Over two years after its original release, Hemisphere Games‘ Osmos has been updated with new competitive multiplayer modes. Along with Game Center support and new local and online multiplayer maps, this update also brings Retina display graphics to the iPad version of the game.
Osmos lets you control a little blue orb called a “mote,” which grows larger by absorbing smaller, tinier motes. Your mote controls a bit like the ship in Asteroids, except instead of using up rocket fuel to move, you expel tiny bits of your own mass. It’s like Katamari Damacy, but in a lava lamp.
I interviewed Osmos creator Eddy Boxerman in 2011 for my book Buttonless. At the time, he said the game was heavily influenced by a spacecraft dynamics class that he took in college.
Osmos went through many iterations during development, mostly due to the game’s intense difficulty. Boxerman says that he reduced the game’s difficulty somewhere between 30 and 40 times between prototyping and release.
After release, Osmos went on to win numerous awards, including Apple’s “iPad Game of the Year” award in 2010. In other words, this multiplayer update is just another great addition to an already fantastic game. I still wish that Hemisphere had figured out a way to add some sort of same-device multiplayer to the game, but I’ll gladly take what I can get; more Osmos is fine by me.