of living objects, many of which are larger than you. The key behind the game is that larger objects can absorb smaller ones simply by touching them. So, before long, your small cell is now the big one on the block, sucking up other blobs scattered throughout each level. The goal behind many of the levels is simply to become the largest living creature on the level.
This may sound simple, but there is a catch; in order to move about the Osmos world you must propel yourself by releasing a small amount of your mass. You shoot out a small blob of your own matter in order to launch yourself in the opposite direction. So, while you may be looking to absorb an object slightly smaller than you on the other side of the level, by the time you get there you will have expelled so much matter that you are now the small one, causing you to be gobbled up by your would-be prey.
Add to this the fact that many of the blobs have minds and strategies all their own, and you've got an addictive, if somewhat confusing puzzle game on your hands. Some of the living objects in your world will try to avoid you at all costs, expelling small blobs along the way, while others will use the same get-big-fast strategy that you employ, and will frequently end up larger, and more dangerous than you yourself.
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Graphics, Audio and Verdict
Osmos looks fantastic. The game is presented in super detailed 2D, with many subtle effects and lighting changes as the game goes along. Each of the living blobs have small particle effects and change color from red to blue as you become more dangerous to them. This is a great feature, considering it's sometimes hard to determine if you're bigger than certain similarly-sized objects in the game world. Some levels feature huge living ecosystems including small blobs being consumed left and right, and it can sometimes be difficult to get large enough to really deal some damage, but the game still looks great doing it.
The audio in Osmos is super atmospheric and as your proceed throughout the game you'll tend to become very relaxed as the very mellow tunes and sound effects are very soothing. There isn't a whole lot of audio polish, but there doesn't really need to be. What's there works well for the game's simplistic game world and that's really all that matters here.
Joining the trend of slightly more expensive games on the App Store, Osmos rings up at three dollars. That's still an amazing price considering how much game you're getting here, and the fact that new modes and levels are being added by updates certainly adds to the value. If you're comfortable paying a dollar for games like Doodle Jump, you should feel fine shelling out three for a solid experience like Osmos.