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The classic game: Osmos

It’s survival of the blobbiest in this hypnotic and deeply strange arcade game

Many games merely make up the numbers. A precious few become part of history. In this entry in our series on classic iPhone and iPad games, we take a look at a curiously chilled-out and hugely compelling arcade challenge from 2010.

What was Osmos?

A game about becoming the biggest. You controlled a blob-like ‘mote,’ which moved around by ejecting some of its own mass. The aim was to collide with and absorb smaller motes, while avoiding larger or anti-matter motes that could spell your doom.

Despite being an arcade game, the vibe was more ambient than frenetic. It was all about planning and precision, rather than blazing in.

Why was it a classic?

Although it originated on PC, Osmos was tailor-made for touchscreens. The interface felt immersive as you performed the delicate movements needed to ensure your mote’s survival.

The arenas were varied too. Some appeared to take place at microscopic scale, as if you were watching battling organisms in a Petri dish. By contrast, the ‘Force’ levels recalled planetary bodies orbiting a star and had you battle gravitational forces.

Where is it now?

Although rarely updated – and most recently in 2020 – Osmos remains available for iPhone and iPad. It works nicely on current Apple hardware, though, and remains as engaging and unique as it was when the game first arrived over a decade ago.

Visit the Osmos website or buy Osmos for iPhone ($2.99/£2.49)/Osmos for iPad ($4.99/£4.49).