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Android App Video Review: Osmos HD

by Andrew Koziara

The unique and surreal puzzler Osmos HD from Hemisphere Games has found a place in the hearts of many a gamer. Since its PC release on Steam in 2009, it's garnered several awards and critical acclaim, and the iPad port was named Apple's iPad Game of the Year in 2010. Now, that game is finally on Android. This is pretty much the definition of indie, with highly innovative and original gameplay mechanics, a simple concept, and an award winning soundtrack.

The game is all about consumption and growth. You control a tiny single-celled organism called a 'mote.' You must propel yourself around the world, consuming smaller motes and growing in size while avoiding the larger motes that would consume you. Often, movement must be calculated and precise, as propelling yourself causes you to lose a small amount of your mass. As you continue playing, several interesting mechanics are introduced, from black hole organisms that suck everything in, anti-matter which decreases your mass without consuming you, sentient motes that will avoid you at all costs, and much more.

The controls are all touch based, and they're very intuitive. Tapping anywhere around your mote will cause him to be propelled in the opposite direction. Rather than simply replace normal buttons with virtual touch screen buttons, everything is gesture based; touching the screen with two fingers to continue, and with three fingers to pause. Swiping the screen left and right will cause time to slow down and speed up. The intelligently-designed mechanics will probably be enough to keep you entertained throughout the two game modes, Odyssey and Arcade. Odyssey is like a campaign, taking you through the levels in a specific order while Arcade is more like a free play mode.

The visuals are striking and unique as you explore this fascinating world. The award winning soundtrack is full of excellent ambient music that sets the tone perfectly. This game is truly one of a kind, and something everyone should check out. You can download the game for five dollars, but as luck would have it, the timing of this review is perfect. Osmos was just recently included in the Android Humble Bundle, allowing you to pay any price you want for a stellar set of games. Check out humblebundle.com to purchase the games and support charity. The game is more than worth that Android Market price, and everyone should give it a look.

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